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School anti-bullying bill advances at Indiana Statehouse

The bill would give victims the opportunity to switch schools, or make the bully switch if victims didn't want to.

INDIANAPOLIS — A bill to address bullying moved one step further in the General Assembly Thursday.

House Bill 1483 requires school officials to investigate a report of bullying and tell the victim's parents within three days and the parents of the alleged perpetrator within five days.

If the report is deemed true and severe enough, the school cooperation may transfer the victim or alleged perpetrator to another school in the district under certain circumstances.

The bill's author, Democratic Rep. Vernon Smith, said he wrote the bill after hearing from the kids he mentors about how their schools weren't doing enough to address bullying. 

"We're so busy schooling children for a test that we're not teaching them how to co-exist with others and it takes some time," Smith said. "Children come here and they're blank slates. They learn everything from us."

Next, the bill heads to a third reading in the House. If it gets enough votes, it heads to the Senate for consideration.

RELATED: What Hoosier parents need to know about cyberbullying


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