Tennessee lawmakers this year will decide whether the "zero tolerance" rule in some school district should be changed.
The Student Self-Defense Bill was introduced in the house and the senate and it the support of the Professional Educators of Tennessee.
But there's more to that bill than meets the eye.
It just doesn't seem right---a public school student who finally fights back at a bully, and gets suspended!
The "zero tolerance" policy at some schools does punish any and all, regardless of the reason.
But that's not the way its handled in Hamilton county schools.
KAREN GLENN, DIR. OF "STARS", HCDE "Bullying, we have a comprehensive way to address this. And we utilize the Obayes Bullying Prevention Initiative. And it starts with surveying the students so we can get information about what is happening in a particular school."
The group called Professional Educators of Tennessee is pushing the Student Defense Bill that (quote) "brings common sense back to the zero tolerance debate".
But Hamilton county schools has a more practical policy of leaving the main decisions on punishment up to each principal.
And the school board is reviewing those policies.
JEFFREY WILSON, SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER "Its a thin line, because you don't encourage fighting..but you know, kids have to feel safe."
The state law, if passed, may affect some districts that use a hard-and-fast zero tolerance policy, but it likely would have little affect in Hamilton county.
JEFFREY WILSON "The big thing is..that to make sure the faculty and principals are aware of school board policy..and make sure we're following those policies."
Karen Glenn's organization, Students Taking a Right Stand deals with more than just fighting bullies in school, but she says the pending legislation in Nashville may lead to more problems.
KAREN GLENN, STARS "This is ridiculous. It's ridiculous to think that we're going..as educators we're going to tell somebody that they can fight back...we're doing everything we can to empower students to resolve situations in a peaceful manner."
The Student Self-Defense Bill is one of hundreds of pieces of legislation introduced in this session.
There's no indication of when it may come up for debate.