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Action Alert: Bullying prevention bill up for vote Thursday, February 22

Please call your Kansas House of Representative member and urge them to vote YES on HB 2578! 

For the past few weeks, Equality Kansas has been working with lawmakers from both parties to improve our state’s bullying prevention statute.  The current law requires school districts to adopt policies, implementation plans, and training programs to combat bullying on school campuses.  Since it’s adoption in 2007, however, many school districts have placed a low priority on compliance with this state law.

Our bill, HB 2578, will set minimum requirements for districts and require publication of bullying policies and procedures on district websites.  The new language imposes the following requirements (see the current law at http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/statute/072_000_0000_chapter/072_061_0000_article/072_061_0047_section/072_061_0047_k/)

Such a plan shall include provisions for the training and education for staff members and students; consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who commits an act of bullying, harassment or cyberbullying; a procedure for reporting an act of bullying, harassment or cyberbullying, including a provision that permits a person to report an act of bullying, harassment or cyberbullying anonymously; a procedure for prompt investigation of reports of bullying, harassment and cyberbullying, and a list of appropriate responses to an incident of bullying, harassment or cyberbullying.

Such plan shall be published on the school district’s website with a link prominently posted on the home page of such website, and distributed annually to parents and guardians who have children  enrolled in a school in the school district. The plan also shall be submitted to the department of education and shall be kept on file with the department.

The bill will likely be debated tomorrow, Thursday, February 22.  Please call your Kansas House of Representative member and urge them to vote YES on HB 2578! 

Find your Representative’s contact information here:  http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/chamber/house/roster/

If you’re not sure what district you are in, please write our executive director at witt@eqks.org.  Be sure to include your home address so we can look up your district.

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