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Hillary Clinton proposes $500M to combat bullying in schools, online

By Eric DuVall
Hillary Clinton proposes $500M to combat bullying in schools, online
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets supporters in Lake Worth, Fla., on Wednesday. Her campaign unveiled a $2 billion initiative to combat bullying in school and on the Internet. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- After repeatedly referring to Donald Trump as a bully, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on Thursday outlined an anti-bullying plan for the nation's schools.

The backbone of the plan, dubbed "Better than Bullying," calls for a $500 million funding commitment for states that develop comprehensive laws to reduce bullying in schools. The money will go toward hiring support staff such as counselors, school psychologists and others who can help facilitate a less aggressive or hurtful relationship between children of all age groups.

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It would also go toward professional training for teachers and support staff to identify and stop bullying, and for emotional education programs for students who might be tempted to bully other children.

Lastly, the money will also help bolster suicide prevention programs in high schools because studies show bullying can be a major factor in teen suicides.

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To qualify for the money, Clinton said states must pass legislation that expressly defines what bullying is, both in person and online. The legislation must also create a grievance process for resolving bullying incidents made by students, teachers and parents. And states must expressly prohibit bullying on the basis of gender, race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.

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Clinton's plan would offer states a four-to-one return on money spent on anti-bullying programs with federal education dollars.

Combined with the policy push, the Clinton campaign also unveiled a new campaign commercial entitled "Bryce" that tells the story of a young man with muscular dystrophy who overcame bullying as a child.

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"When I was younger I was bullied, but now I have a strong community around me," the ad states, while showing Bryce interacting with friends.

Bryce then recalls Trump's remarks about a reporter for The New York Times, whose disability Trump mocked, showing the video on a laptop screen.

"His entire platform is hatred," Bryce said. "I don't want bullies in my life and I especially don't want one in the White House."

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