Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to sign House Bill 1254 today. The bill, lauded by high schools, minority leaders and LGBT rights groups seeks to reduce the frequency of bullying Colorado public schools.
If passed, HB-1254 would be a huge step forward for public school violence by creating a statewide school bullying prevention and education grant program as part of the Department of Education. Schools can apply for grants to fund anti-bullying programs to reduce bullying incidents in their schools, define bullying specifically at their schools and each district will have its own sweeping and evidence-based anti-bullying policies.
Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado, a Colorado-based LGBT advocacy organization, made a statement about the bill on the One Colorado website:
All students deserve to go to school free from fear, isolation, and harassment. It's our job as adults to ensure every student is protected and safe in our schools. Over the past decade, Colorado has made earnest attempts to ensure that students are protected in schools, but sadly, bullying and harassment continues--and not just on the playground or in classrooms but on mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices. This bill sends a clear message that bullying is no longer an adolescent rite of passage but a serious problem that will not be tolerated in our schools.
Read the bill in its entirety at the Colorado General Assembly website.