Shreveport Senator John Milkovich’s legislation that would give teachers more freedom to decide how to handle bullies in public schools passed through the Senate Education Committee.

The bill gives teachers a wide leniency to teachers to “take all steps deemed necessary” to the bullying, including involving the police, and personally restraining the offending student.

Milkovich says it would cut down on the red tape involved in stopping bullies.

“They don’t need to go through a three month administrative process. If they see that a child needs to be protected from someone, they can grab the kid and toss him out of the school. Or they can call the police.”

Milkovich says the bill was inspired by a meeting he had, arranged by a local pastor, with two parents whose daughters had committed suicide after being bullied.

“Their kids were harassed my school kids, and this breaks the heart of every parent, but each of them went home on different days and found their teenage daughters hanging in their bedrooms.”

The Senator says the parents reported the bullying several times to the school, but after months, nothing had been done.

Currently, teachers are limited in how they can handle bullying in schools. Milkovich says his legislation would provide educators with new avenues for dealing with classroom abusers.

“If the teacher needs to physically intervene, grab a kid, or toss him across the room, we’re telling the teachers as long as they act reasonably they are protected.”

The bill faces opposition from the governor’s office, who says the bill is “overly regulatory” and “that school officials have a lot of tools right now” for dealing with bullying.

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