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Norman councilman explains anti-bullying vote

Norman City Councilman Dave Spaulding says he didn't support a bullying prevention proclamation this week because he believes it was not about bullying but was, instead, being used by others to promote their cause.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Published: October 26, 2012
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“But what if it were illegal to talk about your issue, whatever that may be. If we can criminalize speech opposing one issue, then we can criminalize speech on other issues, and that is my concern,” he said.

Councilman Tom Kovach said the proclamation was “about the safety of children. That's all it is about. It's not always minorities that are bullied … statistics indicate 75 percent of schoolchildren are bullied.”

Kovach said he appreciated Spaulding's “honesty and opinion. That's free speech. Nobody wants to impose limits on what someone says. We are just asking people to say it in a civil manner.”

Spaulding said children need help from their parents to counter bullying.

“They need to impart to their children that they are loved and important and that they can overcome things. They need it imparted continuously to them,” he said.

The proclamation doesn't talk about parenting, he said, or include “any reasonable measures” to combat bullying.

by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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