A Florida Senate panel advanced a proposal to create a new educational choice scholarship for victims of violence, harassment or bullying.
The sponsor, Sen. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, made changes to SB 1172 that would address some concerns opponents raised when the House advanced its Hope Scholarship legislation in November.
Public-school principals would have 30 days to investigate incident reports from parents. If the charges were “substantiated,” victims would become eligible for a scholarship to a private school*, or a transfer to a public school of their choice.
Still, some critics argued lawmakers should focus on toughening up the state’s existing anti-bullying policies, rather than create a new scholarship program.
“Wouldn’t removing the bully make the school safer for all students … as opposed to removing that individual who was bullied?” asked Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale. Continue Reading →