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Missouri Lawmakers Consider Bills Against Cyberbullying

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/missourila_8427.mp3

Missouri lawmakers have proposed three bills that would strengthen Missouri’s laws against bullying in schools—and expand them to include cyberbullying. KSMU’s Xiaowen Tan reports.

State Representative Sara Lampe from Springfield says the bills are about establishing policies for schools so that they deal with bullying more efficiently. That includes looking at their policies and offering training for teachers. And there are specific policies that give schools guidance as to how to write their rules.

Lampe said the most important thing is to keep children safe in school.

“Part of our jobs as schools officials is to make sure that the children are safe. And that means that administrators and teachers and students need to know what we’re going to allow in the school, what’s acceptable behavior, what’s unacceptable behavior”, she said.

The director of the Counseling and Testing Center at Missouri State University, Doug Greiner, said some specific training is already being done for school employees by the MSU Division of Student Affairs.

“Recently Student Affairs did a training for cyberbullying. And it was for staff members at Student Affairs to get us thinking about how we get the word out to students [about] what we do”, he said.

Greiner said nowadays, staff members in schools are more and more aware of bullying, and more groups and classes are discussing it on campus.

For KSMU News, I’m Xiaowen Tan.