Loading...

Friday, 1 June 2012

A new anti-bullying law before Gov. John Kasich would require schools to address bullying that happens on school buses. It's a move a Muskingum County family said is very needed.
The Jessica Logan Act was passed by the legislature Wednesday and goes to Gov. Kasich's desk within the next month to be signed. The legislation is named after a Cincinnati teenager who committed suicide after cyber bullying.
The legislation that goes before the governor is a weaker form of the legislation which as originally proposed in the legislature asked for schools to be responsible for bullying even if it occurred off school grounds if it had a substantial impact on school activities.
The legislation that goes before the governor is a weaker form of the legislation which as originally proposed in the legislature asked for schools to be responsible for bullying even if it occurred off school grounds if it had a substantial impact on school activities.
Among the changes proposed by the Jessica Logan Act, schools would be required to provide "age appropriate" education to students on bullying, have a policy that handles cyber bullying and address bullying that happens on school buses.
"It was horrible. I had so much anxiety. I was scared. I didn't want to send him on the bus," said Christina Phillips who lives in Philo, Ohio.
Her son, 8-year-old Cayleb, has autism. She said that last school year when Cayleb was in kindergarten he was repeatedly bullied by a group of boys on his school bus.
Phillips said at first her son sat at the back of the bus. She said the bus driver had difficulty seeing in the back of the bus, complicated by the fact Cayleb was short so he could not be seen over the seat.
Eventually, Phillips said, the driver moved Cayleb to the front of the bus where there was a camera. But Phillips said the camera was unable to see or film the first two rows of the bus where her son sat.
Cayleb has a now 11-year-old aunt, Adreana, who used to ride the school bus with him. Adreana said she tried to stand up for her nephew, but she could not fend off the bullies. And when she told adults, she said, they ignored her.
"I told the bus driver but she didn't believe me because she had no proof about it because they couldn't see the people up in front of the cameras," Adreana said.
Phillips said the school district told her they had investigated and that no bullying was occurring but her son and sister continued to report the problem to her. She said she also saw a change in her son's behavior. Eventually, she said, forced by the bullying problem, she moved her son to another school district where he is happy now.
Phillips said she believes the Jessica Logan Act would have helped her son and said districts need to take more responsibility for what happens on school buses. She said she would like to see more aides placed on buses to ride along and monitor students as well as more education for drivers on how to handle bullies. She said she also hopes the Jessica Logan Act will be signed into law.
"I think it's great. I mean I think the school should be held accountable...these kids are getting hurt. There's kids killing themselves over bullying. Something needs to be done," Phillips said.
Critics say the bill goes too far by addressing school buses, relinquishing parents of their responsibility to handle how students behave off school grounds.

www.tt-i.info

No comments:

Post a Comment