COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The stories of children that are taunted, harassed, and even tortured are reaching lawmakers on Tuesday as they try to find ways to get bullies out of South Carolina schools.
Now, there are two bills trying to do just that.
One bill passed that committee Tuesday afternoon and passed on to the House floor would set the standard for how bullying is reported, and require certain punishments be available to the bully, like mental health counseling, and community service.
The second bill works to punish the bully's parents. It would have parents get involved, meet with school staff, and if they don't respond in a certain number of days, the child would be suspended until they can attend counseling.
"I believe this particular piece of legislation holds the parents responsible for their children's actions because they are still minors," Rep. Samuel Rivers (R-Berkeley) said. "So, I'm not trying to punish the child. If that child does not have a parent that's involved in his or her education, then we have to wonder what's going on with that child and are we going to leave that child in the public school system to continue to harass, torture, and taunt other children?"
The Department of Education testified they are not supportive of a child being suspended indefinitely until a parent can meet like this bill would do.
But some lawmakers expressed concerns that bullies just aren't being taken out of the classroom.