News (USA)

Texas legislature approves bill to improve school bullying-prevention policies

The Texas legislature on Thursday gave final approval on a bill designed to crack down on bullying and require schools to have improved bullying-prevention policies.

The measure, which will ramp up preventative programs to curb bullying in Texas schools, had been a legislative priority for a number of parent and school groups. They cite a disturbing rise of cyberbullying in recent years as more students got access to electronic devices and cell phones.

Under the bill, school districts will have to adopt policies to curb the problem. Victims can ask for and receive a transfer to another school, and confirmed bullies would be transfered to another classroom or school.

The mother and stepfather of 13-year-old Houston student, Asher Brown, stood and hugged each other in the Senate gallery when the bill was passed in that chamber on Monday. Asher, a victim of anti-gay bullying, killed himself in September 2010.

The bill returned to the House on Thursday for approval of routine technical amendments, and now heads to Gov. Rick Perry to be signed into law.

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