Today, the Colorado House of Representatives approved HB-1254 on its second reading. HB-1254 seeks to reduce the frequency of bullying in public schools. If passed, the bill will clearly define bullying, create a grant program to which schools can apply in order to fund bullying prevention programs, and require each school district to adopt a comprehensive, evidence-based anti-bullying policy.
Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado, a statewide advocacy organization dedicated to securing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Coloradans, has released the following statement in response to the passage of HB-1254.
“We applaud the decision by the House to move this important bill forward. All students deserve to go to school free from fear, isolation, and harassment. It’s our job as adults to ensure every student is protected and safe in our schools.
“Over the past decade, Colorado has made earnest attempts to ensure that students are protected in schools, but sadly, bullying and harassment continues—and not just on the playground or in classrooms but on mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices.
“This bill sends a clear message that bullying is no longer an adolescent rite of passage but a serious problem that will not be tolerated in our schools.”
In fall of 2010, One Colorado, the Colorado Association of School Boards, the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Colorado Education Association, and the American Federation of Teachers—Colorado called on the state legislature to take immediate action to stop bullying and harassment in Colorado schools. The coalition that is advocating for HB-1254 now represents nearly 30 organizations—women’s rights organizations, LGBT groups, and health associations—who are united in their commitment to creating safe school environments for all students.