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Bullied students could have an opportunity to change schools under new proposal

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TALLAHASSEE, FL (WWSB) - House Republican leaders have outlined a proposal that would allow students who are bullied or suffer violence to transfer to other public schools or to receive money to attend private schools.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran and his top lieutenants on education issues announced the proposal during a news conference at the Capitol, though a bill has not been filed and they did not provide details about key issues such as how the program would pay for students to attend private schools.

Corcoran and other supporters say the proposal should help students who have been bullied, been in fights or suffered abuse at public schools to move to other schools.

“Anywhere from K to 12th grade. You’re talking about little kids being subject to violence and abuse. We know from all the studies that if you are fearful of stepping onto a school campus, and if you’re worried for your own safety, you will not learn. You are not going to learn,” said Corcoran. 

Under the proposal, students and parents would report bullying and other incidents to their schools. After a 15-day window, they could move to other public schools or receive scholarships to attend private schools. Corcoran thinks the proposal is a first-of-its-kind in the country. Other lawmakers including State Rep. Byron Donalds, (R) Naples. 

"What we're saying is, when an incident occurs, do we want the child to be trapped in the same school? And the answer to that, and I think everybody agrees, is no. We want to provide that child an alternative and a way to get out of the school,” said Donalds.