A bill intended to prevent and address bullying at school is now law. It comes a year after an 11 year old boy in metro Atlanta killed himself after being taunted by classmates.
Governor Sonny Perdue signed the bill with the family of the elementary student Jaheem Herrara bearing witness. Bill Nigut with the Anti-Defamation League says the bill addresses issues that the family claims lead to his death.
"In the Herrara case, the family believes the school officials from teachers to principals ignored their concerns, this will ensure a child’s concerns about bullying will not go unreported," says Herrara.
Nigut says the bill expands current law which is limited to physical bullying of middle and high school students. Now the law includes elementary school children and broadens the definition of bullying to include verbal harassment, property damage and cyber-bullying.
It also requires parents be notified when a bullying incident occurs and directs the state Department of Education to develop a model anti-bullying policy that can be used by local school systems.