We need to empower teachers and administrators to stop bullying and implement policies to make schools safe for all children. Instead, HB 1 & SB 1172 will do the opposite by providing bullying victims with a voucher to attend a private or religious school.
If enacted, the law would send a clear message: instead of using proven strategies to stop bullying behavior and improve the whole school climate, Florida would rather let bullies drive their victims out of school. And the lesson to victims is that the only way to be safe is to run away — nobody will stand up for them.
This legislation will also funnel enormous amounts of taxpayer money into a troubled private school voucher system that has little oversight. Similar programs have cost the state millions in outright fraud.
Contact both your State Representative and Senator today and tell them to vote NO on House Bill 1 & Senate Bill 1172.
- This legislation does not require the recipient private schools to do anything to protect transferring victims from bullying at their new school.
- Under Florida law, students can take taxpayer money from public schools to attend private schools that are not accredited, where teachers lack a college degree, and where there is no requirement for a basic annual audit to determine how tax dollars are used.
- There are also no safeguards to prevent taxpayer dollars from going to private schools with an extremist agenda, such as ones that teach that Nelson Mandela was a Marxist or that women should be “obedient to their own husbands.” Funds could even go to schools that promote Scientology.
We need solutions that stop bullying from ever occurring
Decades of research shows that developing support systems, providing allies and role models, employing inclusive and respectful curricula, and taking a close look at harassment policies prevents bullying. If legislators want to protect all of Florida’s children, they should invest in such proven strategies. Contact your State Representative and Senate Senator today and tell them to vote NO on House Bill 1 & Senate Bill 1172.
- New bullying bill has Florida parents fuming
- Proposed law not the cure for school bullies or bullied
- Proposed bill would allow bullied Florida students to transfer schools
- Anti-bullying bill is smokescreen for expanding vouchers
- State cash to send bullied students to private schools? Not so fast
- Proposed anti-bullying scholarship bill draws local criticism
- It's time for legislators to apply more oversight to scholarship schools — for students', families', and taxpayers' sake
- Bullying law should embarass lawmakers
- An empty promise to Florida students