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When Bullying Behavior May Also Be Criminal Behavior

The Connecticut Association of Schools, BULLETIN

March 2012

Authors: Leander A. Dolphin

When the legislature made significant changes to the bullying law in July 2011, it imposed many new obligations on school districts and building level administrators. Tucked into the law is language now requiring "the principal of a school, or the principal's designee, to notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency when such principal, or the principal's designee, believes that any acts of bullying constitute criminal conduct." Public Act No. 11-232.

Many administrators have asked the questions: “How do I know when an act of bullying constitutes criminal conduct? And when should I notify the police that a bullying act may constitute criminal conduct?” In the following, we will review how to answer these questions, including identifying some common crimes that may be implicated by bullying behavior.

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