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Lawmakers support bill aimed at curbing bullying of teachers

First Published      Last Updated Feb 08 2017 11:45 am

The Utah House voted unanimously Tuesday to give teachers some protection against students and parents who bully them with ongoing abusive behavior.

HB62's sponsor, Rep. Keven Stratton, R-Orem, said it requires school districts or charter school boards to enact a grievance procedure for employees who suffer "abusive conduct" from students or parents.

It defines such abusive conduct as verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct that, based on its severity, nature and frequency would lead a reasonable person to determine it is intended to cause intimidation, humiliation or unwanted distress.

Stratton said without that, it leaves teachers vulnerable to bullying without much recourse.



Rep. Marie Poulson, D-Cottonwood Heights, a retired teacher, said a student once stole her purse, and she chased him. She found her credit cards and cash stuffed in his pockets.

The student's parents blamed her for the legal problems he suffered, and were abusive for the rest of the year. She attempted to have him transferred out of her class, but was unable to do so — so the abuse continued. She said this bill would be a first step to fixing the problem.

 

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