School systems across Georgia are crafting new bullying policies following changes to the state’s bullying law.
The changes came after the suicide of a Dekalb County boy who was teased by classmates. Local school districts must have new policies in place in less than a year. Bibb County school officials are working on theirs this week.
In January the state will adopt its own model policy to help local districts. Garry McGibeney with the State Board of Education says it’s a challenge as technology keeps changing.
”Unfortunately any means of communication can be used for negative purposes too, including bullying and harassment and those related behaviors, and it’s really difficult, it’s really challenging for school systems to keep up with the technology. “
Under the new definition school employees are required to report bullying, parents must be notified, and kids will face a tribunal on their third offense. Any school system not in compliance by August 2011 could lose state funding.