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Safe Schools for All Youth:

HB 1323: Relating to bullying and harassment in public schools.

Primary Author: Rep. Mark Strama (D-Austin)

Joint Authors: Rep. Paula Pierson (D-Arlington); Rep. Veronica Gonzales (D-McAllen); Rep. Raphael Anchia (D-Dallas); Rep. Eddie Lucio III (D-Brownsville)

Co-Authors: Rep. Alma Allen (D-Houston); Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth); Rep. Marisa Marquez (D-El Paso); Rep. Norma Chavez (D-El Paso); Rep. Patrick Rose (D-Dripping Springs); Rep. Ellen Cohen (D-Houston); Rep. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston); Rep. Joe Farias (D-San Antonio); Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin); Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin); Rep. Ana Hernandez (D-Houston); Rep. Fred Brown (R-College Station); Rep. Valinda Bolton (D-Austin)

Equality Texas worked to draft language for this bill, which would:
  • Expand the definition of bullying by including bullying by electronic means such as computers, cell phones, text messaging, and instant messaging;
  • Expand the current definition of bullying to include incidents that occur off school property if the communication is likely to cause a disruption to the educational environment of a campus;
  • Provide for the movement of the bully to another classroom or campus, at the discretion of school administation.  Currently, the victim is required to move to another classroom or campus;
  • Expand the mandatory sexual harassment policy that school districts are required to have to include bullying.
  • Require notification of the parents or guardians of both the victim and the student who is bullying or sexually harassing another student;
  • Expand the state's Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) reporting requirement to include incidents of bullying, harassment, and sexual harassment.  Includes a requirement to report if incidents were a result of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability.

Committee: Public Education 

Actions:     05/08/09 - Placed on Daily House Calendar
                 04/20/09 - Committee report sent to Calendars
                 04/09/09 - Reported favorably as substituted [6 Ayes, 0 Nays, 5 Absent]
                 03/31/09 - Left pending in committee          
                 03/31/09 - Considered/testimony taken in public hearing                 
                 02/26/09 - Referred to Public Education Committee
                 02/17/09 – Filed

Equality Texas Position: Supports. This bill is part of our Legislative Agenda.

Equality Texas Bill Fact Sheet:  Fact Sheet on HB 1323 (pdf)

Bill History – Bill History on HB 1323 

Bill Text
– View the Bill Text 

Equality Texas Action Alerts:
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HB 1323 was the 11th bill in line for debate at the deadline for second reading of bills at midnight, May 14, 2009.  HB 1323, together with over 210 other bills on the House Calendar, died at midnight.
Equality Texas Video Center:
Mad World - Stop the Madness
Rep. Mark Strama discusses HB 1323 at Equality Texas Lobby Day on March 2, 2009.
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