Laws that criminalize bullying may discourage students from reporting bullying instances, according to a brief filed by the National School Climate Center and youth advocacy groups for a New York state case related to local cyberbullying laws. "When the severity of consequences is greatly disproportional to the severity of an incident, it can discourage reporting by students and encourage inaction and dismissal by teachers and school officials, who lack ability to address cyberbullying outside the bounds of the law," the groups wrote.

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