Ill. Senate rejects anti-bullying legislation by one vote

May 22, 2012

A push to make Illinois schools adopt more thorough policies to prevent bullying fell short in the state Senate.

The legislation would have required schools to spell out how they would investigate allegations and what would happen to students caught bullying others.

It got 29 votes Tuesday but needed 30 for approval. Twelve senators voted "no" and 12 voted "present."

Some conservatives fear the legislation would be used as cover to lecture students on embracing homosexuality. They wanted the bill to include an "opt out" provision letting students and teachers skip any lessons that violated their religious beliefs.

Sen. Heather Steans and other supporters say the bill isn't about indoctrinating anyone. Steans could call it for another vote later.