To the editor:
Please contact your legislators and tell them NOT to support House File 826 (anti-bullying bill).
1. This bill is a prime example of what lawyers call "vague and overbroad" legislation' using terms such as " "emotional distress," and "actual or perceived." This bill will create more burdens for teachers, who will have to monitor perceived "emotional distress" among students within their schools, and then fill out piles of paperwork on the complaints.
2. It singles out certain "protected classes" of students - including race, sex, sexual orientation and "gender identity and expression" - for favored treatment. The traditional victims of bullying, i.e. kids who are shy or have other peculiar traits are essentially invisible in this bill.
3. Requires schools to investigate anonymous accusations and does not give students the right to confront their accusers; thereby allowing students to harass one another by making unsubstantiated charges of misconduct.
4. Parents do not have to be notified.
The incidences of bullying have been decreasing. Teachers and principals know their students far better than legislators in St. Paul so let's allow them to continue to drive the bullying trend downward. Our current anti-bullying law is sufficient; we don't need the unfunded mandates in HF 826 along with it's unelected 20 member "School Climate Council" micromanaging our schools.