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Texas law would protect teachers from bullying parents

House Bill 256 would require school districts to implement workplace bullying policies.

HOUSTON — Many Texas teachers are praising a proposed law regarding workplace bullying. It would require districts to specifically address bullying of teachers by parents.

“I hear a lot of issues with bullying on campus,” Houston ISD teacher and Houston Federation of Teachers member Tracey Crawley said.

She said she’s seen it first-hand when grades don’t go the way parents believe they should.

"Parents are threatening, they’re coming up to the school," Crawley said. "'(Saying) 'You’re not going to give my child this grade.'”

From online to the school drop-off line, Crawley told us teachers often can’t avoid hostile criticism.

"Jumping out of their cars, like, “I will do this that and this that to you,'" Crawley said. "'You will not fail my scholar.'”

Crawley, who currently teaches first grade, is among many educators backing Texas House Bill 256. It would require school district employment policies to include anti-bullying measures to address bullying in the workplace. The bill mandates that provisions would also address the bullying of a teacher by a parent.

Credit: TX State House

"Help us," said a teacher who recently spoke before the Texas House public education committee. "Because it’s still affecting me, and it’s not going away."

Chairman Harold Dutton, of Houston, questioned the bill’s author about why local school boards don’t make their own rules if bullying is such a big issue.

"Is there anything in the law that prevents a district from doing this on their own?" Dutton said.

"I would believe that the school board would be able to implement something like this,” Rep. Philip Cortez said.

Crawley and others believe a statewide law would ensure protections without having to wait on districts who haven’t addressed it. And she wanted to make it clear that most parents are far from problematic.

"Knowing I have your support as a parent is very, very important,” Crawley said.