February 12, 2013

SACRAMENTO, CA –State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) introduced Senate Bill (SB) 231, a measure to establish the California Bullying and Peer Abuse Prevention Hotline (Bullying Hotline) to address issues related to youth bullying.
“Too often we see students targeted by some form of bullying. Intimidation and abuse have no place in our schools and should not be tolerated. We must ensure that all our students have a safe and respectful learning environment, free from bullying and peer abuse at school,” said Correa.

Under SB 231, the Bullying Hotline, will be staffed by trained professionals who will provide assistance to students and parents with conflict resolution, crisis intervention, suicide prevention and bullying prevention resources.

The California Department of Education in cooperation with the California Department of Mental Healthcare Services (MHSA) Student Mental Health Initiative and other entities will be responsible for the developing service criteria as well as ongoing administrative support for the Hotline.

Approximately 25-30 percent of all students throughout the U.S. are subject to bullying. The National Institute of Child Health & Human Developments has reported that 17 percent of students are bullied “sometimes or weekly;” while another 19 percent have bullied others. Approximately 1.6 million children in grades 6 -10 are bullied at least once a week and another 1.7 million are perpetrating bullying upon others. Electronic communication, such as text messaging and social media, has led to a proliferation of “cyber-bullying,” which impacts nearly 20 percent of teenagers and has potentially disastrous outcomes. 

“Bullying is a serious problem and something we cannot afford to ignore.  SB 231 will provide both students and parents with the necessary tools to address bullying head on and reduce the threat of more long-term, serious consequences that threaten the health and well-being of our students,” he added.