Efforts to protect bullied schoolchildren in Texas have been largely unsuccessful in state legislative sessions past. But with the mounting number of high-profile tragedies across the country in the last couple of years -- with some children driven to suicide by relentless bullying -- those unsuccessful anti-bullying measures were bound to get a fresh look in the 2011 Texas Legislative session. TFN tracked three anti-bullying pieces of legislation during the 2011 session. One of those, HB 1942, was a substantial victory in the fight to keep schoolchildren safe. Sponsored by state Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, the bill won final approval with bipartisan support in the waning days of the regular session and was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry. Read More

We are happy to report that the Texas House tonight gave final passage to House Bill 1942, which requires public school districts to adopt policies to protect students from bullying. Religious-right groups had opposed the bill’s passage. Here are some highlights from HB 1942:

The bill defines bullying in Chaper 37 (Discipline) of the Texas Education Code, It updates the definition of bullying to include that through electronic means (cyberbullying), It provides for the transfer of the student who engages in bullying. Currently, only the target of bullying may be transferred. It allows staff development to include training on preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying. It mandates that each board of trustees of each school district adopt a policy, including any necessary procedures, to address the prevention, investigation and reporting of incidents of bullying.

The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature.… Read More

The Texas Senate today passed House Bill 1942 unanimously, yet another step toward protecting children from bullying in the state’s public schools. Because a Senate committee made a technical change to the bill, the bill must go back to the House for approval before heading to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature.

The Texas Freedom Network strongly supports passage of HB 1942. Religious-right groups oppose the bill, claiming that it will promote homosexuality. Texas Eagle Forum has even bizarrely argued that the bill isn’t necessary because, the group claims, gay and lesbian students aren’t bullied as much as other students are for reasons other than their actual or perceived sexual orientation. The bill, which doesn’t mention sexual orientation, would require public school districts to adopt policies designed to prevent, investigate and report bullying that targets any student.

TFN Insider will keep you updated on the progress of HB 1942 when it gets back to the House.… Read More

Legislative efforts to protect bullied children in Texas schools just passed the Senate Education Committee. The Texas House passed House Bill 1942 on May 4. The full Senate must now approve the bill to send it on to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature.

If HB 1942 becomes law, it would:

 Include the definition of bullying in Chaper 37 (Discipline) of the Texas Education Code. Update the definition of bullying to include bullying through electronic means (cyberbullying). Provide for the transfer of the student who engages in bullying. Currently, only the target of bullying may be transferred. Allow staff development to include training on preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying. Mandate that the board of trustees of each school district adopt a policy, including any necessary procedures, to address the prevention, investigation and reporting of incidents of bullying.

The Texas Freedom Network supports passage of HB 1942. But religious-right groups have opposed such legislation, bizarrely arguing that it somehow promotes homosexuality. Sexual orientation isn’t even mentioned in HB 1942. Yet crass political calculations apparently lead extremist groups like Texas Eagle Forum to oppose any bill that just might have the effect of also… Read More

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller testified yesterday at a Texas House Public Education Committee hearing (archived video of the hearing here) in support of legislation to help schools better protect their students from bullying. Tragically, unrelenting harassment and bullying have led some Texas students -- like 13-year-old Asher Brown last September -- to take their own lives. Religious-right groups opposed to the bill, however, decided to put politics ahead of protecting Texas students from harm. Read More

Texas Freedom Network

Gov. Abbott called a special session in '17 because Lt. Gov. Patrick wanted to dictate where someone could pee. #txlege twitter.com/Tylerpap…