Petition to Enact GAB’s Law to Stop Bullying and School Violence.

It’s time to address bullying and school violence by making it unlawful. Take 10 seconds to sign a petition to enact “GAB’s LAW” requiring all public schools in Wisconsin to establish an anonymous reporting system on-line and establishing a lock-box located in each school, to alert school administrators of potential violent behavior or bullying.

Letter to Lawmakers

April 20, 2018

I am writing you to request your support and guidance on an issue of serious concern for the students, parents, educators and other citizens of Wisconsin. As you are aware, the recent tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has galvanized citizens across the country in support of creating and maintaining safe schools. The Governor’s School Safety Program showed that Wisconsin is taking the issue seriously.

The following research stimulated this request for your assistance:

While young shooters may not tell a parent, they may drop hints to others. The Safe School Initiative found that in 81 percent of the cases studied, “at least one person had information that the attacker was thinking about or planning the school attack.” Almost always — 93 percent of the time — that person was “a peer, a friend, schoolmate or sibling.” (Kass, The Washington Post, 7-27-12)

As a board member, you are familiar that Generations Against Bullying (GAB) is a community organization dedicated to bullying prevention in Wisconsin schools by teaching students to step in and be “upstanders” when they witness bullying in a non-threating way. Recently, the Peer Ambassadors of GAB, all Greendale High School students, discussed at great length how they could help students to take a stand and be proactive in the struggle against bullying and against the potential for armed attack. They agreed that many students may be hesitant to become involved, uncertain about their obligations and fearful of being called a “snitch.” Consequently, in too many cases, the students simply avoid contacting administration, teachers, or even their parents.

This has not been the case at Greendale High School.
In 2013, with the urging and support of GAB, the Greendale High School Principal Steve Lodes and Greendale Public Schools created the “Safer Schools: Greendale Schools Anonymous Reporting System”

The GAB Peer Ambassadors are convinced that it is time to take an anonymous peer reporting system statewide and secure it in law, perhaps as an addendum to WI 118.46 Policy on Bullying (1) (a) 5. National precedent – and a possible model – may be found in the State of Colorado’s Safe2Tell legislation

The students believe strongly that legislation such as this will have a truly demonstrable effect on bullying perpetration and provide that critical avenue of help when a student becomes aware of a possible impending assault. The critical implications for suicide prevention should also be considered. The 240 Greendale GAB Peer Ambassadors are ready to assist in any way possible, including petitioning citizens and testifying before the legislature. They await only the green light.

On behalf of these highly motivated Greendale students and students and families across Wisconsin, I hope that you can see your way to lend support to this initiative. We will be happy to meet in person at your convenience.

Yours sincerely,
Linda Lee
Executive Director
Generations Against Bullying

c. Ken Skowronski, Assemblyman
Dave Craig, Senator

GAB’s Law Information

Here is some info for discussion of how to proceed with your plan for GAB’s Law. I have provided you with copies of both 1 and 2.

1. Wisconsin State Statute 118.46 addresses the issue you are seeking to have an impact on.
2. Safe Schools Program: This is a Federal Program with guidelines to address the violence and bullying issue. Wisconsin accepted $14 million from the Federal Gov’t in 2010 to implement the guidelines. (11 other States did also) Wisconsin’s DPI developed a “Model Bullying Policy” with guidelines that also address the reporting issue you want to influence.

The following are your legislators who would be influential in your efforts:

Assemblyman District 82 Ken Skowronski, Franklin, WI 608-266-8590 Ken.Skowronski@legis.wisconsin.gov

Senator District 28 Dave Craig, Big Bend, WI 608-266-5400 Dave.Craig@legis.wisconsin.gov

Wisconsin Senate Committee on Education:

Chair, Luther Olsen, Ripon, WI 608-266-0751 Sen.Olsen@legis.wisconsin.gov
Vice Chair, Alberta Darling, River Hills, Wi 608266-5830 Sen.Darling@legis.wisconsin.gov

Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Education:

Chair, Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Fond Da Lac, WI 608-266-3156 Rep.Thiesfeldt@legis.wisconsin.gov

Vice Chair, Joel Kitchens, Sturgeon Bay, WI 608-266-5350 Rep.Kitchens@legis.wisconsin.gov

Petition Summary and Background

The present school violence in our country and the fact that bullying is a national epidemic resulting in bullycide (suicide as a direct result of bullying) becoming one of the leading causes of death in our middle school age children, we propose to create a law to help students report potential incidences of violence or bullying, so that action can be taken to prevent or stop these actions from happening.

Action Petitioned For

Where as, some students are reluctant to report a potential violent situation or bullying in person, we, the undersigned, encourage our Wisconsin legislators to enact GAB’s Law, which would require all public schools in Wisconsin to establish an anonymous reporting system on-line and establishing a lock-box located in each school, to alert school administrators of potential violent behavior or bullying.

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