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Loss of daughter prompts father to push for harsh anti-bullying laws

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Updated: 8/06 12:12 am

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Lawmakers are gearing up to find solutions to bullying in the next state legislative session. One father hopes the loss of his daughter can turn pain in to purpose for all Nevada children.

"I implore you to take a tough stance against bullying," Jason Lamberth told lawmakers serving on the Legislative Committee on Education.

Lamberth's daughter Hailee committed suicide last December, and her father wasn't even aware of bullying. He says her school's leaders knew.

Now he has been talking to Senator David Parks about future anti-bullying laws in Nevada. "Additionally, I am asking you to recommend making it a criminal offense for school administrators to fail to notify the parent or guardian of all students involved in a reported incident of bullying or cyber bullying," Lamberth said.

This notification is mandatory already, but there are no consequences for administrators who fail to do so.

Other issues that may be included in a bill being written by Senator Parks involve cyber bullying and recording video of bullying, such as fights.

Both the persons in front of and behind the camera would be punished; plus, principals would have to report the fight to law enforcement, and the children involved would have to undergo mandatory counseling. The bill is catching the attention of some lawmakers, though it is in an early stage.

"Anything we can do to make sure our kids are safe that we're helping our students, I think is very important, so I think it will have some traction at the next session," said Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis.

Committee Chairman Senator Joyce Woodhouse would like to wait to hear from others after the bill is introduced during the next legislative session. However, she sympathizes with victims' families.

"Whether we need to hear from school districts. And I certainly understand where Mr. Lamberth is coming from," Woodhouse said.

Senator Parks will continue to mold this anti-bullying bill, which could be ready to introduce as early as February.

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