Senate rejects expanding schools' bullying rules

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Senate rejected an effort Monday to expand a state law against bullying in school to address gay students.

Missouri already requires school districts to come up with a policy against bullying by September. Current law says all students should be treated equally but that policies should not spell out classes of students in need of protection.

Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City, proposed changing the wording Monday to require policies to detail the effects of bullying based on certain characteristics.

Some Republicans said it's wrong to spell out which groups get special protection, and the amendment failed.

Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, argued the proposal could require schools to discuss what it means to be gay with children in kindergarten, a claim Justus denied.

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