Smith's bill was described in the following news release:
Senator Smith recently filed Senate Bill 132, which would expand Missouri schools’ anti-bullying policies to include discrimination or any action that substantially interferes with a student’s educational performance or a school’s safe and orderly operation.
“All students deserve a safe learning environment,” Sen. Smith said. “Unfortunately, bullying is a very real and growing problem and we need to curb it where it generally occurs — at school.” The proposed legislation would require school districts to adopt policies prohibiting bullying, including a definition of bullying and procedures for reporting acts of bullying, responding to confirmed incidents of bullying, and conducting prompt investigations. The measure would also require anti-bullying policies are made public, and ensure employees and volunteers receive training on anti-bullying policies.
Under the proposal, the State Board of Education would develop model anti-bullying policies to assist school districts no later than Sept. 1, 2010.
“Bullying can adversely affect a student’s performance, self-esteem, and sometimes result in tragic consequences,” Sen. Smith said. “Research shows that when there is a commitment by schools, teachers, students and parents, bullying can be drastically reduced, and student safety increased.”