Representative Bies Pushing Bill on Bullying

State Representative Garey Bies has been criticized for a bill he’s pushing that would set a penalty of $200 if school district employees fail to report incidents of bullying. Bies says a state statute passed in 2009 has that requirement, but no penalties. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards has been quoted as saying the Sister Bay republicans’ bill might create a whole set of new problems. Teachers could over-blow bullying incidents to cover themselves so they don’t get fined & schools might end up narrowing their definitions of bullying to avoid getting tied up with never ending investigations. Bies says some school policies he’s reviewed take the issue very seriously, while others are lax. He says some type of enforcement or accountability structure needs to be in place. Bies says it’s unclear how the final form of the bill will look, but it has generated much needed discussion. He has reached out to the Department of Public Instruction, the State Education Association Council, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards & the State Department of Justice in an effort to work together on addressing the matter of bullying in Wisconsin schools.

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