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Changes proposed to state bully laws

Bill would include penalties for electronic bullying

MADISON, Wis. - A hearing on proposed changes in state bullying laws was held at the Capitol Thursday.

Right now, all school districts have to develop policies about bullying by students, including defining bullying and requiring officials to report it.

A cyberbullying bill introduced by Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, would include penalties for posting bullying messages electronically that others can see and include bullying incidents that occur off the school grounds.

News3's medical consultant, Dr. Zorba Paster, told the panel the impact of bullying lasts a lifetime.

"What actually happens is the person who is bullied, if you look at them long-term now, they often have less money, they're more likely to be divorced, more likely to have social problems at home," Paster said.

People that violate the electronic posting ban would face a fine of up to $1,000.

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