An In-depth Look at Nevada's New Anti-bullying Law
We spoke with the Department of Education -- to help break down the specifics of Nevada's new anti-bullying law, which Governor Brian Sandoval signed into law on Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates one in three students have been bullied at school. This new bill creates an office which deals specifically with school bullying cases and ways to combat the problem.
Before Senate Bill 504, the governor's office received letters from parents whose families have been torn apart by bullying. One read - "I'm a parent of a child who suffered months of severe verbal and physical abuse,” said Governor Sandoval. "On December 12th, 2013. A beautiful young girl took her life at the age of 13 because she was bullied to death."
It was many cases like this that led lawmakers to take action against the growing problem of bullying. "Sadly I can no longer keep track of the number of suicides that have occurred on my watch,” said State Superintendent Dave Erquiaga.
The superintendent further explains if a parent or guardian is concerned their student is being bullied, the school is required to investigate that claim very quickly. If parent aren't satisfied with the investigation with the school, they can use the new department as a way to appeal cases. “If mom or dad goes through the process with their school district having filed a complaint about bullying and they're still not satisfied, they can appeal to this department,” said Erquiaga.
The goal of the bill is also to explain that bullying doesn't just take place in school, but through social media – where bullying can follow students at home. Teachers and school administrators will also receive training on how to identify signs of bullying.