AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature’s education committee is tackling cyberbullying in public schools.
Democratic Rep. Donald Pilon of Saco says he’s sponsoring the bill because the state needs to get a handle on bullying and harassment done via e-mail, text messaging and social networking sites such as Facebook.
He says there’s no specific incident in Maine that’s behind his push, but he said the goal is to avoid a scenario like the one at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts in which a girl was bullied to the point where she committed suicide. Similar anti-bullying laws are being considered in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
The Maine bill would expand state law regarding hazing in schools to require school boards to adopt formal policies targeting cyberbullying, including establishing punishments for violators.