Lincoln family pushes for anti-bullying legislation - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Lincoln family pushes for anti-bullying legislation

By: Lauren Fabrizi

14-year-old Frida Aguilera tries hard to not think about the day she says she was attacked on her way home from Irving Middle School.

"It just brings back really bad feelings and memories," she said.

The alleged assault was video taped. Aguilera said she was thrown to the ground and punched repeatedly in the face.

"I was scared, I had bruises all over my face," she remembered. "I felt ashamed. I felt like I was being judged."

That was nearly a year ago.

On December 2, there was another alleged assault. Police said that one also involved Irving students after school hours, and was also video taped. 

Aguilera's mother, Dolores De Le Torre, wants it to stop.

"It's very hard to see your kids that way," she said. "As a community, we need to do something."

Their attorney, Thomas Inkelaar, said in Nebraska, bullying is handled by school administrators.

But with the help of two senators, a bill that's been drafted could make more types of bullying a criminal matter.

"The punishment would be classified as a misdemeanor," Inkelaar said. "And a misdemeanor could be anywhere from probation to possibility of jail time."

The bill defines different types of bullying like credible threat, harassment and cyber–bullying.

Inkelaar said punishments would vary depending on the severity. 

Aguilera and her mom only hope their bill will be brought to the legislative floor come January.

"It's a really big problem and a lot of kids go through it," Aguilera said. "And it's something we need to take charge at."

The bill is being reviewed. It would have to get approval from a committee before being introduced to lawmakers.
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