Action Alert: School Violence Prevention Act-Senate Bill 526
June 22, 2009
Today the School Violence Prevention Act will be on the House floor for a vote.
Now is the time to contact your General Assembly House Representative and tell them that you support this bill as it is written.
The bill establishes clear definitions of bullying and harassment and requires each public school district to adopt policies and procedures for dealing with incidents when they occur. The bill includes an enumerated list of categories/characteristics that, real or perceived, have been statistically shown to make students, teachers and staff more likely targets of school violence, including verbal, social and emotional bullying as well as physical harassment, threats, beatings, etc. Public support for the bill continues to be strong; polls are showing 69% of those surveyed support the bill as filed. In both polls, majorities in every category supported the bill, including self-identified Republicans, conservatives and those who live in rural areas and small towns across the state.
Here is a brief message from one of North Carolina’s youth leaders:
“Being a person living a life with a disability can be difficult especially if the disability is visible. A person who does not walk straight or does not speak clearly is a target for bullies in the education system. As a student in their junior year of high school, people would think there would be an understanding and the teasing would decease but that is not the situation.”
TAKE ACTION: Your General Assembly House Representative needs to hear from you TODAY!
ACTION TO BE TAKEN:
EMAIL or CALL your Representative NOW.
Vote YES for the bill! Vote NO for all amendments!!!
Call/Email your own General Assembly House Representative and tell them to vote for the bill and against any amendments that would strip it of the protections it extends to those most vulnerable students, and share with them the reason you support the bill; personal stories are incredibly powerful. Remember, constituent calls are the most effective way of influencing a lawmaker's stance on an issue, so please call and, if the House Representative is not available, leave a message with your name and contact number, and be sure to tell their assistant that you are a constituent and support Senate Bill 526/House Bill 548.
* SB 526 enumerates protected categories to protect children most vulnerable to bullying and harassment. This legislation addresses the needs of students with disabilities.
* To SUPPORT the bill with the enumeration that is currently in this important legislation.
* Seventy-eight students with disabilities, who gathered in Raleigh during the summer of 2006, discussed their experiences dealing with bullying and harassment while attending school. These young leaders recognized the importance of creating legislation that would create a protected category for students with disabilities.
* This legislation will support students with disabilities by utilizing the protected categories as a self-advocacy tool. Students with disabilities will be able to look to this legislation as their right to be protected from bullying and harassment.
* Enumeration of protected categories is a clear sign that all students, regardless of differences in characteristics, appearance, or ability are valued and deserve protection.
Subject: Vote for SB 526
Dear [write in your Representative name here],
I understand that SB 526, the School Violence Prevention Act, is up for a vote today.
I've seen the impact bullying has on young people. This bill will make a real difference in making our kids safer.
I urge you to vote for SB 526.
Those who oppose this bill are making a lot of claims about it. The fact is, this is about making all children safer--nothing more, nothing less.
Don't know who represents you/need contact info? Click here: http://ncleg.net/GIS/RandR07/Representation.html