State committee approves anti-bullying legislation

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Texas Senate committee has voted to require school districts to prohibit bullying in schools.

The bill approved Thursday mandates that schools create a written plan that covers prevention of bullying all the way through investigating the event and protecting the victim.

The bill also expands the definition of bullying to specifically address electronic methods like texting and posting to Facebook.

Bullying is the suspected cause of at least four suicides by Texas students since the 2009 legislative session.

Educators have said they need this legislation because they feel empty-handed when it comes to dealing with bullying effectively.

Texas would join 37 other states that have specific bullying legislation.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.