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Proposed Missouri Law Would Fine School Districts for not Reporting Bullying

Under a new bill heard in committee Wednesday, Missouri School Districts could have 10% of their funding revoked, if they fail to report an incident of bullying.

The bill proposed by Representative John Black would withhold funds from districts that are too lax in their punishments for bullying.

Representative Kathy Steinhoff of Columbia agreed with the motivation behind the bill, but criticized the harsh financial penalties on school districts where money is already tight.

Steinhoff said, “You cannot control behavior, but you can certainly attempt to guide students. And that’s what I think our current bullying laws do, is to guide students who are misbehaving in order to make sure everybody is safe. I think it just goes too far with the penalty provisions."

The bill has yet to move past the committee stage, but Democrats think a revised version might be worth voting for.

(Story by Quinn Coffman, Missouri News Network)

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