Maine lawmakers look at bullying in schools

Posted April 06, 2011, at 11:07 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Legislature’s education committee is taking up bullying in schools today.

The panel is planning to review a pair of bills Wednesday, including one that targets so-called cyberbullying. Democratic Rep. Donald Pilon of Saco says the state needs to get a handle on bullying and harassment done by email, text message and social networking sites like Facebook.

The bill would expand state law regarding hazing in schools to require school boards to adopt formal policies targeting cyberbullying, including establishing punishments for violators.

A separate bill applies to a broader swath of bullying activities in schools. Both require the education commissioner to adopt policies that would be used by local school districts to stop bullying.