Olympia - March 7, 2001 - By passing SSB5528, the state Senate today took a necessary and important step to protect our children from school violence.
This week's shootings at Santana High School near San Diego were a tragic reminder that we cannot continue to regard bullying and school harassment as traditional rites of passage for kids.
Our children tell us bullying is a cause of youth violence and that a code of silence among kids only perpetuates that threat. This bill is a response to what we heard from our kids.
If recent history is any indicator, there are children in our schools right now who are troubled and unable to cope with taunts from their peers. The bill approved by the Senate today encourages schools to provide anti-bullying training for staff members and requires school districts to adopt bullying policies. These policies will make it easier to find those kids and help them before another horrible school shooting occurs here in Washington.
I applaud the bill's prime sponsor, Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell), Sen. Joseph Zarelli (R-Vancouver), and the entire Senate for its action today and urge the House to join in approving this measure to protect our kids.