D.C. considers anti-bullying bills
With parents, teachers, and city leaders worried about bullying, a D.C. Council committee heard testimony Monday on two anti-bullying bills that would apply to places where kids learn and hang out: D.C. public and charter schools, libraries, parks, and recreation centers.
The bills would ban bullying or harassment based on race, sexual orientation, religion, income, and other characteristics. The proposals don't spell out penalties.
"That's the issue -- there have to be consequences; otherwise the policy's absolutely worthless," Mayor-elect Vincent Gray said.
Student David Aponte said he was bullied in grade school for being short, smart, and Jewish.
"It got to the point where I was suicidal," Aponte said. "I didn't really think that I was a valuable person. I didn't think that anybody needed me, so I tried to commit suicide three times."
Another student, Ebony Simpson, said kids are "being picked on by the shoes they wear, the clothes they wear, where they live, who they hang around."
A timetable has not been set for voting on the bills.
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