The Arkansas House has given final passage to a bill that would require school districts to enact anti-bullying policies that take Facebook and other electronic forums into consideration.
The anti-bullying policies bill passed the Senate 34-0 and it cleared the House Monday on a 68-18 vote.
Rep. David Powers of Hope spoke for the bill on behalf of Sen. David Johnson. Powers says current anti-bullying rules aren’t working in many cases.
The bill calls for districts to provide training and to investigate every credible report of bullying and document the result.
That reporting and documentation includes bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The legislation, which can be found here, includes protection for sexual orientation and gender identity. The definition of “Bullying” states that it “may address an attribute of the other student.” Protections for LGBT youth were secured by including gender identity and sexual orientation in the definition of “Attribute”:
“Attribute” means an actual or perceived personal characteristic including without limitation race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, socioeconomic status, academic status, disability, gender, gender identity, physical appearance, health condition, or sexual orientation;
Nice work, Arkansas.
Just need Governor Beebe to sign the bill into law now.