Shreveport Senator John Milkovich’s legislation that would give teachers more freedom to decide how to handle bullies in public schools passed through the Senate Education Committee. The bill gives teachers a wide leniency to “take all steps deemed necessary” to stop bullying, including involving the police, and personally restraining offending students. Milkovich says it would cut down on the red tape involved in stopping bullies.
Milkovich says, "They don't need to go through a three month legislative process. If they see that a child needs to be protected from someone, they can grab the kid and toss them out of the school or call the police."
Milkovich says the bill was inspired by a meeting he had, arranged by a local pastor, with two parents whose daughters had committed suicide after being bullied.
Milkovich says that the parents walked into their homes on different days to find their daughters "hanging in their bedrooms."
The Senator says the parents reported the bullying several times to the school, but after months, nothing had been done.
Currently, teachers are limited in how they can handle bullying in schools. Milkovich says his legislation would provide educators with new avenues for dealing with classroom abusers.
Milkovich says, "The teacher needs to physically intervene... As long as they act reasonably, they're protected."
The bill faces opposition from the governor’s office, who says the bill is “overly regulatory” and “that school officials have a lot of tools right now” for dealing with bullying.