Zorn introduces legislation to deter bullying

Categories: News

State Rep. Dale Zorn this month introduced a bill that would make the crime of bullying a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment or fine and would allow the court to seek an evaluation by a mental health professional for the convicted.

House Bill 4746 would allow a person found guilty of bullying or cyber bullying to be punished with imprisonment up to 93 days or a fine of no more than $1,000, or both.

“I have met with school administrators, students, parents, prosecutors and judges to create legislation that defines the assault of bullying in schools, the workplace and over the internet,” said Zorn, R-Ida.  “The behavior of bullying has become a societal problem that may need to be eradicated through professional counseling.

“This bill is designed to provide, at a judge’s discretion, a professional mental health evaluation of the accused that will determine if professional help and treatment is required at the expense of parents or guardians.  The bill is intended to rehabilitate – allowing for the court to expunge the charges after treatment.”

As defined by the bill, bullying is engaging in assault or battering of another person or referring to another person while in his or her presence with a derogatory name or label on two or more separate occasions. Bullying is the intent to frighten, intimidate, or harass another person. “Cyber bullying” is to bully through a computer network, program or system.

HB 4746 was referred to House Committee on Judiciary.

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About Rep. Zorn:

State Rep. Dale Zorn is a second-term lawmaker representing the 56th House District. The 56th District includes parts of southern Monroe County. Zorn can be reached toll-free at (800) 209-3330, via email at dalewzorn@house.mi.gov or on his website at www.repdalezorn.com.