Tuesday, July 30, 2013

School Bullying and Cyberbullying Legislation

Two state legislators have introduced bills to address the issue of bullying in public schools. 

Senator Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) has introduced Senate Bill 184, which requires the definition of bullying in the Department of Public Instruction's model policy, which a school board can choose to adopt, to include bullying by electronic means. The bill also requires the model policy to include a requirement that a school district official who has reasonable cause to suspect that a bullying incident is a violation of a criminal law report the incident to a law enforcement agency. Finally, the bill requires the model policy to include appropriate responses to bullying that occurs off school grounds.

SB 184 also creates a new misdemeanor category for online bullying that occurs on social media sites. Current law only regulates online bullying via e-mail messages.

SB 184 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education.  

Representative Gary Bies (R-Sister Bay) has introduced Assembly Bill 123, which would fine a school district employee $200 for failing to report an incident of bullying. 

AB 123 has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Education. 

No legislative action has been taken on either of these bills at this time. 

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