Nevada teachers would not be required to study the state’s constitution and state laws governing schools under a new Senate bill heard before the Senate Committee on Education on Monday.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Hardy, R-Boulder City, would remove a law that requires licensed teachers to complete such training within one year of receiving their teaching license and beginning work in a school district.
The bill would also exempt students studying to become teachers in the state’s higher education system from having to take a course or training on the U.S. Constitution and the state’s constitution.
Hardy framed the bill as another way to eliminate barriers to teaching in Nevada, saying that he does not want another requirement to get in the way of teachers coming to the classroom.
Some legislators, however, questioned how many teachers the state loses due to this requirement.
Another bill, sponsored by Heidi Gansert, R-Reno, would require school administrators to give priority to protecting a victim of reported bullying over the interest of an alleged perpetrator when trying to stop bullying.
It also would extend the time given to complete an investigation into cyberbullying to 10 school days.
That’s because cyberbullying can be complex and may include multiple students from multiple schools, Gansert said.
While the bill drew support from the Clark County Education Association, it drew concerns from Jason Lamberth, whose daughter attended Clark County schools and died by suicide in 2013 after being bullied.
He questioned what “priority” given to a reported victim would actually mean.
“Unfortunately, there are a lot of false reports out there where the actual perpetrator of bullying will report an incident to make themselves out to be the victim,” he said. “The way that this priority is written in this language is dangerous, because it could exacerbate a potentially already delicate situation.”
He also expressed concerns over extending cyberbullying investigations to 10 days.
“When you’re talking about a young person and the potential ramifications of especially cyberbullying, even one day can make the difference in a child’s life,” he said.
The committee took no action on either bill.