Georgia Gov. Sonny signed into law legislation aimed at reducing bullying in schools.
Under SB 250, school systems are required to notify parents of students who are involved in “bullying incidents” at schools. In addition, the state Department of Education must create a model anti-bullying policy that local school systems statewide can implement.
“Bullying has no place in our schools,” Perdue said in a statement. “This legislation will help local systems address incidents of student intimidation and ensure that parents know when their child is involved in a bullying incident.”
Perdue also signed into law a bill intended to cut down on “excessive zero tolerance discipline” in schools statewide. SB 299 gives judges more discretion, proponents say, and changes state law to make a first offense equal to a so-called “delinquent act” instead of a felony.
“Georgia is leading the nation in tackling the proliferation of zero tolerance policy abuses in schools,” Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur, said in a news release. “Students have been expelled or sent to jail for bringing a key chain, nail clippers, and even a Cub Scout utensil to school.
“This legislation brings common sense to the all-or-nothing approach that school officials use to discipline kids under zero tolerance policies,” Jones added. “Excessively harsh disciplinary policies create a huge barrier to education; being expelled or sent to an alternative school can cause students to fall behind in coursework or give up on school altogether.”
The governor also signed into law a bill to establish a state “Blue Alert” system to help capture fugitives who kill or injure law enforcement officials has passed the state Senate.
The State Blue Alert System has four criteria that must be met before it can be activated. Among the requirements, the law enforcement agency investigating the crime must deem the fugitive poses a “serious” threat to the public and law enforcement officials.