Democrats in the Iowa Senate have passed a bill designed to give school administrators more authority to address instances of bullying that occur outside of school and on-line. Senator Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says addressing “cyber-bullying” is important.
While all 26 Democrats voted for the bill, all 24 Republicans in the senate voted against it, voicing a variety of complaints. Republican Senator Mark Chelgren (SHELL-grehn) of Ottumwa says he’s worried school officials won’t be properly trained to recognize the First Amendment rights of students.
Republican Governor Terry Branstad called upon legislators to pass anti-bullying legislation last year and again in January. An anti-bullying bill stalled in the Republican-led Iowa House last year. Many Republicans suggest it’s up to parents to police the actions of their children when they’re outside of school; however an anti-bullying bill has been under consideration in the House this winter.