The Alabama Student
Harassment Prevention Act - HB 0216
PDF - www.BullyPolice.org/AL_law2009HB0216.pdf
law was signed on May, 20, 2009 by Governor Bob Riley.
like to point out:
pertains only to "one student against another student" only - which leaves
out the possibility that a teacher might harass a student, or even a student
might harass a teacher (which is rare because adult harassment laws and
Unions will protect teachers).
says that complaints MUST be in writing and submitted by the affected student,
or the parent or guardian of the affected student - which means young children
(or students who don't write well) have no way of reporting what happened
to them. In the majority of cases, parents have no clue what's going
on so they won't put anything in writing and students are ashamed of the
bullying incident and its hard to talk about it, let alone write it.
What ever happened to the idea that a teacher is a friend, and you can
tell your friend about something bad that is happening to you and they
will help you report it and deal with it. Truthfully, if I could,
I'd take a point away from this law over this ridiculous clause in the
term, "continuous pattern of intentional behavior" is out of date for what
we know about school bullying today. Bullying can happen just once
and it's severe enough to do something about.
is also outdated and can actually be harmful to the school environment
if it isn't done right.
put, "prompt investigation of reports of SERIOUS violations and complaints"
in a law, this leaves the term "serious" up to ones on imagination.
All reports should be taken seriously and if all reports are taken seriously,
the bullying will be seriously stopped.
is the most crazy clause I've ever read in a law - go to page 7, and read
(13). What were lawmakers thinking when they wrote this? Is
there some hidden meaning in this law that blames victims for their own
victimization? Why make a "nonexhaustive list of the specific personal
characteristics of a student" unless it is believed that somehow that student,
by that "characteristic" somehow deserved to be bullied? This should
be removed because it plain dumb.
positive - yes, I love the reporting clause, page 8 (4) and the freedom
of speech and expression on page 8 Section 7. (But, does that mean
a young student can tell, not write, their complaint to the teacher, but
the teacher has been told by this law that they can't do anything because
it wasn't written - kind of confusing isn't it.)