Region – State Representative Danielle Gregoire (D-Marlborough), along with her colleagues in the House of Representatives, passed legislation at the end of February that builds on the 2010 landmark anti-bullying legislation. This legislation was overwhelmingly passed by a vote of 143-4.
While the original legislation prohibited bullying and cyber-bullying, and required schools to establish related programs, the passage of this legislation ensures that the appropriate data is collected and that attention is given to specific populations that are most vulnerable to bullying.? Specifically, this bill requires that schools annually report critical data to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the attorney general, and the legislature. In addition, under this legislation, parents will be made aware by the department of the problem resolution system in place and the process that exists if they are interested in filing a claim. Finally, school bullying prevention plans must recognize that some groups of students are more susceptible than others to bullying.
“The educational system in Massachusetts is exceptional, however if students do not feel safe and secure, their ability to make the most of the resources and tools they are given is greatly hindered,” Gregoire said. “It is crucial to ensure that our existing anti-bullying law is as effective as possible to ensure the safety, security and success of our young people.”