Anti-bully bill may get state House vote after all

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imageA measure to toughen the state’s ant-bullying law, thought dead on Friday after missing a critical Crossover Day deadline, may get new life in the state House.

The legislation’s sponsor, gay-friendly Republican Rep. Mike Jacobs, will work Tuesday to have the House vote to add the legislation — known as H.B. 927 — attached to a Senate bill, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A bill to toughen the state’s bullying law could have new life.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Mike Jacobs, will attempt today to convince his House colleagues to make the changes to the state’s bullying law a part of a Senate measure.

The Senate bill deals with rowdy behavior on school buses and could become a vehicle for Jacob’s bullying bill. He’ll ask the House to pass his bill as an amendment to the Senate bill.

The measure was near death after failing to gain a House on Friday, which was the 30th day of the 40-day legislative sessions. Most bills that aren’t approved by one chamber of the General Assembly by then are considered dead.

H.B. 927 offers a sweeping definition of bullying and mandates that local school systems develop anti-bullying policies by August 2011. It also directs the state Department of Education to develop a model policy about bullying by January 2011.

But the legislation does not include specific protected categories in its definition of bullying. Instead, it describes the act as threats of injury, displays of force used to intimidate a victim, or written, verbal and physical acts “which a reasonable person would perceive as being intended to threaten, harass, or intimidate.”

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