AG Jackley wants SD lawmakers to urge bullying policyPIERRE (AP) — Schools would be urged but not required to provide counseling to bullying victims and inform parents about alleged harassment under a measure being advocated by South Dakota's attorney general.
By: VERONICA ZARAGOVIA, The Associated Press
PIERRE (AP) — Schools would be urged but not required to provide counseling to bullying victims and inform parents about alleged harassment under a measure being advocated by South Dakota's attorney general.
Attorney General Marty Jackley said Tuesday that his amended bill aims to provide "encouragement language" toward establishing a model bullying policy without asking the government to micromanage school districts.
"The local control is why I feel strongly about it," Jackley said.
Under Jackley's proposal, schools would be urged to counsel victims, report aggressors, inform parents about bullying or harassment and provide instruction to students. It would include a variety of threats under the definition of student aggression, including intimidation and physical violence.
The Senate Education Committee delayed action until Thursday, when Dakota Dunes Republican Sen. Dan Lederman will testify on his version of a bullying bill that would enforce prohibitive policies by the boards of all school districts.
Supporters of Jackley's bill said the aim is to keep government involvement at a minimum.
"It's too bad we're at the point we have to do this for the school systems," Sen. Bruce Rampelberg, R-Rapid City, said. "I think less government would be better, but we must move forward."
Twelve districts in South Dakota lack a process for handling cases of student aggression.