An attempt to get the House to consider an anti-bullying measure failed Monday. Rep. Brian Cronin, D-Boise, tried to get Senate Bill 1358 to be considered on the House floor. The measure has been locked away in the education committee.
“This is not a trivial matter,” Cronin told the House. “If we want to put the interests of students first, if we want to put the safety and protection of students first, we need to consider this bill.” Cronin noted that his daughter has been bullied and said that the failure of the bill to be heard in the committee was a “hiccup in the committee process.”
But education chairman Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, said, “I believe the best place for that Senate bill to sit right now is in the education committee.”
Nonini was backed by Rep. Stephen Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, who said bullying legislation “is already in our criminal code. I would suggest that this bill may not be necessary and the appropriate action is to leave the bill in the committee at this time.”
Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, sided with Cronin. A committee hearing on the bullying legislation would have brought some of the issues to light, he said. “I deal with bullying in my own district, and I think it is a serious problem.”
The House voted 48-21 to keep the bill in committee. It had previously passed the Senate 25-8. The measure put in place training requirements for teachers, added a crime of “cyber-bullying” and made any act of bullying or cyber-bullying an automatic infraction.
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