14 Feb 2013 — 01:44 PM
She might only be 11 years old, but she is wise beyond her years. Amber Koenigs has become a familiar face at the Capitol, lobbying lawmakers about a cause near and dear to her heart.
“Me, her, and some other people are working on a law to stop bullying because i was bullied so bad I had to switch schools,” said Koenigs.
The fifth-grader from Mason City said she was harassed so badly by classmates she couldn't bear to go to school.
“I was called very mean names like, I was called 'Amzilla, take off your ugly mask.' All that kind of stuff,” said Koenigs.
Koenigs, and her mother, Kim are now pushing a proposed bullying law. If it passes, the law would hold parents accountable if their child is found to be bullying another child.
It was drafted by Rep. Chris Hall and modeled after Iowa's truancy law.
“If you look through the legislation, it indicates that you have to engage the parents early, and as long as they are acting in good faith with others to make sure the issue is addressed -- they are never going to be in any trouble,” said Hall.
But if parents choose not to cooperate or meet with the school district, they could face fines and even prison time.
“The penalties are there basically as a leverage point just to make sure that parents are engaged in conversation,” said Hall.
It's a conversation Koenigs is not afraid to have with lawmakers.
“What you're doing is great. We need to have more young people coming up and talking to us, and we need to listen to you,” said Rep. Ako Abdul Samad.
“I don't want any other child or high school student or any other person to experience bullying,” said Koenigs.
Please watch the video here.