Senate approves anti-bullying programs in schools

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Public schools will be required to implement bullying prevention programs under legislation that has passed the Senate.

Democratic Sen. Mary Jane Garcia of Dona Ana says the programs will help with a growing problem of "cyberbullying" over the Internet and with cellular phones and other electronic devices.

The Senate approved the legislation on Friday on a 30-9 vote. Opponents questioned the potential cost and effectiveness of the proposed programs.

School districts already are required to have policies against bullying. But the legislation will require each public school to implement a bullying prevention program by August 2012.

The legislation is headed to the House for consideration.