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House Bill 539 — School harassment and bullying

House Bill 539 — School harassment and bullying

Parrish Miller
February 15, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 539 would require schools to notify parents, guardians, and the Idaho Department of Education about bullying incidents and to include anti-gun information in the notifications.

Rating: -1

Does the bill reinforce the idea of equal treatment under the law, merit, individual responsibility, personal agency, and expectations of academic excellence?

The proper role of schools is to promote independent thought while encouraging academic excellence in traditional subjects such as math, reading, and science. Schools should not promote social or political agendas, disseminate propaganda, or intrude on a student's home life and family, nor should these institutions attempt to define or limit how individuals should exercise their rights and liberties.

House Bill 539 would require a school "principal or principal's designee" to notify the parents or legal guardians of each student aggressor and victim in an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, or if a student has indicated an inclination for harm to self or others."

The bill says, "The notification shall include parental empowerment materials, including suicide prevention resources and information on methods to limit students' access to means of harm to self or others."

The bill would also require school districts to report to the state department of education all "harassment, intimidation, and bullying incidents" and confirm that parents and guardians were notified and provided with the required materials.

It doesn't take much imagination to recognize that "means of harm to self or others" is primarily a euphemism for firearms and that the "information on methods to limit students' access" will be anti-gun propaganda encouraging parents and guardians to either give up owning firearms altogether or to store them in a manner that renders them effectively inaccessible for self-defense. 

Such messaging is not within the proper role of schools.


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