I am writing in response to your July 1 editorial attacking Republican House members for their votes on a school anti-bullying mandate.

I was shocked by the vicious language and disappointed that only Democratic legislators’ views were portrayed.

The bill at issue, L.D. 1237, tackles a real concern — bullying in schools. The editorial, however, makes it sound as though children are now completely without protections. This isn’t true. State law directs schools to have policies addressing bullying. Moreover, the directives in the bill would not have taken effect until August 2012.

The major concern of my caucus was local control, which is usually best. We should let our parents, teachers, principals and school board members decide what policies will work. Moreover, the bill would have imposed a significant cost on schools.

I’m disappointed that after all of the good, bipartisan work that the Legislature did this session, plus the extraordinary treatment of the minority party by our speaker of the House, the minority leader would choose to focus on this one bill. What’s more, the bill is not dead; it will be reworked in the next session.

It is outrageous for your editors to suggest that my caucus doesn’t care about bullying. Last year, a Republican-sponsored cyber-bullying bill was killed under the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

It is odd that only now is this issue a crisis in their eyes and the eyes of this newspaper. It is unfortunate that this publication would use broad character assassination to attack me and dozens of legislators with baseless accusations.

Finally, I’m offended to be called a “minion” of the Christian Civic League. When casting my vote, I am guided by what is in the best interest of my district and by my own conscience and values.

Rep. Phil Curtis is a Republican who lives in Madison.


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