Bullying as a Misdemeanor in Florida?

SaintPetersblog sent this interesting little blurb out in his invaluable Sunburn email alert:

An effort to fight bullying would go beyond school lines in Florida law, under a measure (SB 548) filed Wednesday by Sen. David Simmons. The proposal says the offense of bullying would involve “a person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly harasses or cyberbullies another.”

The term excludes constitutionally protected activities such as picketing and other organized protests. Anyone charged with such an offense would be subject to a first-degree misdemeanor under the legislation. Anyone who repeatedly bullies another could face a third-degree felony.

No House companion has been filed.

State law currently has a section on bullying, the “Jeffrey Johnson Stand Up for All Students Act,” that is focused on bullying or harassment of students and public school employees. The act, approved by the Legislature in 2008, has required school districts to set up anti-bullying policies and create reporting procedures on bullying and harassment allegations.

The act was named after a 15-year-old Cape Coral honor student, who hanged himself after what his mother claims was three years of relentless torment by a bully

Bullying ain’t like it used to be. Not with the advent of the internet and social media. My school district already has the policies in place detailed in the 2008 bill.

This bill will suck up lots of oxygen next month. It will be interesting to see if Simmons get a democrat co-sponsor. If he does, look for the bill to make to Rick Scott’s desk for a signature.


About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
This entry was posted in EDUCATION, FLORIDA POLITICS and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s