Teachers and other school district employees would face $200 fines if they fail to report bullying incidents under a bill being circulated by a Republican lawmaker.
But some school advocates worry the bill would have unintended consequences.
“I think it creates incentives in the wrong directions,” said Dan Rossmiller, director of government relations for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.
He said he fears the proposal could lead to teachers over-identifying student behavior as bullying due to fears of being penalized, or districts narrowing the definition of bullying in an effort to avoid exhausting school resources on a flood of bullying investigations.
But the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, said parents have told him they talked to teachers about bullying problems but “nothing was ever done.”