Bullying is a major problem in schools. In an effort to counteract bullying, many schools have policies that deter this aggressive and cruel behavior toward others. Suspensions and even expulsions are potential school consequences for bullies. The ability of the school to pursue legal charges and consequences against a bully varies based on state laws. Generally, state laws advocate that schools establish formal policies and deal with bullying internally as much as possible.
The only state that doesn't have laws addressing bullying is Montana, according to a November 2013 article by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew also indicated that 12 states specifically outline criminal consequences for those found guilty of bullying. In other states, the bullying behavior must extend into other legal violations, such as stalking or assault, before the violator would likely face criminal prosecution and jail time. The Pew article cites a Florida case where two teens faced criminal stalking charges after their bullying contributed to the suicide of a 12-year old classmate.
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