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New Illinois Law Expands School Bullying Authority

Illinois school districts soon will have the authority to punish students for cyberbullying, even if it occurs outside of school.

Reports say the new state law takes effect Jan. 1.

Currently, districts may take action against students if online bullying - such as something posted on Twitter or Facebook - occurs during the school day or using district-owned technology. Starting in 2015, schools will be able to discipline students for any electronic bullying that disrupts the school day.

Districts also will have to update their disciplinary policies to reflect the new law.

Officials at Tuscola High School in central Illinois say the district is launching an online forum in January that students and parents may use to anonymously report cyberbullying.

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