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Eye On Boise

Anti-bullying bill clears committee, heads to Senate amending order

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A departing senator is hoping to make a lasting impact with a bill to bolster anti-bullying efforts in Idaho public schools. The Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee Wednesday voted 5-4 to advance the legislation, SB 1358, that would mandate a more active role from schools in preventing student harassment. The bill sponsored by outgoing Boise Sen. Nicole LeFavour heads to the Senate floor for some expected changes. But she says the crux of the bill — providing more training to educators and requiring them to intervene when they witness bullying — is urgently need to better protect Idaho students targeted by bullies and who may be a suicide risk. Idaho School Boards Association representative Jessica Harrison argues schools already enforce anti-bullying policies and the legislation would add significant costs to cash-strapped schools. There was emotional testimony for improving Idaho's state laws on bullying and training for school officials on the issue, but differences of opinion on how best to accomplish that.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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