Originally Published By Nicole Heins In KKTV11
The House Education committee passed a bill this week that would prevent bullying in schools.
The bill HB21-1221, would support changes to the Department of Educations model bullying policy including making a distinction between conflict and bullying and would include cyber bullying as well. The bill also specifies bullying as a behavior that may be grounds for suspension or expulsion of a student from a public school.
The bill is sponsored by Representatives Lisa Cutter from Jefferson County and Mary Young from Greeley.
Representative Cutter says bulling happens to many kids in the state of Colorado, and wants to do something to put an end to it. “Bullying harms one in five students, often leading to tragic outcomes that are avoidable. We can do more to prevent and stop bullying, and that’s what this bill would do. It asks school districts to adopt a model bullying prevention policy and ensures that policy is effective by including parent voices and addressing cyber bullying,” said Rep. Lisa Cutter.
Lawmakers say 15% of students in Colorado high schools experience bullying. Persistent bullying can lead to feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, and they can also lead to suicidal behavior.
Which is one of the main issues Attorney General Phil Weiser says Colorado students are dealing with.
“For us in Colorado this is been a continuous source of pain; the number one cause of death of 12 to 24-year-olds is suicide. That’s why it’s important that we destigmatize conversations around mental health” says Attorney General Weiser.
The bill would also reportedly make sure the parents of students who have been or are being bullied to be involved in the process in developing the policy.
If you or someone you love is going through a difficult time, there are multiple resources you can contact, but the most important thing to do is reach out and talk to someone.
Safe2Tell is open 24/7, 365 days a year. You can call them anonymously at 1-877-542-7233 or file a report online.