Law helps schools step up anti-bullying efforts

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A new state law that defines bullying is prompting schools to step up efforts to prevent it from occurring.

 The law requires counselors to meet with victims of bullying to talk about building self-esteem and to talk with the bully about empathy and communication. The bully also can face discipline that includes suspension depending on his or her history and the severity of the offense.

The Daily Journal reports schools also have to train staff and students to alert school officials about bullying and discuss ways to prevent it. Schools have a limited about of time to investigate incidents and begin counseling and education.

All bullying incidents must be reported to the state at the end of the school year.