SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale) on Friday announced that his preemptive solution to school bullying, Assembly Bill (AB) 1993, was approved by the Assembly. The bill, which passed with bipartisan support by a 48 – 15 margin, now will move to the Senate for consideration.
“In almost every case of serious school violence, bullying was identified as a primary factor” said Fox. “Teachers who learn about the dynamics of bullying may be able to reduce violence.”
AB 1993 would require the state Department of Education to develop an online training module to assist all school staff, school administrators, parents, pupils, and community members to increasing their knowledge of bullying and cyberbullying.
The preemptive solution to school bullying bill was inspired by a 13-year-old seventh grade student from Palmdale who committed suicide after being suspended from school for allegedly fighting with his persecutor. The intent of the bill is to educate teachers and administrators to identify signs of bullying and to prevent similar tragedies.
According to the Attorney General’s 2013 Report on California’s Elementary Truancy and Absenteeism Crisis, bullying is one of the greatest barriers to regular school attendance and also has been associated with decreased academic achievement, complaints of illness, anxiety, depression, and an increased likelihood tobacco, drugs, or alcohol use. Bullying also is the root cause of many dangerous situations at schools that result in injury to school staff and students.
“Teachers and administrators are our children’s first line of defense and enhancing their knowledge of bullying can literally save a life,” concluded Fox.
(Information via press release from the office of Assemblymember Steve Fox)