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Bullying Definition Bill Emerges from House Education Committee

Members of the Kentucky House Education Committee are backing legislation to define ‘bullying’ in public schools. Sponsor Rita Smart of Richmond says ‘harassment’ is defined, but not bullying and she believes it would serve to heighten awareness of the issue. 

Smart says in Madison County more and more children are being home schooled because of bullying. “They used to have a few children in a home bound program because of a broken leg or infection, but now they have more because of anxiety and mental health issues and it costs them. They have to have a teacher for those children."

Wayne Young is with the State School Administrators Association. “We certainly do a lot of training, a lot of work preventing it, but we don’t have any state definition or policy that directly addresses bullying, so certainly we think that’s a good thing, but probably just needs some refinement."

Young says there’s support for the measure among school officials. He says there may need to be some refinement in the definition to better determine what is and what is not bullying.

The bill heads on now to the House floor.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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