Florida Senate panel backs scholarships for bullied students

Students who are victims of bullying or sexual harassment would be eligible for voucher-like scholarships to attend private schools under a bill approved Monday by the Senate Education Committee.

Sen. Bill Galvano, a Bradenton Republican who is sponsoring the legislation (SB 1172), said the “Hope Scholarship” program is designed to “empower” families when they find their children are victims of bullying or other incidents in the school system and they feel they are “in a situation in which they are trapped.”

“You want to stop the behavior,” Galvano said. “But you also want to empower the victim.”

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