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GOP lawmaker wants fines for school district employees not reporting bullying


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A Republican state lawmaker wants school district employees to be fined $200 if they don’t report incidents of bullying.

Representative Garey Bies of Sister Bay says he’s heard from parents who complained to teachers about their kids being bullied and, “nothing was ever done.”

Bies is asking his colleagues to co-sign a bill to change that.

A state law from 2010 requires schools to report bullying incidents to the state Department of Public Instruction, but there are no penalties for not reporting. Bies, a former sheriff, said, “We need to put more incentive into somebody following through.”

But Dan Rossmiller of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards says it might create a whole new set of problems.

He said teachers could overblow bullying incidents to cover themselves so they don’t get fined. And Rossmiller said schools might end up narrowing their definitions of bullying, so they don’t get tied up with never-ending investigations.

State law requires public schools to have specific policies to deal with bullying. The DPI and the state’s largest teachers’ union have not commented on the proposed penalties.