The opening sentence from the Brandenton Herald’s story on a new policy passed by the Manatee County School Board says,
The state of Florida is finally standing up to bullies.
The Jacksonville Time Union’s story on a new Duval School Board policy puts it this way:
There aren’t bruises or black eyes, but cyber bullying can be just as traumatic to children as old-fashioned playground fights.
Those two pieces are among the stories to be expected in upcoming weeks in Florida newspapers as they report on the fruits of the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act, which requires the state’s school districts to implement policies to prevent bullying by Dec. 1.
The law is named for a Cape Coral student who died by suicide in 2005 after being the victim of bullying. It requires reporting and communication by schools regarding any instance of bullying. This spring, before the bill’s passage, the St. Petersburg Times published an interview with Jeffrey’s mom, Debbie Johnston.