House committee will discuss anti-bullying bill

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INDIANAPOLIS — New legislation being proposed at the Statehouse would toughen Indiana’s anti-bullying laws, and a student who was bullied for years says it’s something that needs to happen now.

Paige Rawl was born HIV-positive, and was bullied for it all through middle school.

“I confided in my best friend that I was born HIV positive,” said Rawl. “Within a couple of weeks of telling her, people started calling me ‘PAIDS,’ which was the nickname that I had. I had a note on the locker saying no AIDS at the school, I just went through a lot of problems.”

Now about to graduate from high school, Paige Rawl says she thinks Indiana needs tougher laws.

“I really think that a law put in place would make people realize that this has become a serious issue,” Rawl said.

“These are issues out there that we really need to address right now,” said state Rep. Greg Porter, D-Indianapolis, who authored House Bill 1423.

The bill would requires the Department of Education to develop guidelines for bullying prevention programs, investigation and reporting procedures, and discipline rules. The bill will be heard Monday morning by the House education committee, and anti-bullying advocates say it’s about time.

“There has been bullying legislation put before the Indiana legislature, in the House and Senate, for several years,” said Tracie Wells, from Bully Safe Indiana. “Last year, one bill was killed before it even hit the floor, because of politics.

“We don’t do enough in terms of prevention,” said Mindi Goodpaster of the Marion County Commission on Youth. “We don’t actually look at training teachers and administrators on how to teach kids that bullying is not acceptable.”

“I’ve heard several stories about teachers seeing someone being bullied, but they don’t want to get involved,” said Rawl, who travels the country these days to speak to teens about bullying.

“I just think they need to start taking a stand, and if there is that law out there then people will realize that this is something that is affecting our youth today, and something that is not okay,” she said.

Click here to read a copy of the bill being proposed in the House:

http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2013&session=1&request=getBill&doctype=HB&docno=1423

7 comments

  • Julieann

    I feel strongly for my fellow classmate. I'm in my senior year of High school as well, and I have been bullied ever since kindergarten. Being born with a learning disability is not easy, and it made school difficult, especially when my classmates didn't understand. My being sexually abused by my first boyfriend and going against him in court didn't help my being bullied, when my "friends" and others turned on me for it. I hope, for the sake of all who have been bullied, that our country will do all they can to stop bullying.

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      Julieann,

      The next time some guy bullies you, haul off and kick off in his gnads, punch him in the nose, then step on his neck. Sure, you'll get suspended but I guaran-damn-tee he won't pick on you again.

      Some girl picks on you, do the same. Kick off in her groin, hit her in the nose, and step on her neck. She'll get the message.

  • Clayton

    Grow a thicker skin? That is what we did as a kids, that is what my parents did and their parents and their … never mind we must have a nanny state take care of us….. I was wrong.

  • gammafirebug

    Its pretty pathetic they have to pass laws like this. I dealt with my bullies myself. But of course the goverment has to step in, and potect everybody. Its getting to the point where we will be unable to do anything for ourselves because we will be too scared of our own shadows…

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      Yup…a cure to bullying is a fisted hand and a foot in someone's azz. Sure, the victim might get beat up but the bully will surely move on to easier victims.

      It's a tried and true means to stop bullying, not making more useless laws that are difficult to be enforced if they're enforced at all.

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    >“I really think that a law put in place would make people realize that this has become a serious issue

    lol…Young fool!

  • Kayla

    I was bullied all through school. I am now in college. I was bullied from 4th grade till the day I graduted. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of 14. When people would find out it made the bullying even worse. I have heard every possible name in the book for someone with a mental illness. I hope for the sake of everyone with a mental illness and those without who are bullied that this law gets passed. It has gotten way out of hand. I am 22 now and I still with some of the affects of being bullied. I had low self-esteem till 5 months ago when I met the love of my life who every day makes me feel pretty. I don't think people will realize even with a law that is a serious issue but I hope children will think twice about bullying someone if they know there will high consequences for their action doubtful but I hope so.

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