Missouri House OKs ramped up school bullying policies

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A bill aimed at clamping down on bullying and preventing suicides in Missouri schools is nearing passage.

The legislation passed 129-19 by the House on Monday would require school anti-bullying policies to include stricter procedures for reporting, investigating and responding to bullying.

Those policies also would have to include cyberbullying such as texting.

Employees would have two days to report bullying, and the school must investigate claims of bullying within a day after that. Students who bully would receive at least counseling and at most be expelled.

The bill also would require schools to adopt policies aimed at preventing youth suicide, including ways to help students at risk of killing themselves.

The measure needs final Senate approval before it can head to Gov. Jay Nixon.

Bullying bill HB 458.