“What we noticed during our many months of hearings is that some schools have a very comprehensive policy and other schools don’t. So what this does is sets a uniform policy so that a student, no matter where they are going to school, they’ll have the same policy, the same procedure, the same penalties throughout our state,” said Lanzi, a Democrat from Cranston.
“It’s also easier for the administrators and the parents to know what to expect.”
“One student breaking up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend, two kids teasing each other all of a sudden constitutes bullying. So you have this very dangerous situation where you’re criminalizing, what is ultimately in a lot of instances, pretty innocuous conduct or certainly conduct you’d expect from young kids and turning it into something much more serious,” said Steven Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island ACLU.
Brown said instead more education is needed for students about bullying.
“Bullying is a serious problem and it can and should be addressed, the question is how you address it,” he said.