Lawmakers Hear Testimony Regarding Anti-Bullying Bill - 8 News NOW

Lawmakers Hear Testimony Regarding Anti-Bullying Bill

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LAS VEGAS - It was a phone call Melissa Morgan will never forget.

"Imagine walking into an emergency room, and seeing your best friend lying there, and having no idea if he's okay or not - looking at his mom, and seeing the tears running down her face, when she has no idea what is going to happen to her son," Morgan said. "There he was, lying on a stretcher - blue, non-responsive."

Morgan's best friend in high school attempted to overdose on pills and was on the brink of death. Bullies finally pushed him over the edge.

"Everyday he went to high school, before, during and after school, he was teased based on his sexual orientation," she said. "Nobody would listen to his concerns."

Nevada lawmakers on Friday listened to the testimony of Melissa and others about the devastating effects of bullying. Lawmakers are considering anti-bullying legislation that would require teachers and administrators to undergo specialized training. The proposal would also create an anti-bullying coordinator for each district and require schools to collect and report data to the Department of Education.

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"We have to look at… do we really need it in the law? Does it have to be in the law? So, that's what we're going to struggle with," said Nevada State Sen. Barbara Cegavske (Clark-R).

The Clark County School District sent a representative to address lawmakers in Carson City. The district opposes parts of the anti-bullying legislation that would have any financial impact.

"Any areas that would require additional personnel, additional reporting," the school district official said.

Those personally affected by bullying say no cost is too high if it means saving a life.

"He told me that day, ‘I feel really lonely.' But, I had no idea it would actually lead to him actually trying to take his own life," Morgan said.

The legislation is modeled after a New Jersey law that took effect in January. Lawmakers also considered a second bill that would stiffen penalties for bullying.

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