Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington
An anti-bullying bill that’s become the top priority for Equality Texas in this year’s legislative session received tentative approval from the Texas House tonight, in a 102-34 vote.
HB 1942, by Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, doesn’t provide specific protections for LGBT youth. However, experts say the bill represents the last, best chance for the Legislature to crack down on bullying this year.
From the Texas Tribune:
The bill lays out a definition of bullying and calls on school districts to adopt procedures that prohibit it, make students aware of their options for seeking assistance, protect “whistle-blowers,” establish procedures for notifying parents and guardians about incidents of bullying, and set out counseling options for both the victim and the bully. The bill also gives authority to a school board to transfer a bully — as opposed to a victim — to a different classroom and different school, if necessary.
Equality Texas has issued action alerts over the last few days calling on people to contact their state representative and urge them to support the bill. The bill must be voted on once more by the House before moving to the Senate, which could happen Wednesday.