Parents say the state needs anti-bullying laws

Bullying comes in many forms: physical, verbal, emotional and even cyber. No matter the form we know bullying is a huge problem in schools across the nation.

Some of us might have been the bully but just about all of us have been bullied. But even as we grow older those childhood memories almost never fade.

“I was bullied and I remember that and I never told anybody,” recounts Merton Tice, a former 7th Circuit Judge.

Fifty-two percent of South Dakota high school children surveyed in 2009, reported they’ve been bullied, according to a study.

“I’d really like to say that it’s safe to send my kids to school and not have to worry about them being picked on by others in their class,” said mother of three, Angie Dietrich.

South Dakota is one of only four states without anti–bullying laws. It’s the only state without an anti–bullying policy. Father of two, Kelly Harris says the state is behind the times.

“I think it’s time that they kind of model off of other states that are similar and move ahead,” Harris said.

Tice says while he’s glad there’s more awareness about the problem the lack of policy is disturbing.

“Right now as I perceive it, there’s no real law existing against bullying,” Tice said. “If there’s no law against it, then that ratifies it. That means to the bully that it’s okay.”

The Rapid City Character Counts Coalition will host a meeting to address bullying prevention. The meeting is scheduled for noon on Tuesday at the Chiesman Center for Democracy. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

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