House panel forwards school anti-bullying bill 01 Mar 13

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A bill at the Capitol to strengthen state laws against bullying in schools has passed its first committee hurdle.

The House Education Policy Committee approved the bill Thursday night. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports it requires all school districts to enact their own bullying prevention policies, and sets aside $1 million in state funds for the Department of Education to help schools formulate their policies.

Students who have been bullied testified that better policies are needed to make sure future students don’t suffer the same fate.

But some Republicans and conservative activists say they worry it won’t focus on the behavior of bullies but rather on promoting values and beliefs about homosexuality and family structure that some parents don’t want their children exposed to.