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Bill Would Fine Teachers $200 For Failing To Report Bullying

A local lawmaker is introducing a bill in the Wisconsin Legislature that would fine teachers and other school district employees $200 if they fail to report incidents of bullying.

Rep. Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay) says the bill creates "an incentive for teachers to do the right thing" and follow their district's policy on bullying.

Bies says he has bipartisan support for the measure, which he says he attempted to include as an amendment to a 2010 bill which directed school boards to develop policies to combat bullying.

But not everyone is on board.

Wisconsin Association of School Boards spokesman Dan Rossmiller told the Wisconsin State Journal that he fears the proposal could lead to teachers over-identifying student behavior as bullying because they don't want to risk being fined.

Sturgeon Bay Schools Superintendent Joe Stutting says his only concern with such a policy would be how bullying would be defined.

Bies says the bill will likely be assigned to a committee in the next week or so and then head to a public hearing.

"Sometimes public hearings give you new information of an aspect that maybe you didn't think about," says Bies. "We'll take a look at those issues and try to make it a better piece of legislation."


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