FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Representative Gregory Porter of Indianapolis has authored a stricter anti-bullying bill that State Senator Tom Wyss of Fort Wayne co-sponsored.
It was signed into law by Governor Pence on Tuesday.
Senator Wyss has been trying to create an anti-bullying legislation since 2005.
“[I] tried to update the anti-bullying legislation a couple years ago, unfortunately was defeated,” he said.
Gov. Pence, Senator Wyss, and Representative Porter were surrounded by victims of bullying or parents whose children were bullied as the bill was been signed Tuesday.
Some new details in the law include: requiring Indiana Department of Education to create uniform anti-bullying guidelines, train teachers and administrators on how to handle bullying and create a system for all school officials to report any bullying on school grounds. The new law will also hold schools accountable if they don’t report bullying cases.
“The issue itself is really working with students at the classroom level,” said Glenda Ritz, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “I plan to work with the topic of bullying from that standpoint.”
Superintendent Wendy Robinson said Fort Wayne Community Schools is taking the lead on anti-bullying and the law just reinforces the effort.
“We have the concept of treating people with dignity and respect, interwoven into our curriculum, in our discipline policies,” she said.
The new law goes into effect July 1st.