Both houses of the Massachusetts legislature approved an anti-bullying law spurred on by the deaths of two youths who committed suicide following episodes of bullying by their classmates. The unanimous votes in both houses was on a reconciling bill which ironed out difference in two earlier bills from each house. The legislation will require school employees to report all instances of bullying and require principals to investigate them. A spokesman for the governor’s office said that Gov. Deval Patrick (D) will review the bill, but that he saw its passage as a “top priority.”
The impetus for the bill came from the suicides of Phoebe Prince and 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, who killed himself just over a year ago over taunts about his perceived sexuality.