Good news from our friends at Equality Texas, who we partnered with on the recent Lobby Day event at the Texas State Capitol.
One of the bills designed to help defend LGBT youth in Texas, HB 1323, has cleared committee and could be debated on the Texas House floor as early as this week. According to Equality Texas’s fact sheet on the bill, it would:
- “add reporting standards for incidents of bullying in Texas public schools. Specifically, school districts would be required to provide reports detailing the number, rate, and type of incidents of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, and discrimination against students.
- require districts to adopt model policies on bullying and harassment.
- provide for confidentiality, parental notification, transfer of the bully rather than the victim.
- define and proscribe ‘cyberbullying’ and off campus conduct that affects the educational environment.”
The recent, horrific account of an 11-year-old who recently committed suicide after enduring bullying, including daily taunts about being gay is sadly one of a growing number of examples of how adversely bullying can affect our kids. The bill not only seeks better and more comprehensive protections against bullying, but it also defines cyberbullying, which past state legislation against bullying doesn’t even address because of its relative newness.
Equality Texas suggests this sample letter in support of HB 1323: Sample Letter
To find your representative, this page can help.
If you’re in Texas, please write today to help the bill get passed this session.