ESSEX, MO (KFVS) - Bullying in schools is a controversial topic, and one that will be discussed in the Missouri Senate.
House Bill No. 1583 passed the Missouri House of Representatives on Mar. 14.
The proposed law is aimed to give schools mandatory guidelines on handling bullying.
A principal at the Richland School District in Essex, Missouri said they are tackling the issue, and many students agree.
"A lot of what I'm reading in the bill is a lot of what schools are already doing," Junior and Senior High School Principal Cindy Rhodes said.
Richland schools already have an anti-bullying program in place.
There's a form students can fill out, an online monitoring system of student's activity and counseling available if needed.
"Being a smaller school district it's easier for our teachers to have their thumbs on things, and what's going on," Rhodes said.
Now with House Bill 1583 moving into the Senate there isn't much they'd need to change.
"It looks like at the end of the school year in our reporting, in our core data, that might be a little different," Rhodes said.
However, she said that doesn't mean a law isn't a good idea, and some students agree.
"I think that it's important. People really need to know if you're being bullied so that they can do something about it," high school freshman Kate Wyman said.
But others feel it may not be necessary.
"It can also be taken care of without a law. Like,it could be taken care of within the school. With the principal, and if a friend knows about it they'll speak up for them," high school freshman Harlie Leeper said.
"Small schools like this probably not because the principal pretty much knows every student. But, like, bigger schools where teachers don't know every student it might be a good idea," seventh grader Devin Duffie said.
Law or not, Richland schools say what's important is making sure their students are safe.
"They don't have to deal with it alone. If they are being subject to that then they're not going to be productive. We hope that they know that they can come to some staff member, and let them know what's going on," Principal Rhodes said.
There is currently no set date for the bill to be discussed in the Missouri Senate.