COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – A freshman lawmaker at the Ohio Statehouse thinks he may have the answer to making a significant difference in what has been years of battling against bullying.
Dave Greenspan is the state representative for the 16th District, which serves several municipalities in Cuyahoga County along Lake Erie.
He has been a state representative for seven months and has a clear idea of what he wants to get done. One of his priorities is anti-bullying legislation.
Greenspan is no stranger to bullying; his son had to finish high school in another state to escape harassment.
The representative admits he didn’t recognize the signs of bullying when it was happening to his son and is thankful the situation was resolved in a way that avoided tragedy.
He knows, however, that not all families have been as lucky.
Citing a recent suicide in a neighboring county, Greenspan feels Ohio’s bullying laws need an upgrade.
He is currently working on crafting legislation he calls comprehensive and hopes to have it introduced before lawmakers get back from break so it can be tackled right away.
Greenspan says his legislation will address deficiencies in the current laws.
“We could go after and punish the person who does the bullying,” said Greenspan. “We could suspend them from school, but that really doesn’t address the issue; right? What happens to them and with them? Right now, not a whole lot; how can we help them see what they’re doing is wrong?”
Greenspan says his initial talks with other state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and in both houses have gone well so far, and he feels there is significant support for his legislation.
When the bill is introduced, we’ll take a deeper look at how it would change current law.