Phoebe Prince anti-bullying law passed in Massachusetts
State legislature unanimously approves measure; Governor Patrick Deval set to sign off
The Massachusetts State Legislature has unanimously approved a state law cracking down on bullying in what advocates say will be called Phoebe's law after the young Irish girl who committed suicide after being bullied.
The bill now goes to the governor for signature.
The bill requires school employees to report all instances of bullying and demands that principals investigate them.
"Bullying is not new. Bullying has been with us from time immemorial. But what has changed is that it appears to be more pervasive, more destructive," said Senator Robert O'Leary, Senate chairman of the Education Committee.
"We're going to send out a message that this kind of behavior is not acceptable and the community needs to deal with it," O'Leary said.
The proposal passed unanimously on a 38-0 vote.
Representative Martha Walz, House chairwoman of the Education Committee, said the bill was "very strong legislation that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of children in our state."
"This is a day that we can be proud we have done something positive – to eradicate bullying and to demonstrate to this commonwealth and to the nation that bullying will no longer be tolerated," stated Representative John Scibak, whose district includes South Hadley, where the death of Irish schoolgirl Phoebe Prince drew international attention to bullying.
The bill also is in memory of 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover of Springfield, who also committed suicide after being bullied.
Governor Patrick Deval is said to be ready to sign the measure as soon as it reaches his desk. A spokeswoman said it was a 'top priority.'
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Rest in Peace Madiba you were an inspiration to the World. Many in my home city of Cork were saddened that you were denied the Freedom of our City yetForging a bond with my father during an idyllic trip to Donegal
fine story. sorry I addressed you as doherty without the O' recently; you'll survive, yeah? good story way back in IC about Newt G visiting donegal/Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for new flag for Northern Ireland (VIDEO)
Hey have ye heard the news 30.000 homes without power because the flags attached to them caught the wind & pulled them down-flags are like littleInquiries into pre-Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland crimes must end
Niall, it has always been healthy for the prosecution services of a state to process actions on the evidence, or lack thereof, provided by the police