Wisconsin: Bullying prompts state anti-bullying bill

Brookfield Now
Brookfield, Wisc. — On the last day of school in June 2008, three boys beat up a 13-year-old girl at Pilgrim Park Middle School.

The boys, two 13 and one 14, pushed her down in the mud and hit her with sticks, cutting and bruising the girl’s arms, back and legs, according to a police report. The girl’s father took her to the hospital for an examination, and he found out it wasn’t the first time the three students had targeted the girl.

At a track meet in Mukwonago a few weeks earlier, two of the boys had repeatedly struck the girl with their track shoes, causing cuts to the girl’s legs and arms.

The girl told her father the incidents – both physical and verbal – had been going on for months.

At the end of the summer, the girl’s family moved to another Waukesha County suburb rather than stay in the Elmbrook School District.

The boys were convicted of battery. Information about sentencing and restitution in the case was not available through the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office.

Now, a year later, a proposed bill making its way through the state Legislature is tackling bullying issues like the one described here.

Bill looks at sharing info
Senate Bill 154, introduced last fall, expands requirements for school safety plans, requires the state Department of Public Instruction and local school boards to develop policies on bullying, and includes provisions on confidentiality and disclosure of student records.

A public hearing was held on the bill last month, and the bill could move to the floor for a vote this fall or next spring, Special Assistant Attorney General Kevin St. John said. If approved in the Senate, the bill then would need the approval of the state Assembly and the governor. Full story.


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