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Anti-Bully Pulpit

Photo by KUT News
Bullies could be moved to another classroom or campus, under a proposed bill in the Texas Senate.

A Texas Senate committee looked at legislation that would change definitions and solutions for bullying and cyber bullying issues. Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) authored a bill that provides the removal of a bully to another classroom or campus at the request of the victim. Currently, the student-victim of the bullying is moved.

Colleen Horton, with the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, told lawmakers that the bill’s language could have unintended consequences for students with mental health issues and disabilities who are accused of bullying.

“These behaviors may be the result of medication changes, sensory sensitivity, tactile defensiveness, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, hyperactivity, a number of things," Horton testified. "At times, behaviors can have physiological causes or may be related to the environmental situations and are beyond the control of the student. ”

The proposal would add an admission review and dismissal process for special-needs students before they are transferred to another classroom or campus.