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Teen Hopes to Create Law to Hold Schools, Parents More Accountable in Bullying

LOMA LINDA, Mo. -- A Missouri teen is working to create a law that would hold schools and parents more accountable for bullying. The Miss Southwest Missouri Teen is using her title as a voice for not just herself, but also others.
LOMA LINDA, Mo. -- A Missouri teen is working to create a law that would hold schools and parents more accountable for bullying. The Miss Southwest Missouri Teen is using her title as a voice for not just herself, but also others. 

Kate Dawson, 16, says bullying has left mental scars.

"It's something I will always vision," says Dawson, Miss Southwest Missouri Teen. 

The teen was bullied at her former high school. It turned physical on two occasions during cheerleading practice. She says she heard from multiple people that her teammates were planning to hurt her.

"They wanted to try a new stunt with me," says Dawson. "I went up there and all of a sudden I got thrown across the gym floor. I fractured my neck, separated my collarbone, and had a concussion."

Dawson ultimately switched schools. 

"The moment I knew I was done for, like I can't handle it anymore, was when they turned the whole school against me," says Dawson. 

Now, she's turned to pageants to give her a voice on the issue.

The Miss Southwest Missouri Teen is working with state representatives on a law, Kate's Law, that would hold schools and parents accountable for bullying.

"We've kinda came up with the idea of having the schools pay a fine if they don't follow through with the law. It's like a ticket almost," says Dawson. 

School leaders would have to "follow through" by talking to bullies and their targets, and then punish bullies.

"Mostly, what is going on is that the bullies aren't really getting punished. It's the person getting bullied, it seems like they're the one's getting punished," says Dawson.

Sheila Dawson says as a parent, it was difficult to see what her daughter had to endure.

"I think it's time for us to find a solution to bullying, whether it be at school our outside of school," said Shelia Dawson, Kate's Mother. 

She's supporting her daughter every step of the way by creating Kate's Law.

"I would feel like I would've accomplished a goal, and it would just make me feel like I helped someone's life," says Kate Dawson. 

Dawson is working with Bill White and Bill Reiboldt to write the bill. For more information, click here
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