Legislative Update 3/30

The anti-bullying bill HSB 196 (previously blogged about here) has been renumbered as HF 593.  Five amendments to the bill have been filed so far:

H-1124 by Mascher (D-Johnson) to require school districts to provide investigation training to individuals responsible for conducting investigations of reported incidents of harassment or bullying.

H-1184 by Hunter (D-Polk) to require practitioner preparation programs to require students to successfully complete training on how to prevent, recognize, address, and stop incidents of harassment or bellying and to provide a student with information on the effects of harassment and bullying.

H-1199 by Hall (D-Woodbury) to require schools to adopt a procedure for investigating reports of harassment or bullying that includes notification of the parents or guardians of all students directly involved in a reported incident.

H-1200 by Hall (D-Woodbury) to require that a parent, guardian, or legal or actual custodian of a student shall prevent the student from engaging in harassment or bullying at any time.

Hall is a co-sponsor of HF 143, which did not survive the first funnel deadline.  HF 143 would create criminal and civil penalties for parents, guardians, and custodians who fail to prevent harassment and bullying.  It isn’t clear how the provision in this amendment would be enforced by schools.

H-1223 by Winckler (D-Scott) to change the definition of harassment and bullying to state that harassment and bullying occurs when a student is intimidated, annoyed, or alarmed by another student, based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student, which creates an objectively hostile school environment by any of the following means: electronic, written, or verbal communication with the student without legitimate purpose and in a manner likely to cause the student annoyance or harm; or personal contact with the student or any other physical act toward the student, with the intent to threaten, intimidate, or alarm the student, that is purposeful and without legitimate purpose.

“Personal contact” means an encounter in which two or more people are in visual or physical proximity to each other.  “Personal contact” does not require a physical touching or oral communication, although it may include such contact.