States fight bullying with new legislation - Houston Top News | Examiner.com
On Friday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed an anti-bullying bill into law, reports Fox News. The new legislation is being named after Shawnee student Loren Wendelburg. In 2008, Wendelburg – who suffers from autism – was a 5th grader who was verbally and physically abused by a teacher at Rising Star Elementary School.
The new law strengthens Kansas’ anti-bullying statue by protecting students from being bullied by school personnel.
Earlier this year, Wendelburg testified before the Kansas state legislature saying, “I had nightmares because I worried about going back to school and the teacher harming me.” According to his parents, the teacher continued to work at the elementary school without any disciplinary action by administrators.
Wendelburg, now 15 years old, was on hand in Topeka as Gov. Brownback signed the anti-bullying bill into law.
Parents who are concerned about their kid’s safety online should urge social sites to use live moderators. Los Angeles-based WebPurify offers professional content moderation services, including video and image filtering tools that block out vulgarity on the web.
In March, a pornographic video involving an infant was posted on Facebook. The content was shared tens of thousands of times and “liked” by 4,000 users.
“It’s tragic enough that videos like this exist, but exposing users to traumatic content and destroying a company’s brand is completely avoidable,” said Joshua Buxbaum, a co-founder of WebPurify. “There is no way around this; real live human beings, not software, need to be reviewing every video before it goes live.”
“Not having the proper safeguards in place . . . is extremely irresponsible. [Our] team . . . moderates content . . . [and] implemented systems to immediately alert our clients when that content contains potentially illegal or dangerous material” said Jonathan Freger, who is also one of the company’s co-founders.
On Friday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed the School Safety and Bullying Prevention Act into law. The anti-bullying bill was introduced by legislators after a series of bullying incidents at schools throughout the state that were reported by local media.
The new legislation gives schools a roadmap for how to handle, report, investigate and punish bullying related incidents.