Washington's New Anti-Bullying Law Goes Into Effect - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington's New Anti-Bullying Law Goes Into Effect

SEATTLE (AP) - Washington's expanded new anti-bullying law goes into effect on Thursday. State education officials say nearly 15,000 students were suspended because of bullying in the 2008-2009 school year and 442 were expelled.

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction says the numbers show a small, steady increase in each of the past three school years. Numbers for this school year are not yet available.

The number of kids who are punished for being bullies represents about 1.5 percent of the state's more than 1 million public school students. But educators say the problem could be worse than the numbers show.

The anti-bullying law taking effect this week requires every public school to have a policy for dealing with bullying. Those plans need to go to the OSPI by mid-August. It is  an expansion of existing school anti-harassment laws.

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