A bill seeking to establish a statewide definition of bullying in Kentucky public schools is headed to a vote in the full senate.
SB 228 unanimously cleared the Senate Education Committee today (Thursday).
Paducah’s Republican Senator Danny Carroll is a co-sponsor and says a set definition would help officials better track instances of bullying throughout Kentucky schools.
“It provides a standard definition throughout the state that we will use," said Carroll. "Bullying meanings any unwanted verbal, physical or social behavior among students that involves a real or perceived power imbalance and is repeated or has the potential to be repeated.”
Paducah student and co-founder of the Guess Anti-Bullying Foundation Morgan Guess testified before the committee citing her own experiences in support of the measure.
“When I was bullied, my school didn’t even have a definition for bullying," said Guess. "I’m sure most schools in Kentucky didn’t at the time. Fear was so tightly wrapped around the very word of bullying that too many adults let fear get in the way of helping me.”
The rules would apply to all school premises, transportation or school-sponsored events. The sister bill received House approval last month.
School boards would be required to adopt rules prohibiting bullying and include procedures for investigating and responding to reports. The rules would apply to all school premises, transportation or school-sponsored events.