New anti-bullying law on the books in Alabama
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) —
Bullies beware! The new school year comes with a new anti-bullying law designed to protect our students and make our schools safer.
Bullying in and out of school sometimes has tragic consequences like suicide. Schools all across Alabama are ready to embrace the new law.
Strengthening Alabama's bullying laws can't come soon enough for a mom like Laura Burks. She lost her only daughter Sarah to cyber bullying.
"Bullying kills. It doesn’t just hurt. It’s not meant to embarrass someone. It's meant to destroy them," said Burks.
Sarah was a student at Baldwin County High School. A shy young lady who loved music, scuba diving and painting. "She was my only child. She was my whole world. She was my complete family," said Burks.
Burks tried everything to protect her daughter, taking her out of school and moving her to online classes, but the bullying continued on social media. This mom claims the school district didn't help.
Baldwin County schools contends the bullying was never reported to administrators.
Burks turned her grief into action, along with the mother of Jamari Williams -a Montgomery fifth grader also targeted by bullies. Lawmakers passed a bill named for Jamari requiring schools to:
- Hold an assembly for students and faculty to discuss the anti-bullying policy and the law.
- Put their cyberbullying policy in the student handbook.
- Post prominently on the school's website a form to report bullying .
Burks will never have her daughter back, but this is a step in the right direction.
"My world is destroyed too. However, I am going to save lives. That’s my mission in life no : to save lives," said Burks.