Anti-bullying and Harassment stricter policies for Indiana schools

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Michelle Boydston
Michelle Boydston signed this petition

Schools should be safe places where our children learn and grow into the unique individuals they are meant to be, not the places that convince them their lives are not worth living.

Our names are Danielle Green and Angie Stagge and we share the same passion and similar stories of our children. We are seeking to enforce Indiana schools to have stricter polices to combat against harassment and bullying in our schools.

 On March 5th, 2013, my beautiful daughter Angel Green took her own life after being repeatedly bullied by classmates both in person on school grounds and over the internet. The Tippecanoe school Corp did not have strong enough policies to do very much to alleviate the constant torment Angel endured.

Angie's daughter Chelsea, endured bullying that turned so violent it left her with permanent nerve damage after she was brutally beaten by a group of classmates. Little was done by the Whiteland School Corp to punish her bullies.

In April of 2013, Angie and I took to the Indiana Statehouse demanding for stronger policies for anti-bullying all Indiana schools to follow. We petitioned for the schools to have a reporting system in place for students to fill out a bullying incident form and conduct a thorough investigation. They also had to report the number of incident reports to the State of Indiana. Too many reports could result in the loss of state funding. Our goal was to make sure that all the children of Indiana was protected and felt safe in their schools. HB 1423 was voted in favor and was signed into office on June 4, 2013.

In the years following, we have learned shocking and disturbing news. The State of Indiana reported that 60% of the Indiana  schools had reported that they had zero  incidents of reported bullying in their schools. This was disheartening to know that Indiana schools were not taking this seriously.The school of which Angel had attended was one of the schools that had reported zero bullying incidents.

We are starting a new legislation that will not allow the Indiana schools to make their own policies for antibullying. We have set clear expectations for the schools to follow. We are enforcing that if a student(s) have been found to be bullying they are to have mandatory in school suspensions along with mandatory counseling. After the third offense, there will implemented community service, and fines. Parent involvement will be required through the entire process. The fourth offense will be required expulsion and their case will be sent to the Attorney General for possible criminal charges. Jail time will be implemented to the parent if they fail to comply with paying the fine or completing 25 hours of community service if they are unable to pay the fine in 30 days.

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among people aged 10-24 in the US. According to a recent survey by the CDC, 16% of high school students in the United States say that they have “seriously considered” committing suicide, and 50% of kids say they have been the victim of cyberbullying. 4,400 teens nationwide take their lives every year due to the hateful words and cruel actions of others.

In her suicide note, Angel asked for us to get her justice, and I will never stop trying to fulfill her final wish.The pain of losing a child is indescribable. Angel was the light of my life and I still can’t comprehend life without her. We do not want to see any more families endure the loss that I have. Please sign today. Thank you and God Bless.