Wednesday, February 11, 2009

South Dakota Votes NO for Kids

Panel kills bill to require school bullying policy

Well, it looks like South Dakota lawmakers don't care about their kids. Somehow they think they were elected to "delagate" to the schools to set their own anti bullying they believe the government-run schools will on their own? One can only pray that they care about anyone's safety in South Dakota... I don't know why I thought this, but I thought the number one job of our state and federal lawmakers was to protect it's citizens. Maybe in South Dakota kids aren't considered worthy to be considered citizens - they are 2nd class, I guess. ...Can you tell I'm disgusted? My comments in blue

Here's the article.
PIERRE – A legislative committee says bullying is a school and community problem that won’t be ended with state laws. (Yes, and car accidents won't be prevented with good roads and road signs)

The House Education Committee voted 11-3 on Wednesday to kill HB1279, which would have required every school board to develop a policy that prohibits bullying and harassment and provides safe ways for victims to report incidents. Supporters said school children sometimes stay away because they fear bullies. Uniform policies would help schools deal with the problem, they said. Opponents said the issue is a community one that state law won’t solve. (Opponents have never had to fight a school district living in la-la land - "bullying doesn't happen in our school")

Well, get ready South Dakota - you are going to see lawsuits against school districts instead of laws - a good law could have prevented the wave.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bully Police USA has a new Co-Director

Kevin Epling has agreed to be the Bully Police USA Co-Director and serve with myself, Brenda High, to move BPUSA into the forfront of volunteerism and activism for the kids of America.

A little about Kevin...
Kevin is the father of Matt Epling, whose story is featured in the book, Bullycide in America: Moms speak out about the bullying/suicide connection. (This book can be found at

After the loss of his son Matthew in the summer of 2002, forty days after a hazing incident, Kevin and Tammy Epling began to work for an anti-bullying law in Michigan. They want to make sure that children were safe from bullying, hazing and harassment in Michigan’s schools and that the trauma they endured would not happen to someone else. The law will be named "Matt's Safe School Law" in memory of their son.

Locally, Kevin and Tammy have led the charge to establish a community based awareness program: Safe Schools, Safe Communities.

The Eplings have been actively telling their story to numerous civic, educational and parent groups, have been featured on CNN, The Mitch Albom Show and several other local and regional news outlets. Kevin and Tammy have established an art competition for middle school students to explore the arts and assist in building self esteem

Kevin and Tammy also serve as Legislative Liaisons for Bully Police Michigan as well as doing some consulting and speaking engagements. Kevin can be contacted by email at

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Supreme Court rules sexually harassed students may sue

Check out this new ruling today by the US Supreme Court -

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that students who are sexually harassed may sue under a federal statute covering schools and a broader civil rights law. The decision revives a lawsuit brought by the parents of a Massachusetts kindergartner who said a third-grade boy on her school bus repeatedly made her lift her dress, pull down her underwear and spread her legs.

Her parents, Lisa and Robert Fitzgerald, said officials in their Barnstable School district did not sufficiently address their complaints. The parents sued under Title IX of the Education Act Amendments of 1972, which bans discrimination at schools that receive federal funds, and under a long-standing civil rights law known as Section 1983, which protects against discrimination based on the Constitution's equality guarantee...

My Comments:
WOW this is incredible news!!!
There are two points I would like to comment on...
First that the school "...did not sufficiently address their complaints." This tells me that the schools had prior knowledge and did nothing. This is what ultimately won this case, because if the school had not known about the bullying/sexual harassment, they could have plead ignorance in the matter.
Second - the sexual nature of the complaint...
Parents who are trying to stop a child's bullying will need to think of ways to complain to schools that the bullying was sexual. That won’t be hard because the one term most widely used in bullying is “you’re gay” and “you’re fat”, etc.

This is big news for the rights of our children

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Possible lawsuit over strip searches

Check out this article called...
Mom: I don't send my kids to school to be strip searched
Three high school girls, taken into a washroom one at a time by an off-duty Chicago police officer, told to drop their pants, squat and cough -- all in the hunt for a cigarette lighter that was never found... To read more go to,aspira-high-school-strip-search-010709.article

Monday, January 05, 2009

Wisconsin's Proposed Law

Good news. Wisconsin is proposing an anti bullying law in 2009.

I’ve reviewed the proposed Wisconsin law and as it stands, I would give it a B+. Using as my grading guide...

1) The word "bullying" is used in the text of the bill/law/statutes.

2) The law is clearly an anti bullying law, not a school safety law.

3) There is a requirement for definitions of bullying and harassment.

4) There are recommendations on how to make policy and what needs to be in the model policy.

½ point for number 5) A good law involves education specialists at all levels, starting with the State Superintendent's (Education) office.... but the law only goes this far and doesn't require buy-in with School Districts, Schools, Parents and Students.

6) This law mandates anti bullying programs

7) There is a date the model policy is due, when the schools need to have their policies in place. My only thought here is why the date is March 1, 2010 (and August 15, 2010 for School Boards). Is the Wisconsin State Dept of Ed notoriously slow at getting things done?

8) There is a requirement for protection against reprisal, retaliation or false accusation.

MISSING - 9) There must be school district protection against lawsuits upon compliance to policies.

MISSING - 10) A top rated law will put the emphasis on the victims of bullying by assigning counseling for victims who suffer for years after peer abuse.

½ point for number 11) This law does require mandatory posting and/or notification of policies and reporting procedures for students and parents.

MISSING - 12) Cyberbullying or "Electronic Harassment" law.