NOTICE OF HEARINGS ON LEGISLATIVE ORDER TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON BULLYING AND CYBER-BULLYING LAWS




Date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Time: 2:00p.m. -5:00 p.m.
Place: Gardner Auditorium, State House, Boston

Date: Thursday, February 17, 2011
Time: 10:00a.m. - 1:00p.m.
Place: Western New England College School of Law
Moot Courtroom
1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119


On Monday, May 3, 2010, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a landmark anti-bullying bill for Massachusetts. Provisions of this new law include requirements for schools to create and implement bullying prevention plans. The bullying prevention law placed new restrictions on young people's use of any technology to bully another person.

The law also gave responsibility to the Attorney General's Office to chair a multi-agency Commission to Review Statutes Relative to Implementation of the School Bullying Law (the Commission). According to the statute, the Commission was charged with "the review of the General Laws to determine if they need to be amended in order to address bullying and cyber-bullying and to investigate parental responsibility and liability for bullying and cyber-bullying." The law also requires the Commission to "report to the general court the results of its investigation and study and its recommendations, if any, together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry out such recommendations on or before June 30, 2011."

The members of the Commission are:

Martha Coakley, Chair: Massachusetts Attorney General
Michael Bellotti, Sheriff: Massachusetts Sheriffs' Association
David Capeless: Berkshire County District Attorney
Steve Clem, Executive Director: Association of Independent Schools in New England
Michael Long, General Counsel: Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents
Mary Lyons, Police Chief, Mattapoisett: MA Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association
Laura Salomons, School Committee Member: Sharon, MA, Massachusetts Association of School Committees

The Attorney General's Commission has been meeting bi-monthly since June 2010 and has scheduled its next meetings to be public hearings held in Boston and Springfield to gather testimony from interested parties who wish to inform the Commission of any recommended changes in laws.

Due to the limited time frame of the hearings and the volume of speakers expected, there will be limitations placed on the ability to provide oral testimony. Written comments and requests to provide oral testimony may be submitted to Paul Heithaus by email at paul.heithaus@state.ma.us, or by phone at (617) 963-2910, or by fax at (617) 727-6016. Requests to provide oral testimony at the Boston Hearing must be received by the February 2, 2011 and at the Springfield Hearing by February 9th, to determine whether there is space available. Written comments will be accepted through Friday, February 25, 2011 at 4:00pm.

Please contact Paul Heithaus, paul.heithaus@state.ma.us with any questions.

If you need a reasonable accommodation please call 617-963-2910 or 617-727-4765 TTY or via email at paul.heithaus@state.ma.us.