Three New House Bills Endorsed for Debate

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JEFFERSON CITY - The General Laws Committee endorsed three more House bills for debate this week. These endorsements come during the final week of the legislative session.

Senators could be asked to approve new laws during the next three days.

The laws include extending the deadline school districts have to notify their teachers about their reemployment status. The current deadline to notify teachers about their reemployment status is April 15, and the deadline to offer them a contract is May 15. The proposed new deadlines would be May 15 and June 15, respectively.

The second bill would change the laws regarding bullying in schools and establishes specific components that a district must include in its anti-bullying policy. The bill repeals the former provision which required a district's anti-bullying policy to treat students equally, and not contain specific lists of protected classes of students who are to receive special treatment.

The bill also has several requirements that a school district's anti-bullying policy must have, including:

  • A statement prohibiting bullying
  • A statement encouraging students, and requiring district employees, to report any instance of bullying and a procedure to notify the parents of the children involved in the incident
  • A procedure for the prompt investigation of reports that would be conducted by the principal or principal's choice of faculty member
  • A description of the ways that a school could respond once an incident of bullying is confirmed
  • A statement prohibiting retaliation against a person reporting an act of bullying and the potential consequence for doing so
  • A description of how the policy will be publicized and a process for discussing the policy with students, and training employees and volunteers in the policy

The State Board of Education must have model anti-bullying policies in place before Sept. 1, 2013.

The final bill would change state laws to rubber stamp a governor's administrative changes.

The Senate also unanimously passed a worker's compensation bill Tuesday. The bill protects workers from lawsuits as a result of honest work accidents, and also must be approved by Governor Nixon.