Saturday, November 21, 2009

MA: Lawmakers in MA take up bully bills

Anyone failing to report incident would be fined

Updated: Wednesday, 18 Nov 2009, 5:08 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 18 Nov 2009, 5:07 PM EST

BOSTON, MASS. (WPRI) - Massachusetts lawmakers met on Wednesday to take up several bills that deal with bullying.

If one is approved, it would require school workers in the Bay State to report all bullying incidents on the playground and over the internet to officials.

Anyone failing to report bullying within 48 hours would be fined up to one thousand dollars.

Those bullies would then be required to attend counseling.

Represenative Antonio Cabral, of New Bedford, is sponsoring the bill.

And it's a bill that is important to many people who deal with the psychological effects of bullying.

Elizabeth Englander, who works at the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center says, "the quality and the type of bullying has just exponentially mushroomed, and so now we have a situation where children are not just traumatized a little bit here and there, but it can be a really chronic, ongoing kind of abuse and it can lead to very.. very serious problems."

For now, the bill being heard before the education committee.

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