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Senate committee rejects bill to redefine bullying

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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to redefine bullying in schools statewide failed in the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday.

SB243, sponsored by Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City, sought to strike the current definition of bullying and replace it with one that she says is more encompassing of the emotional effects of bullying and the impact it has on school environments.

“We are trying to choose wording that will resonate with our state,” Robles said.

Approximately 30 percent of American schoolchildren ages 6-10 have been bullied or have bullied other children, she said, and that bullying has intensified in recent years.

The State Board of Education did not take a position on the bill but said it had concerns with some of its language. The bill failed to advance out of the committee with a 3-3 vote.

Mary Mellor