House committee approves anti-bullying legislation


FRANKFORT – A bill intended to add a clear definition to state law books of what constitutes bullying was approved by the House Education Committee on Tuesday.

House Bill 316, sponsored by Rep. Rita Smart, D- Richmond, would define bullying as “any unwanted verbal, physical, or social behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance and is repeated or has the potential to be repeated” if it occurs at school, on school busses, at school-sponsored events, or disrupts the educational process in some other way.

Clearly defining bullying in the law books will help protect students, said 13-year-old Morgan Guess, who founded the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation in her hometown of Paducah.

“I can understand this definition and I feel protected by it,” Guess said. “We should have one definition that every school uses and every student and parent can understand.”

HB 316 now goes to the full House for consideration.

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