Bill opens communication between schools and parents about bullying

(WHAM photo)

ROCHESTER. NY (WHAM) - Bullying is at the center of a bill that would require schools to notify parents if their child is being bullied, or the one doing the bullying.

However, some think a student's privacy isn't being taken into account.

Niki Fry said she'll never forget how it felt when her then 12-year-old son said he was being bullied. "Your first instinct when you hear someone is threatening to hurt your child is, how do I make it stop?" she said.

She said her son's friends were the ones who told her it was happening.

"Once we made the school aware of the situation, they were great. They sat both kids down for mediation," she added.

Fry said it's important school leaders and parents work together as a team on this issue. "There has to be communication and a way to stop it," she said.

Communication is at the center of a bullying notification bill that would require schools to tell parents if their kid is being bullied or doing the bullying.

"Parents deserve to know if their child has been harmed in any way," said Jeanine Connor, a behavioral counselor at Saint Kateri School.

Posted on the wall at the school is a list of anti-bullying guidelines for students to follow. "These are the foundation years, so we really get to be proactive," Connor said.

Students from Pre-K to fifth grade learn how to talk to one another and ask for help if they are being bullied.

"I'm happy our parents are vigilant and outspoken," she said.

However, others see a flaw in the bill. They say the it lacks a students right to privacy

"I think that's the main issue. So many kids are out at school but, not at home," said Jeff Myers, Interim Executive Director at Out Alliance.

He said it's important children are safe and know they aren't alone. "I feel the school should have a support system set up on a case-by-case basis for the student," he added.

In at least eight other states, there are already laws requiring schools to notify parents about bullying.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off