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Vote delayed on SD schools' bullying policy bill

PIERRE (AP) -- A South Dakota Senate panel won't vote immediately on an amended bill that encourages schools to adopt anti-bullying or harassment policies.

Attorney General Marty Jackley says his amendment has "encouragement language" on establishing a model bullying policy. Jackley says schools would be urged but not required to counsel victims, report aggressors, inform parents about bullying or harassment and provide instruction to students.

The Senate Education Committee has 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.

Twelve districts in South Dakota lack a process for handling cases of student aggression.