Bullying, Harassment and Hazing

Alaska

Last Updated: 1/5/2011

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 14.33.200 (2006) requires the Department of Education to provide a model policy for harassment, intimidation and bullying to school districts.  Based on this, districts are required to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying of any student and share the policy with parents or guardians, students, volunteers and school employees.  Statute 14.33.210 (2006) requires each school district to report all incidences involving harassment, intimidation or bullying to the Department of Education, which will then report it to the state legislature.  Statute 14.33.220 states that a school employee, student or volunteer may not engage in reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim or a witness.  It also encourages reporting of any harassment incidences to the appropriate school official.  Statute 14.33.230 (2006) provides immunity to any school employee, student or volunteer who promptly reports an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying to an appropriate school official.

Cyberbullying: No state policy.

Hazing: No state policy.


Alabama

Last Updated: 1/5/2011

Bullying/Harassment: HB216 (2009) defines harassment as a continuous pattern of intentional behavior that takes place on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function. This includes, but is not limited to, written, electronic, verbal or physical acts that are reasonably perceived as being motivated by any characteristic of a student, or by the association of a student with an individual who has a particular characteristic defined in the local board’s model policy. Different categories of harassment in the school environment are outlined in the statute. The statute prohibits harassment, intimidation, violence and states that no student should be subjected to such treatment. It prohibits reprisal, retaliation or false accusation against a victim, or other person who has reliable information about an act of harassment, violence or threat of violence. HB216 (2009) states that it is the sole responsibility of the affected student, or parent or guardian of the affected student, to report incidences of harassment to the principal or his or her designee.

HB216 (2009) requires the Department of Education to develop a model policy prohibiting harassment, violence, and threats of violence on school property, on a school bus, or at any school-sponsored function. The minimum requirements of the policy are outlined in the statute.

Cyberbullying:  The definition of harassment in HB216 (2009) includes electronic acts that can reasonably perceived as being motivated by any characteristic of a student, or by the association of a student with an individual who has a particular characteristic defined in the local board’s model policy. Harassment may take place on school property, on a school bus or a school-sponsored function. The statute prohibits harassment, intimidation, violence and states that no student should be subjected to such treatment.

Hazing: Code 16-1-23 (1981) states that no person shall engage, encourage, aid, or assist another person in hazing on or off any school, college, university, or other educational premises. Further, no person shall knowingly permit, encourage, aid, assist or fail to report any person in engaged in hazing. 


Arkansas

Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Bullying/Harassment: Code 6-18-514 (2007) requires local school boards to adopt policies to prevent bullying and pupil harassment.  The statute provides clear definitions of the following terms to be used by local school boards:  bullying, electronic acts, harassment and substantial disruption.  Local policies shall include a clear definition of conduct that constitutes bullying (as defined in the statute) and prohibit bullying while in school, on school equipment or property, in school vehicles, on school buses, at designated school bus stops, at school-sponsored activities, and at school-sanctioned events.  In addition, the policy shall prohibit bullying by an electronic act that results in the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment (cyberbullying).  The policy shall apply to the electronic act whether or not it originated on school property or with school equipment, if it is directed specifically at students or school personnel and maliciously intended for the purpose of disrupting school, and has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose. 

Code  6-18-514 (2007) also stipulates that local bullying policies have the following provisions:  (1) define conduct that constitutes bullying (2) prohibit bullying, (3) to state the consequences for engaging in prohibited behavior, (4) require employees to report incidents to the principal, (5) require those filing a complaint to not be subject to retaliation and provide immunity from any tort liability arising from the failure to remedy the reported incident, (6) require notices about the policy to be posted in each classroom, cafeteria, restroom, gymnasium, auditorium and school bus, and (7) require copies of the in-school bullying notice be provided to parents, with a full policy available upon request.  Policies must be filed with the Department of Education, with the State Board of Education providing review and recommended changes and/or improvements.

Code 6-18-1005 (2005) requires schools to provide Group conflict resolution services, which shall include bullying prevention programs. 

Code 6-15-1005 ensures that every school and district will enforce school district policies for the safety of every student during school hours at school-sponsored events from sexual harassment.

Cyberbullying: Code 6-18-514 (2007) requires local school boards to adopt policies to prevent bullying and pupil harassment.  This includes electronic acts of bullying. The policy shall prohibit bullying by an electronic act that results in the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment (cyberbullying).  The policy shall apply to the electronic act whether or not it originated on school property or with school equipment, if it is directed specifically at students or school personnel and maliciously intended for the purpose of disrupting school, and has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose." 

Act 905 (2011) defines cyberbullying and establishes it as a Class B misdemeanor. 

Hazing: Code 6-5-202 (1983) prohibits students of any school, college, university, or other educational institution from engaging in hazing (as defined in Code 6-5-201) or encourage, aid, or assist any other student in carrying out this offense. Further, no person shall knowingly permit, encourage, aid, or assist any person in committing the offense or fail to report the commission of the offense to appropriate administrative officials of the school, college, university, or other educational institution. Code 6-5-203 (1983) classifies hazing as a Class B misdemeanor warranting expulsion from the school, college, university, or other educational institution.


Arizona

Last Updated: 3/27/2012

Bullying/Harassment: ARS 15-341 (2005) requires the governing board to prescribe and enforce policies and procedures that prohibit pupils from harassing, intimidating or bullying other pupils on school grounds, on school property, on school buses, at school bus stops, and at school sponsored events and activities.The policy must include procedures for confidential reporting to school officials, a requirement that school district employees report suspected incidents, a formal process for the documentation of reports, a formal process for invetigagion of suspected incidences, disciplinary procedures for pupils who have admitted to or been found to have committed incidents, consequences for false reports of incidents, and procedures designed to protect the health and safety of pupils who are physically harmed as the result of incidents.

Cyberbullying: HB 2415 (2011) includes electronic techology or the use of electronic communication on school computers, networks, forums and mailing lists in the definition of bullying, harassment and intimidation.

Hazing: ARS 15-2301 (no date available) requires every institution of public education to adopt, post, and enforce a hazing prevention policy as outlined within this statute.


California

Last Updated: 3/28/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Education Code 32261 (1985) states that all pupils enrolled in a classroom have the inalienable right to attend classes on school campuses that are safe, secure and peaceful. It encourages school districts to develop and implement interagency strategies, in-service training programs, and activities that will improve school attendance and reduce school crime and violence, including vandalism, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership, gang violence, hate crimes, bullying, including bullying committed personally or by means of an electronic act, teen relationship violence, and discrimination and harassment, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment.

Education Code 35294.2 (2001) requires the Department of Education to develop model policies on the prevention of bullying and conflict resolution. The code authorizes districts to adopt one or more of these policies for the incorporation into its school safety plan, as required in the statute (Model Policies). Education Code 48900 (2008) permits a student to be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion for engaging in acts of bullying. Education Code 48900.4 (2008) allows a student to be suspended or recommended for expulsion if the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled determines that the student has intentionally engaged in harassment, threats or intimidation, directed against school district personnel or pupils "that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to have the actual and reasonably expected effect of materially disrupting classwork, creating substantial disorder, and invading the rights of either school personnel or pupils by creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment."

Education Code 48900.2 (2008) permits a student to be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion if the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled determines that the student has committed sexual harassment, as defined in Education Code 212.5. Education Code 46600 states that a pupil that has been determined to be a victim of an act of bullying shall be given priority for interdistric attendance under any interdistrict attendance agreement, or in the abscence of an agreement, be given additional consideration for the creation of an interdistrict attendance agreement.

Education Code 234 requires the bullying and harassment policy adopted by the local education agencies to prohibit discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics, as specified. It also requires the process for receiving and investigating complaints to include complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics, as specified, and to include a requirement that school personnel who witness such acts take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so, a timeline to investigate and resolve complaints, and an appeal process, as specified.

Cyberbullying: Education Code 48900 (2008) permits a student to be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion for engaging in acts of bullying, including bullying committed by means of electronic acts. Education Code 32261 (2011) defines "electronic act" as "the transmission of a communication, including, but not limited to, a message, text, sound, image or a post on a social network Internet Web site, or image by means of an electronic device, including but not limited to a telephone, wireless telephone or other wireless communication device, computer or pager.

Education Code 32261 encourages school districts, county offices of education, law enforcement agencies, and agencies serving youth to develop and implement interagency strategies, in-service training programs, and activities that will improve school attendance and reduce school crime and violence, including bullying committeed personally or by means of an electronic act, which includes the posting of messages on a social network Internet Web site.

Hazing: Education Code 48900.2 (2008) permits a student to be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion if the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled determines that the student has engaged ir or attempted to engage in hazing. "Hazing" is defined as a method of means a method of initiation or preinitiation into a pupil organization or body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to a former, current, or prospective pupil." For the purposes of this statute, "hazing" does not include athletic events or school-sanctioned events.


Colorado

Last Updated: 3/28/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Code 22-32-109.1 (2011) defines and prohibits bullying and requires district boards of education to adopt and implement a safe school plan. The plan must include a conduct and discipline code, which must include a dress code and a policy concerning bullying prevention and education. The policy must incorporate the biennial survey of students’ impressions of the severity of bullying in their school, character building, and the identification of a team at the school to advise the administration on the severity and frequency of bullying. Each policy must establish disciplinary consequences for those students who bully others and those who take retaliatory actions against a student who reports an incident. The statute also requires each public school to annually submit a written report concerning the learning environment in the school. A compilation of the report must be submitted to the department of education. Requirements of the report are outlined in the statute.

Code 22-93-102 through 22-93-105 (2011) creates a school bullying prevention and education grant program in the Department of Education. Schools may apply for grants to reduce the frequency of bullying incidents. The Department must report to the State Board of Education on the process and outcomes of the grant program. The awarded schools may use the grant monies for bullying prevention, awareness and policymaking activities that are outlined in the statute. It establishes funding for the program and requires the State Board of Education to promulgate rules for the grant program. Guidance for these rules is outlined in the statute. It also requires the Department of Education to biennially administer a survey of students regarding the severity of bullying in their schools. Requirements for the survey are outlined in the statute. As a part of this survey, each school must designate a team of persons to advise the school administration concerning the severity and frequency of bullying incidents that occur in the school.

Code 22-93-106 requires the Department of Education to create a page on its public website where it makes available evidence-based best practices and other resources for educators and professionals engaged in bullying prevention and education.

Code 22-30.5-116 requires charter schools to adopt and implement a policy regarding bullying prevention and education. The requirements of the policy are outlined in the statute. Code 20-30.5-505 requires the charter school institute to adopt and implement a policy regarding bullying prevention and education. Code 22-30.5-521 requires each charter school to implement the policy of the institute.  

Cyberbullying: Code 22-32-109.1 (2011) defines and prohibits bullying and requires district boards of education to adopt and implement a safe school plan. The definition of bullying includes an electronic act, or a pattern thereof, that is intended to coerce, intimidate or cause any physical, mental or emotional harm to any student

Hazing: Statute 18-9-124 makes it unlawful for any person to engage in hazing."Hazing" means any activity by which a person recklessly endangers the health or safety of or causes a risk of bodily injury to an individual for purposes of initiation or admission into or affiliation with any student organization.


Connecticut

Last Updated: 5/16/2013

Bullying/Harassment: Public Act 11-232 (2011) requires each local and regional board of education to develop a district Safe School Climate Plan addressing the existence of bullying in schools. The Plan shall: (1) design anonymous procedures for students to report acts of bullying to school employees; (2) construct procedures for parents or guardians to file written reports of suspected bullying; (3) require school personnel to notify school administrators and the Safe School Climate Specialist when acts of bullying or written reports of bullying are received; (4) require the Safe School Climate Specialist to investigate the written reports; (5) incorporate intervention and prevention strategies for school employees to deal with bullying; (6) include language about bullying in student codes of conduct; require the notification of parents or guardians of the bullies and the victims of bullies to be notified not later than 48 hours after the incident is verified; (7) require schools to keep a log of the number of verified incidents of bullying for public reporting purposes; direct the development of case-by-case interventions for addressing repeated incidents of bullying against a single individual or by the same individual; (8) invite the parents or guardians of students who commit any verified acts of bullying and the parents or guardians of students against whom such acts were directed to communicate to them the measures being taken by the school to ensure student's safety and prevent further acts of bullying; (9) prohibit discrimination and retaliation against an individual who reports an act of bullying, prohibit the continuation and perpetuation of bullying through the dissemination of hurtful or demeaning material by any other student; (10) require the principal of a school, or the principal's designee, to notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency when they believe that any act of bullying constitute criminal conduct; (11) prohibit bullying on school grounds at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program, whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a local or regional board of education, or through the use of an electronic device or an electronic mobile device; (12) include provisions addressing bullying outside of the school setting under certain circumstances; and (13) require each school to post the District Safe School Climate Plan on the district’s website within 30 days of Board of Education approval.

SB1138 (2011) requires the Department of Education to provide annual training to school employees on the prevention, intervention and response to school bullying. 

Public Act 08-160 (2008) outlines "intervention and prevention" strategies that schools may include some of the following: (1) implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports process or another evidence-based model approach for safe school climate for the prevention of bullying identified by the Department of Education; (2) a school survey to determine the prevalence of bullying, (3) a school survey to determine the prevalence of bullying, (3) adequate adult supervision of outdoor areas, hallways, the lunchroom and other specific areas where bullying is likely to occur, and (4) the inclusion of grade-appropriate bullying prevention curricula in kindergarten through high school. Additional strategies are listed in the statute.

Chapter 170 Section 10-222d (2006) defines "bullying" as any overt act by a student or a group of students directed against another student with the intent to ridicule, harass, humiliate or intimidate the other student while on school grounds, [or] at a school-sponsored activity or on a school bus, which acts are repeated against the same student over time."

Cyberbullying: Public Act 11-232 (2011) defines cyberbullying as the act of bullying through the use of the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, cellular mobile telephone or other mobile electronic devices or any electronic communications. The statute defines "electronic communication" and "mobile electronic device." It requires school districts to develop a policy addressing bullying in schools, and requires that the policy prohibit bullying on school grounds or school-related activities, of which cyberbullying is included.

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


District of Columbia

Last Updated: 4/28/2013

Sec. 4 of the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2010 requires the creation of bullying prevention policies by educational institutions that are enforced: on property (including electronic communication), at sponsored functions, on sponsored transportation, and through electronic communication to the extent that it is directed at a youth and is substantially interferes with the youth’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the educational institution. Each policy must contain: the definition of bullying provided in the Act, a statement prohibiting bullying, a statement that the policy applies to functions sponsored by the educational institution, the expected code of conduct, and a list of consequences for violating the policy (possible actions are identified), a procedure for reporting bullying or an act of retaliation for reporting bullying, a procedure for prompt investigation, an appeal process, and a statement that prohibits retaliation against any person that reports bullying. These policies must be submitted to the task force for review. Additionally, information on the bullying prevention policy must be incorporated into new employee training and each educational institution shall develop a plan for publicizing the policy.  

Sec. 8 of the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2010 requires educational institutions to provide annual reports regarding the aggregate incidents of bullying to the Mayor.

Sec. 7 of the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2010 allows for the establishment of an annual bullying prevention program for youth, which shall align with established health education standards.

Section B2502.3 of Chapter B25 of Title 5 in the D.C. Municipal Regulations (DCMR) (2009) lists “Bullying, or using humiliating, or intimidating language or behavior, including Internet Bullying” as a Tier III behavior that, in addition to lesser consequences, may result in either on-site or off-site Suspension.

Cyberbullying:  Sec. 4 of the Youth Bullying Prevention Act of 2010 includes cyberbullying as an activity that must be included in bullying prevention policies and programs. It is defined as electronic communications on the property of educational institutions, and through electronic communication to the extent that it is directed at a youth and is substantially interferes with the youth’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the educational institution. 

Section B2502.3 of Chapter B25 of Title 5 in the D.C. Municipal Regulations (DCMR) (2009) lists “Bullying, or using humiliating, or intimidating language or behavior, including Internet Bullying” as a Tier III behavior that, in addition to lesser consequences, may result in either on-site or off-site Suspension.

Hazing:  Section B2502.3 of Chapter B25 of Title 5 in the D.C. Municipal Regulations (DCMR) (2009) lists “hazing” as a Tier III behavior that, in addition to lesser consequences, may result in either on-site or off-site Suspension.


Delaware

Last Updated: 7/30/2012

Bullying/Harassment: 2008 Bullying Prevention Law defines bullying and requires each school district to prohibit bullying and reprisal, retaliation or false accusation against a target, witness or one with reliable information about an act of bullying.  The Act requires each school district and charter school to establish a policy which includes the following components: (1) A statement prohibiting bullying on school property, at school functions, or by the use of data or computer software accessed through a computer, system, network or other electronic technology of a school district, (2) A definition of bullying no less inclusive than that in the Act, (3) Direction to develop a school-wide bullying prevention program, (4) A requirement that each school establish a committee responsible for the coordination of the school's bullying prevention program, (5) A requirement for school employees to report information regarding suspected targets of bullying, (6) A plan for a system of supervision in non-classroom areas, (7) Consequences for bullying and a statement prohibiting retaliation following a report, (8) A requirement for parental notification and procedures for a student and parent, guardian or caregiver to provide information on bullying activity, (9) A requirement that incidents must be reported to the Department of Education within five working days, regardless of whether or not the school could substantiate the incidents (10) Procedures for communization between school staff members and medical professionals involved in treating students for bullying issues, and (11) A requirement that the school bullying prevention program be implemented throughout the year, and integrated with the school's discipline policies.  The Act requires the Department of Education to develop a model policy for school districts to follow.  It also provides immunity to individuals involved in reporting acts of bullying in the school environment. It also requires the Department of Education to conduct random audits of schools to determine compliance with the law.

Administrative Code 14:601 (2002) requires the Superintendent of each school district and program administrator for each charter school and alternative school or consortia to report to the Department of Education incidents, within five days of occurrence, of bullying. Code 11:1311 (1953) states that harassment, which is any attempt to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, is a class B misdemeanor offense. Code 14:4112 (no date available) also requires any school employee with reliable information of the sexual harassment of a student under the age of 18 on school property or at a school function to report the incident to the principal. The principal is not required to contact the police, but must file a written report with the Department of Education.

Cyberbullying:  2008 Bullying Prevention Law defines bullying and requires each school district to prohibit bullying and reprisal, retaliation or false accusation against a target, witness or one with reliable information about an act of bullying.  The Act requires each school district and charter school to establish a policy which includes a statement prohibiting bullying on by the use of data or computer software accessed through a computer, system, network or other electronic technology of a school district (cyberbullying).

Hazing: Code 14:9303 (no date available) states, Any person who causes or participates in hazing commits a class B misdemeanor." Code 14:9304 (no date available) requires all educational institutions to adopt a written anti-hazing policy, with penalties including fines, withholding diplomas and transcripts, probation, suspension, or dismissal from school. Organizations who authorizes hazing may be prohibited from operating and have their official recognition revoked by the educational institution.


Florida

Last Updated: 4/23/2013

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 1006.147 (2008) prohibits bullying or harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution. during any program or activity conducted by a public K-12 educational institution, during any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity, or through the use of data or computer software accessed through a computer, computer system or network of a public K-12 educational institution. Specific definitions of bullying and harassment are outlined in the statute. Statute 1006.147 (2008) provides immunity from a cause of action to a school employee, school volunteer, student, or parent who promptly reports in good faith an act of bullying or harassment to the appropriate school official.

Statute 1006.147 (2008) requires school districts to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution. The policy must substantially conform to the model policy of the state Department of Education, and must afford all students the same protection regardless of their status under the law. It requires requires “a procedure for providing instruction to students, parents, teachers, school administrators, counseling staff, and school volunteers on identifying, preventing, and responding to bullying or harassment.”  Additional requirements of the policy are outlined in the statute.

Statute 1006.148 (2010) requires district school boards to adopt and implement a dating violence and abuse policy prohibiting dating violence and abuse by any student on school property, during a school-sponsored activity, or during school-sponsored transportation; provides procedures for responding to incidents of dating violence or abuse; defines dating violence and abuse, providing for a component in the health education curriculum with emphasis on prevention education; and be implemented in a manner that is integrated with a school district’s discipline policies.

Statute 1006.07(6) requires district school boards to provide for the welfare of students by using the Safety and Security Best Practices to conduct a self-assessment of the district's current safety and security practices. Based on these self-assessment findings, the district school superintendent is required to provide recommendations to the district school board which identify strategies and activities that the district school board should implement in order to improve school safety and security. Annually each district school board must receive the self-assessment results at a publicly noticed district school board meeting to provide the public an opportunity to hear the district school board members discuss and take action on the report findings. Statute 1006.07(2) states that violation of the district's sexual harassment policy is grounds for in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or imposition of other disciplinary action.

State Board of Education Administrative Rule 6A-19.008 (1985) requires schools to have environments that are free of harassment and prohibit any slurs, innuendos, or other verbal or physical conduct reflecting on one's race, ethnic background, gender, or handicapping condition, which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment, or interferes with student's school performance or participation or other educational opportunities.

Cyberbullying: Statute 1006.147 (2008) prohibits bullying and harassment prohibits bullying or harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system or computer network of a public K-12 educational institution. The definition of "harassment" in the statute includes any threatening, insulting or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that does one of the following: (1) places them in reasonable fear of harm or to his or her person or damage to his or her property, (2) substantially interferes with a student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits, or (3) substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school. The definition of "'bullying and 'harassment'" includes perpetuation of actions by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarass, or cause physical harm to a student or school employee by accessing or knowingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the district school system.

Hazing: Statute 1006.135 (2005), referred to as the Chad Meredith Act, defines hazing and makes the hazing of students at a high school with grades 9-12 a criminal offense as defined within the statute. The bill prohibits the following defenses to a charge of hazing: obtained consent of the victim; the conduct or activity that resulted in the death or injury was not part of an official organizational event or was not otherwise sanctioned or approved by the organization; or the conduct or activity that resulted in death or injury was not done as a condition of membership in an organization.


Georgia

Last Updated: 7/1/2010

Bullying/HarassmentSB250 (2010) describes bullying as an act that occurs on school property, on school vehicles, at designated bus stops, or at school related functions or activities, or by use of data or software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, computer network or other electronic technology. Definitions of bullying are included in the statute, including written, verbal and physical acts which a reasonable person would perceive as being intended to threaten, harass, or intimidate that (1) causes another person substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm, (2) has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school or interfering with a student’s education, or (3) is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment. It requires each local board of education to adopt policies prohibiting bullying in grades 6-12 and include them in the student code of conduct. It requires local board policies to require a student that has committed bullying three times in a school year to be assigned to an alternative school. Local school boards must adopt a policy requiring notification to the parent, guardian or other person in charge of a student of a bullying offense as a victim or perpetrator. 

SB250 (2010) requires the Department of Education to develop a model policy regarding bullying. The policy must prohibit bullying, require reporting of incidents and procedures for investigation, an age-appropriate range of consequences, procedures for providing information on a bullying activity, prohibition for retaliation, and immunity from liability for those acting in good faith.

State Board of Education Rule 160-4-8-.15 requires local school boards to include in their student codes of conduct the prohibition of bullying and sexual harassment and verbal assault that constitutes sexual harassment of other students.

CyberbullyingSB250 (2010) includes in its description of bullying acts that occur by use of data or software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, computer network or other electronic technology. Bullying is defined in the statute, and local school boards are required to adopt policies for grades 6-12 that prohibit bullying of a student by another student and include them in the student code of conduct.

Hazing: Code 16-5-51 makes it unlawful for any person to haze any student in connection with or as a condition or precondition of gaining acceptance, membership, office or other status in a school organization.


Hawaii

Last Updated: 3/30/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Education Rule 8-19-6 (2009) prohibits bullying and harassment by any student in the public school system during school hours, on school premises, or during department-supervised activities on or off school property. Violation of this policy constitutes a Class B offense. Education Rule 8-19-13 (2001) extends the same policy to summer school, violation resulting in dismissal from summer school.

HRS 302A (2011) defines bullying, cyberbullying and harassment.  The definition of bullying includes conduct that is based on a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, physical appearance and characteristic, or socio-economic status; or a student’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

It requires the Department of education to maintain and monitor anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies for grades K-12 and maintain and enforce anti-bullying, cyberbullying and harassment procedures outlined in the statute. The procedures include(1)  effective publicizing of the policies, (2) annual training on how to intervene in situations of bullying, (3) cyberbullying or harassment, (4) investigation of violations, (5) reporting and response mechanisms, (6) making available statewide statistics concerning bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment, (7) filing of complaints for failure to comply, (8) establishing clear lines of accountability, (9) requirement for immediate reporting of incidents, (10) requirement for prompt investigation of reports or complaints of bullying, cyberbullying, or harassment, (11) range of response to incidents of bullying, (12) provision of appropriate referrals and prohibition of reprisal or retaliation against a person reporting; (13) provisions for anonymous reporting, and (14) annual collection, reporting, and analyzing of incident data.

Cyberbullying: Education Rule 8-19-6 (2009) defines cyberbullying and prohibits it by any student in the public school system during school hours, on school premises, or during department-supervised activities on or off school properties.

HRS 302A (2011) cyberbullying is defined as an act or acts exhibited by one student or group of students to another student or group of students that (1) are conveyed by electronic transmission via the Internet, a cell phone, a PDA or a wireless hand-held device, (2) cause mental or physical harm to the student or group of students that receives the electronic transmission; and (3) are sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to create an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment. The cyberbullying policy HRS 302A applies to electronic technology usage and electronic communications that occur on all public elementary and secondary school premises, at any school-sponsored functions or activities, on school-sponsored functions or activities, on school-sponsored transportation, and on school computers, networks, forums and mailing lists.

Hazing: State Board of Education Policy 4210 (1997) states that the practice of hazing as a part of athletics or other co-curricular and social activities is prohibited. Staff is required to inform students of this policy.


Iowa

Last Updated: 3/30/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Code 280.28 (2007) requires school districts and accredited nonpublic schools to adopt a policy declaring harassment and bullying in schools, on school property, and at any school function, or school-sponsored activity regardless of its location, as against state and school policy. Bullying and harassment is defined as follows: any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the criteria outlined in the statute.The statement must include the following provisions:  (1) A statement that school employees, volunteers, and students in school, on school property, or at any school function or school sponsored activity shall not engage in harassing and bullying behavior or reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim, witness, or an individual who has reliable information about an act of harassment or bullying, (2) A definition of harassment and bullying as set forth in the Act, (3) A description of the type of behavior expected relative to prevention measures, reporting, and investigation of harassment or bullying, (4) The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who violates the policy, (5) Procedures for reporting an act of harassment or bullying, (6) Procedures for the prompt investigation of complaints, and (7) A statement of the manner in which the policy will be publicized.

The Department of Education 's sample Policy on Student Bullying & Harassment prohibits harassment, bullying, hazing, or any other victimization based on real or perceived race, sex, creed, color, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, physical appearance, and/or personality characteristics". 

281 IAC 12.3(6) (2001) requires school boards to adopt student responsibility and discipline policies, which must address the harassment of or by students and staff. Code 19B.12 (2005) prohibits any state employee from sexually harassing another state employee or a person attending a state educational institution.

CyberbullyingSchool Anti-bullying and Anti-Harassment Act (2007) includes in the definition of "bullying or harassment" any "electronic act...or conduct toward a student based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the criteria outlined in the statute.

Hazing: Code 708.10 (2005) states that hazing, as defined in detail within this statute, is a simple misdemeanor offense, unless serious bodily harm is incurred, in which case the act is a serious misdemeanor offense. Furthermore, the Department of Education's sample Policy on Student Bullying & Harassment prohibits harassment, bullying, hazing, or any other victimization based on real or perceived race, sex, creed, color, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, physical appearance, and/or personality characteristics".


Idaho

Last Updated: 2/28/2013

Bullying/Harassment: State Board of Education Administrative Rule 08.02.03.160 (page 33) requires school districts to have comprehensive policies and procedures that address student harassment.  Statute 18-917a (2006) prohibits students from harassing, intimidating or bullying another student.  "Harassment, intimidation or bullying" is defined as any intentional gesture, or any intentional written, verbal or physical act or threat that will harm a student, damage their property, place a student in reasonable fear of harm or damage to his/her property.  Acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may be committed in person or through the phone or computer.  Statute 33-205 (no date available) allows a superintendent to suspend a student for bullying, harassment or intimidation.  Statute 33-512 (no date available) requires the board of trustees of each district to prescribe rules for student discipline for acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying.

Cyberbullying:  Statute 18-917a (2006) prohibits students from harassing, intimidating or bullying another student.  Harassment, intimidation or bullying" is defined as any intentional gesture, or any intentional written, verbal or physical act or threat that will harm a student, damage their property, place a student in reasonable fear of harm or damage to his/her property.  Acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may be committed in person or through the phone or computer (cyberbullying). 

Hazing: Statute 18-917 prohibits students and social student groups or organizations from intentionally hazing or conspiring to haze any member or potential member or person pledged to be a member of the group or organization, as a condition or precondition of attaining membership or office or status within said group or organization. Violation of this statute is a misdemeanor offense. Hazing is defined in detail within this statute.


Illinois

Last Updated: 7/16/2010

Bullying/Harassment: 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 (2010) defines bullying and prohibits it in the school environment on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry age, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, gender-related identity or expression, unfavorable discharge from military service, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic. No student shall be subject to bullying during any school-sponsored education program or activity, while in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the bus, at schools-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities, or through the transmission of information from a school computer, school computer network or other similar electronic school equipment. Bullying make take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. 

105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 (2010) requires each school district and non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school to create and maintain a policy on bullying. The policy must be communicated to the students and their parent or guardian annually, updated every 2 years and filed with the State Board of Education. The statute also creates the School Bullying Prevention Task Force and outlines its responsibilities.

105 ILCS 5/10-20.14 (2002) requires the school board, with the parent-teacher advisory committee and community based organizations, to include provisions in the student discipline policy to address students who have demonstrated behaviors that put them at risk for aggressive behavior, including without limitation bullying.

Cyberbullying105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 (2010) prohibits bullying (as defined in the statute) in the school environment and includes in its definition of bullying electronic communications. Bullying is specifically prohibited through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment.

105 ILCS 135/1-2 (2008) defines harassment through electronic communications. The definition includes "making any obscene comment, request, suggestion or proposal with an intent to offend," and "threatening injury to the person or to the property of the person to whom the electronic communication is directed or to any of his family or household members." Violation of the provisions of the statute will result in a class B misdemeanor.

Hazing: 720 ILCS 120/5 (1996) defines hazing as a person who knowingly requires the performance of an act by a student or other person in a school, college, university or other educational institution, for purpose of induction or admission into any group, organization or society associated with or connected with that institution, if the act is not sanctioned or authorized by the institution and the act results in bodily harm.


Indiana

Last Updated: 3/30/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Code 20-33-8-0.2 (2005) defines bullying as overt, repeated acts or gestures, including: verbal or written communications, physical acts committed and any other behaviors committed by a student or group of students with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate or harm the other student.  Code 20-33-8-13.5 (2005) requires schools to adopt policies prohibiting bullying on school grounds immediately before or during school hours, immediately after school hours, or at any other time when the school is being used by a school group, off school grounds at a school activity, function, or event, traveling to or from school or a school activity, function, or event, or using property or equipment provided by the school. Policies must also include provisions concerning education, parental involvement, reporting, investigation, and intervention.

Dating Violence: Code 20-19-3-10 (2010) requires the Department of Education to develop a model policy for dating violence response and reporting.


Hazing: No state policy addressing hazing in the school environment.


Kansas

Last Updated: 11/20/2011

Bullying/Harassment: KSA Supp 72-8256 (2008) defines bullying and requires each board of education of each school district to adopt and implement a plan to eliminate bullying.  Districts are required to have a written policy prohibiting bullying on school property or at school sponsored events.  The policy must include the following:  (1) A statement prohibiting bullying on school property or at school events, (2) A definition of bullying not less than that outlined in KSA Supp 72-8256 (2008), (3) Procedures for reporting bullying incidents, (4) A requirement for school personnel to report bullying incidents, (5) A requirement of notification to parents or guardians of students involved in an incident, (6) Procedures for documentation of reported incidents and responding to and investigating reported incidents, (7) A strategy for protecting victims from additional bullying and/or retaliation, (8) Disciplinary procedures for any student guilty of bullying, and (9) A requirement for confidentiality for any reported act of bullying.

KSA Supp 72-8256 (2008) defines cyberbullying and requires cyberbullying to be addressed in district policies related to bullying. It requires that district policies must prohibit bullying while using school property (even if a student is off school grounds).

KSA Supp 72-8256 (2008) requires local boards of education to annually survey students regarding acts of bullying in the school environment.  The information collected must be reported to the state department of education.

The State Board of Education adopted a Board Action on Bullying (2011) supporting the state statute requiring local boards to adopt anti-bullying policies. It also adopted a resolution establishing an Anti-Bullying Awareness week.

CyberbullyingKSA Supp 72-8256 (2008) defines cyberbullying and requires cyberbullying to be addressed in district policies related to bullying. It requires that district policies must prohibit bullying while using school property (even if a student is off school grounds).

Hazing: Although there is not state policy addressing hazing in schools, Statute 21-3434 (1993) classifies the promoting or permitting of hazing as a Class B non-person misdemeanor.


Kentucky

Last Updated: 5/22/2013

Bullying/Harassment: KRS 525.070 (2008) states that a person is guilty of harassment when, with the intent to intimidate, harass, annoy or alarm another person, he or she, being enrolled as a student in a local school district, and while on school premises, on school-sponsored transportation, or at a school-sponsored event, the student does one of the following: (a) strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise subjects him to physical contact; (b) attempts or threatens to strike, shove, kick, or otherwise subject the person to physical contact; (c) in a public place, makes an offensively coarse utterance, gesture, or display, or addresses abusive language to any person present; (d) Follows a person in or about a public place or places; (e) Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purpose; or (f) Being enrolled as a student in a local school district, and while on school premises, on school-sponsored transportation, or at a school-sponsored event: 1. Damages or commits a theft of the property of another student; 2. Substantially disrupts the operation of the school; or 3. Creates a hostile environment by means of any gestures, written communications, oral statements, or physical acts that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know would cause another student to suffer fear of physical harm, intimidation, humiliation, or embarrassment.

KRS 525.080 (2008) states that (1) A person is guilty of harassing communications when, with intent to intimidate, harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she: (a) Communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, telegraph, mail, or any other form of written communication in a manner which causes annoyance or alarm and serves no purpose of legitimate communication; (b) Makes a telephone call, whether or not conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate communication; or (c) Communicates, while enrolled as a student in a local school district, with or about another school student, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, the Internet, telegraph, mail, or any other form of electronic or written communication in a manner which a reasonable person under the circumstances should know would cause the other student to suffer fear of physical harm, intimidation, humiliation, or embarrassment and which serves no purpose of legitimate communication. The statute states that a person is guilty of harassing communications when he or she communicates, while enrolled as a student in a local school district, with or about another school student, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, the Internet, telegraph, mail, or any other form of electronic or written communication in a manner which a reasonable person under the circumstances should know would cause the other student to suffer fear of physical harm, intimidation, humiliation, or embarrassment and which serves no purpose of legitimate communication.

KRS 158.156 (2008) states that any employee of a school or local board of education who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a school student has been the victim of a violation or any felony offense specified in KRS 508, committed by another student while on school premises, at a school-sponsored event or while on school-sponsored transportation must immediately make an oral or written report to the principal of the school attended by the victim. The principal must then make other mandatory notifications. The statute provides immunity from liability for those reporting in good faith.

Cyberbullying: KRS 525.080 (2008), detailed above, includes communication via the Internet or other form of electronic communication in its definition of harassing communication.
Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.

Louisiana

Last Updated: 3/30/2012

Bullying/Harassment: RS 17:416.13 (2001) requires each local public school board to adopt and include into the student code of conduct a policy prohibiting the harassment, intimidation, and bullying of a student by another student.

Cyberbullying: HB1259 (2010) defines cyberbullying as the transmission of any electronic textual, visual, written, or oral communication with the malicious and willful intent to coerce, abuse, torment, or intimidate a person under the age of eighteen. “Electronic textual, visual, written, or oral communication" is defined as any communication of any kind made through the use of a computer online service, internet service, or any other means of electronic communication, including but not limited to a local bulletin board service, Internet chat room, electronic mail, or online messaging service. Although not specific to the school setting, the statute criminalizes cyberbullying, stating that whoever commits cyberbullying shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. If the offender is under the age of seventeen, the matter shall be governed exclusively by the provisions of Title VII of the Children's Code.

Hazing: RS 17:183 (2004) prohibits hazing in public elementary and secondary schools. Each local public school board is required to develop, adopt, and post a policy to enforce the prohibition against hazing and to prevent occurrences. Minimum requirements of a policy are outlined in the statute.


Massachusetts

Last Updated: 5/17/2011
check

Bullying/HarassmentGeneral Laws Chapter 71 (2010) defines bullying as “the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that: (i) causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property; (ii) places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property; (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for the victim; (iv) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; or (v) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.” The statute prohibits bullying on school grounds, property immediately adjacent to school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a school district or school or through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by a school district or school. In addition, it prohibits bullying at a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related, or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by a school district or school, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the victim, infringes on the rights of the victim at school or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. It also prohibits retaliation against those reporting or providing information about bullying incidents.

General Law 71 (2010) requires each school district, charter school, non-public school, approved private day or residential school and collaborative school to develop, adhere to and update a plan to address bullying prevention and intervention in consultation with teachers, school staff, professional support personnel, school volunteers, administrators, community representatives, local law enforcement agencies, students, parents and guardians.  The plan must be updated at least biennially. Requirements of the plan are outlined in the statute. The Department of Education developed the Model Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (2010) as guidance for the districts. Each school district must annually provide written notice of the relevant student-related sections of the plan to students and parents, and the entire written plan to staff. The plan must also be posted on the website of each school district or school. Each school principal or the person who holds a comparable position shall be responsible for the implementation and oversight of the plan at his school. Staff are required to immediately report any instances of bullying or retaliation they have witnessed or become aware of to the principal or named school official in charge of the plan. Additional requirements upon report of an incident are outlined in the statute. Further, the statute includes guidance for bullying incidents involving students from multiple districts and students who have graduated but are still under age 21. The statute requires the Department of Education to periodically review school districts, charter schools, approved private day or residential schools and collaborative schools to determine whether the districts and schools are in compliance with this act.

General Law 71B Chapter 3 (2010) requires that whenever the evaluation of the IEP team indicates that a child has a disability that affects social skills development or that the child is vulnerable to bullying, harassment or teasing because of the child’s disability, the IEP shall address the skills and proficiencies needed to avoid and respond to bullying, harassment or teasing.

Chapter 265 Section 43 of the General Laws states that whoever willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and (2) makes a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury, shall be guilty of the crime of stalking and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years or by both such fine and imprisonment. This includes acts of “cyberbullying.”

Chapter 71 Section 18 (2010) establishes a commission for the purpose of making an investigation and study relative to bullying and cyber-bullying. The commission must report to the general court the results of its investigation and recommendations, along with drafts of legislation necessary to carry out the recommendations.

CyberbullyingGeneral Laws Chapter 71 (2010) defines “Cyber-bullying” as bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying shall also include (i) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or (ii) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.  Cyber-bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.

The statute prohibits bullying, whose definition including cyberbullying. Each school district must develop a plan to address bullying prevention and intervention, including cyberbullying. The plan must include professional development for staff that addresses information on the nature and incidence of cyberbullying and internet safety issues as they relate to cyberbullying. In addition, every public school providing computer access to students must have a policy regarding internet safety measures to protect students from inappropriate subject matter and materials that can be accessed via the internet and must notify parents or guardians of the policy. 

Hazing
: General Law 269.19 (no date available), enacted in 603 CMR 33.04 (no date available), requires secondary educational institutions to issue every student and recognized student group or organization a copy of General Laws 269.17 and 269.18 (no dates available). Each student group and organization must then distribute copies of said laws to their members and agree to comply with them. Secondary institutions must also report to the board of education that they have complied with this statute and adopted disciplinary policies for acts of hazing. General Law 269.17 makes hazing, defined within this law, a crime punishable by a fine up to $3,000 and/or up to one year's imprisonment. General Law 269.18 requires witnesses or those with knowledge of a hazing to report it to law enforcement if they are able to without imperiling themselves or others. Failure to do so is punishable by a fine up to $1,000.


Maryland

Last Updated: 9/15/2010

Bullying/Harassment: State Board of Education Regulation 13A.01.04.03 (2003) states that, “All students in Maryland's public schools, without exception and regardless of race, ethnicity, region, religion, gender, sexual orientation, language, socioeconomic status, age, or disability, have the right to educational environments that are safe, appropriate for academic achievement, and free from any form of harassment”.

Code§7-424 (2008) defines bullying, harassment and intimidation, including electronic bullying, and requires local boards of education to submit an annual report to the Department of Education citing incidents of bullying, harassment or intimidation against students in public schools. An incident may be reported by a staff member, student, or the parent, guardian or close adult relative of a student. The Department is also required to create and distribute standard victim of bullying, harassment and intimidation report forms. The requirements for these forms are outlined in the statute. The Department of Education is then required to submit an annual summary of the reports to the Senate.

Code §7-424.1 (2008) requires the State Board to develop a model poicy prohibiting bullying, harassment, or intimidation in schools. The model policy shall include the following: (1) A statement prohibiting bullying, harassment, and intimidation in schools; (2) A statement prohibiting reprisal or retaliation against individuals who report acts, (3) A definition of bullying, harassment, or intimidation that is either the same as set forth in Code §7-424 (2008) or another definition not less inclusive, (4) Standared consequences and remidial actions for persons committing acts, for persons engaged in reprisal or retaliation, and for persons ound to have made false accusaions; (5) Model procedures for reporting and investigation of acts; and (6) Information about support services for bullies, victims and bystanders and about the use of the reporting form.

Code §7-424.1 (2008) also requires each County Board shall establish a policy prohibiting bullying, harassment, or intimidation at school based on the model policy. Specific requirements of the policy are outlined in the Code. The policy must be published in student hanbooks, school system websites and other appropriate locations. Each County Board is required to develop, in conjunction with the policy, an educational program for students, staff, volunteers and parents, and a training program for teachers and administrators for policy implementation.

Cyberbullying: Code §7-424 (2008) includes an intentional electronic communication in its definition of bullying, harassment and intimidatdation and requires local boards of education to submit an annual report to the Department of Education citing incidents of bullying, harassment or intimidation against students in public schools. It defines "Electronic communication" as a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager.  The policy each County Board is required to develop must include a definition of bullying and harassment the same or not less inclusive as that set forth in Code §7-424.1 (2008)

Hazing: Code 3-607 (2002) prohibits a person from recklessly or intentionally doing an act or create a situation that subjects a student to the risk of serious bodily injury for the purpose of an initiation into a student organization of a school, college or university.


Maine

Last Updated: 12/13/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Sec 1.20-A MRSA Sec 254, 11-A (2012) requires the commissioner to develop a model policy to address bullying and cyberbullying. A copy of the model policy must be sent to each school administrative unit and posted on their website. In addition, the commissioner must create a procedure for reporting incidents of bullying or cyberbullying.  

Sec. 3. 20-A MRSA §6554 (2012) defines bullying and cyberbullying and prohibits bullying on school grounds. “School grounds” is broadly defined and includes a school building, property on which a school building or facility is located, property that is owned, leased or used by a school for a school-sponsored activity, function, program, instruction or training, and school-related transportation vehicles. The prohibition on bullying and retaliation and the attendant consequences apply to any student, school employee, contractor, visitor or volunteer who engages in conduct that constitutes bullying or retaliation. It requires local school boards to develop policies and procedures that are consistent with the model policy. The policy must include the following:

·         Procedures for students, school staff, parents, guardians and others to report incidents of bullying including anonymous reporting of bullying;
·         Procedures for prompt investigating and responding to incidents of bullying including written documentation of reported incidents and the outcome of the investigation;
·         Procedures for appealing a decision to take or not take disciplinary action;
·         Procedures to remediate any substantiated incident of bullying;
·         Process to communicate measures being taken to ensure the safety of the targeted student and to prevent further acts of bullying.
·         Procedures for alternative discipline including mediation, counseling, anger management and community service;
·         Requires the annual dissemination of the written policy to students, parents, guardians, volunteers, administrators, teachers and school staff; posting of policy on the school administrative unit's publicly accessible website; and inclusion of the policy, in detail, to the student handbook;
·         Procedures for addressing every substantiated incident of bullying;
·         Provisions to provide professional development and staff training in the best approaches to implementing the anti-bullying policy.
Each school board shall annually provide the written policies and students, parents, volunteers, administrators, teachers and school staff. The policies and procedures must be posted on the school administrative unit's publicly accessible website and included in its student handbook.
The statute also requires that any contractor, visitor or volunteer who engages in bullying be barred from school grounds until the superintendent is assured that the person will comply with the bullying policy. In addition, it requires that any organization affiliated with the school that authorizes or engages in bullying or retaliation forfeits permission for that organization to operate on school grounds or receive any other benefit of affiliation with the school. Each school administrative unit must provide professional development and staff training in the implementation of the bullying policies.

Cyberbullying:   Sec. 3. 20-A MRSA §6554 (2012) also defines bullying and cyberbullying and prohibits bullying on school grounds. Cyberbullying is defined as bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including, but not limited to, a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nautre transmitted by the use of any electronic device, including, but not limited to, a computer, telephone, cellular telephone, text messaging device and personal digital assistant.

Hazing: Statute Title 20-A 6553 (1999) requires school boards to adopt a prohibitive policy "against 'injurious hazing,' either on or off school property, by any student, staff member, group or organization" affiliated with a public school. Penalties include the suspension or expulsion of a student, administrator, or staff violator; ejection from school property of a person not associated with the public school; and rescission of permission for to operate on school property or receive any other benefit of affiliation with the public school for organizations in violation of the hazing policy. This statute is also implemented in the System-Wide Student Code of Conduct.


Michigan

Last Updated: 12/19/2012

Bullying/Harassment :  MCL 380.1310b  (2011) defines bullying as “any written, verbal, or physical act, or any electronic communication, that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm 1 or more pupils either directly or indirectly by doing any of the following:  (1) Substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of 1 or more pupils (2) Adversely affecting the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school district’s or public school’s educational programs or activities by placing the pupil in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing substantial emotional distress.(3)  Having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a pupil’s physical or mental health. (4) Causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.”

MCL 380.1310b  (2011) requires a school district or board of directors of a public school academy to adopt and implement a policy prohibiting bullying at school. Districts are required to hold at least on public hearing on the proposed policy. The policy must include: (a) a statement prohibiting bullying of a pupil, (b) a statement prohibiting retaliation or false accusation against a target of bullying, a witness, or another person with reliable information about an act of bullying, (c) a provision indicating that all pupils are protected under the policy and that bullying is equally prohibited without regard to its subject matter or motivating animus, (d) the identification by job title of school officials responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented,  (e) A statement describing how the policy is to be publicized, (f) a procedure for providing notification to the parent or legal guardian of a victim of bullying and the perpetrator, (g) A procedure for reporting an act of bullying and for prompt investigation of a report, identifying either the principal their designee as the person responsible for the investigation, (i) a procedure documenting any prohibited incident that is reported and a procedure to report all verified incidents of bullying and the resulting consequences to the board of the school district on an annual basis. Additional recommendations for the policy are outlined in the legislation.

The State Board of Education's Policies on Bullying (2010) recommends that schools should develop a plan designed to prevent bullying, and develop methods to react to bullying when it occurs, as an integral part of a district-wide safety and discipline plan. The state board also recommends that schools should institute an anti-bullying program incorporating the basic elements described in the policy, to promote a positive school atmostphere that fosters learning, and to create a fear-free school environment in the classroom, playground, and at school-sponsored activities.  

The State Board of Education has created a Model Anti-Bullying Policy for local boards of education to follow when developing their own anti-bullying plan. 

MCL 380.1300a (1993) requires the board of each school district to adopt and implement a written sexual harassment policy that, at a minimum, prohibits sexual harassment by school district employees, board members, and pupils directed toward other employees or pupils and shall specify penalties for violation of the policy.

CyberbullyingMCL 380.1310b(2011) includes electronic communication in its definition of bullying and requires a school district or board of directors of a public school academy to adopt and implement a policy prohibiting bullying at school

Hazing:  Michigan Penal Code 750.411t (2004) states that a person who attends, is employed by, or is a volunteer of an educational institution shall not engage in or participate in the hazing of an individual. Punishment based on the severity of the hazing incident is laid out, as well as what actions are defined as hazing.


Minnesota

Last Updated: 3/30/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 121A.03 requires each school board to adopt a written harassment, intimidation and bullying and violence.   The policy must prohibit bullying, intimidation, violence or a pattern of harassment against any person or group based on the actual or perceived characteristics of the person or group, or an association with a person or group, including electronic forms and those involving the internet. Statute 121A.0695 requires the policy policy must be conspicuously posted throughout each school building, given to district employees and independent contractors, and included in each school's student handbook. Each school must further develop a process for discussing the policy with students and employees. Added in 2005, the policy may encourage violence prevention and character development education programs to prevent and reduce policy violations.  SB646 (2007) states that the intimidation and bullying policy required by 121A.0695 (2005) must address intimidation and bullying in all forms, including electronic forms and forms involving Internet use.

Cyberbullying: Statute 121A.03 (2009) states that the intimidation and bullying policy required by 121A.0695 (2005) must address intimidation and bullying in all forms, including electronic forms and forms involving Internet use.

Hazing: Statute 121A.69 (2003) requires each school board to adopt a written policy governing student or staff hazing that applies to student behavior on or off school property and during and after school hours. The policy must include reporting procedures and disciplinary consequences for violations, and must be included in the student handbook.


Missouri

Last Updated: 3/30/2012

Bullying/Harassment:Revised statute 160.775 (2009) requires every district to adopt an antibullying policy. Policies must treat students equally, not contain specific lists of protected classes who are to receive special treatment, and must contain a statement of the consequences of bullying. Each district's policy must require district employees to report any instances of bullying which the employee has first hand knowledge and must address training of employees.

Revised Statute 160.261 (2008) includes harassment as an "act of violence" that requires mandatory reporting by school administrators to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Harassment includes the following: (1) Knowingly communicating a threat to commit a felony to another person, thereby frightening, intimidating or causing emotional distress to such other person, (2) When communicating with another person, knowingly using coarse language offensively, thereby putting such person in reasonable apprehension of offensive physical contact or harm, (3) To knowingly frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to another person by anonymously making a telephone call or any electronic communication ("cyberbullying"), (4) Knowingly communicating with another person who is, or purports to be, seventeen years of age or younger, and in doing so recklessly frightening, intimidating or causes emotional distress, (5) Knowingly making repeated unwanted communication to another person, and (6) Engaging in any other act with the purpose to frighten, intimidate or emotionally distress another person.

Cyberbullying: Revised Statute 160.775 (2009) includes states that bullying may consist of physical actions, or oral, including cyberbullying, electronic, or written communication, and any threat of retaliation for reporting of such acts. The statute requires every district to adopt an anti-bullying policy. Revised Statute 160.261 (2008) includes harassment as an "act of violence" that requires mandatory reporting by school administrators to the appropriate law enforcement agency. This includes knowingly frightening, intimidating or causing emotional distress to another person by anonymously making a telephone call or any electronic communication ("cyberbullying").

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


Mississippi

Last Updated: 4/26/2010

Bullying/Harassment: SB2015 (2010) defines bullying as "any pattern of gestures or written, electronic or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, or any act reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, that takes place on school property, any school-sponsored function or on a school bus." The act must (1) place the student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage his or her property, or (2) Create or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, opportunities or benefits. The statute defines hostile environment.

SB2015 (2010) states that no student or school employee shall be subjected to bullying or harassing behavior by school personnel or students. It prohibits reprisal or retailiation against a victim, witness or person with reliable information about an act of bullying or harassing behavior. It requires a school employee who is a witness or has reliable information about an act to report it, and also requires students or volunteers to report incidences.

SB2015 (2010) requires each local school district to include in its personnel policies, discipline policies and code of student conduct a prohibition against bullying or harassing behavior and adopt procedures for reporting, investigating and addressing such behavior. Further requirements of the policy are outlined in the statute.

Code 37-11-20 (1972) states that it is unlawful for any person to intimidate, threaten or coerce, or attempt to do such things, to any person enrolled in any school for the purposes of interfering with the right of that person to attend school classes or of causing him not to attend such classes.

Cyberbullying:  SB2015 (2010) definition of bullying includes any electronic communication that is threatening or perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic  The act must (1) place the student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage his or her property, or (2) Create or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, opportunities or benefits. The statute states that no student or school employee shall be subjected to bullying or harassing behavior by school personnel or students and school. The statutes requires each local school district to include in its personnel policies, discipline policies and code of student conduct a prohibition against bullying or harassing behavior and adopt procedures for reporting, investigating and addressing such behavior.

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


Montana

Last Updated: 12/17/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Administrative Rule 10.55.701 requires local school boards to have policy designed to address bullying, intimidation, and harassment of students and school personnel (2006). The policy must be in writing and available to the public. (2013).  Administrative Rule 10.55.801 requires local school boards to develop policies and procedures promote an awareness of and concern for the well-being of others, and address bullying, intimidation, and harassment of students and school personnel (2013). 

Administrative Rule 10.55.1003 requires that all programs within a school system provide physically, emotionally, and educationally safe and supportive learning and working environments, including environments free from bullying, intimidation and harassment, and ensure an educational climate that promotes academic freedom and respect for diversity (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity, economic status, native language, disability, special gift and talent).  

Cyberbullying: Although not specific to schools, Code 48.8.213 does prohibit harassment via electronic means.

Hazing: No state policy.


North Carolina

Last Updated: 9/16/2009

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 115C-407.5 (2009) defines bullying or harassing behavior and requires each local school administrative unit to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying or harassing behavior. The requirements of the policy are outlined in  the statute. The statute defines bullying or harassing behavior as that which may place a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to their property, create or is certain to create a hostile environment. It also states that bullying or harassing behavior includes "acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived diffferentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics." 

Statute 115C-407.5 (2009) prohibits bullying of students or school employees and acts of reprisal or retaliation against a victim, witness or a person without reliable  information about an act of bullying or harassment. It also requires that witnesses report the incident to the appropriate school official.

Btate Board of Education Policy HRS-A-007 requires local school boards to develop and maintain policies and procedures to prevent, intervene, investigate, document, and report all acts of bullying and harassment. Statute 115C-335.5 (2001) allows each local board of education to adopt a policy addressing sexual harassment of school employees by students, or other local school employees or school board members.

Cyberbullying: Statute 115C-407.5 (2009) includes electronic communication in its definition of "bullying or harassing behavior." The statute prohibits such communication that places a a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to their person or property, or creates or is certain to create a hostile environment. Each school must adopt a policy prohibiting bullying or harassing behavior that includes a definition no less inclusive than that of Statute 115C-407.5 (2009).

Hazing: Statute 14-35 (2003) states that it is illegal for any school or college in the state to engage in hazing, or to aid or abet any other student in committing this offense.


North Dakota

Last Updated: 12/27/2011

Bullying/Harassment: Code 15.1-19 defines bullying in the school environment and requires each school to adopt a policy providing that while at a public school, on school district premises, in a district owned or leased school bus or vehicle, or at any district sanctioned or sponsored activity or event, a student may not: (1) engage in bullying, reprisal or retaliation against a victim of bullying, an individual who witnesses or reports and alleged act of bullying, or an individual who provides information about an alleged act of bullying. The policy must:

(1) Include a definition of bullying that encompasses the conduct described in the statute

(2) Establish procedures for reporting and documenting alleged acts of bullying, reprisal, retaliation, and include procedures for anonymous reporting of such acts

(3) Establish procedures and timelines for school district personnel to follow in investigating reports of alleged bullying, reprisal or retaliation

(4) Establish a schedule for the retention of documents generated during a bullying investigation

(5) establish disciplinary measures applicable to an individual who engaged in bullying, reprisal or retaliation,

(6) Require notification of law enforcement personnel if an investigation results in a reasonable suspicion that a crime might have occurred,

(7) Establish strategies to protect a victim of bullying, reprisal or retaliation,

(8) Establish disciplinary measures to be imposed upon an individual who makes a false accusation, report or complaint pertaining to bullying, reprisal, or retaliation.

School districts must involve parents, school district employees, volunteers, students, school district administrators, law enforcement personnel, domestic violence sexual assault organizations and community representatives in the development of the policy.

Cyberbullying: Code 15.1-19 defines and prohibits bullying in the school environment. In the definition of bullying, "conduct" includes the use of electronic or other media.

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


Nebraska

Last Updated: 12/21/2011

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 79-267 (2008) requires schools to adopt a bullying policy by July 1, 2009. It defines bullying as any ongoing pattern of physical, verbal, or electronic abuse on school grounds, in a vehicle owned, leased, or contracted by a school being used for a school purpose by a school employee or his or her designee, or at school-sponsored activities or school-sponsored athletic events. It states that engaging in bullying and threatening or intimidating any other student for the purpose or intent of obtaining money or anything of value from that student is grounds for long-term suspension, expulsion, or mandatory reassignment. The use of violence, force, coercion, threat, or intimidation, or other such conduct that substantially interferes with school purposes is also forbidden under this statute.

The Anti-Bullying Policy recommends local school policies aid school personnel in the identification of bullying and harassment and provide a framework for an appropriate response to bullying and harassment.

Cyberbullying: The definition of bullying in Statute 79-267 (2008) includes any pattern of electronic abuse on school grounds, in a vehicle owned, leased, or contracted by a school being used for a school purpose by a school employee or his or her desginee, or at school-sponsored activities or school sponsored events. LB 205 (2008) requires schools to adopt a policy concerning bullying prevention and education.

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


New Hampshire

Last Updated: 12/22/2011

Bullying/Harassment: RSA 193-F:2-5 (2010) defines bullying as “a single significant incident or a pattern of incidents involving a written, verbal, or electronic communication, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another pupil which (1) Physically harms a pupil or damages the pupil’s property; (2) Causes emotional distress to a pupil; (3) Interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities; (4) Creates a hostile educational environment; or (5) Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school. The statute also provides definitions of bullying behavior, cyberbullying, electronic devices, perpetrator, school property, and victim. The statute states that bullying occurs when an action or communication as defined above occurs on, or is delivered to, school property or a school-sponsored activity or event on or off school property; or occurs off of school property or outside of a school-sponsored act or event, if the conduct interferes with a student’s educational opportunity or substantially disrupts the operations of the school or school-sponsored event or activity.

RSA 193-F:2-5 (2010) requires the school board of each district and the board of trustees of a chartered public school to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and cyberbullying. The policy must include the following: (1) Statement prohibiting bullying or cyberbullying of a student, (2) Statement prohibiting retaliation or false accusation against a victim, witness or anyone else who in good faith provides information about an act of bullying or cyberbullying, (3) Requirement that all students are protected regardless of their status under the law, (4) Requirement for disciplinary consequences or interventions for a student committing an act, or false accusation of another student as a means of retaliation, (5) Plans for distributing the policy, (6) Procedure for reporting, (7) Outline of the internal reporting requirements, (8) Procedures for notification to parents of both the victim and perpetrator, along with a provision for a waiver of notification from the superintendent if deemed in the best interest of the victim or perpetrator, (9) Procedures for investigation of reports, (10) Requirement that the principal or designee report all substantiated incidents of bullying or cyberbullying to the superintendent or designee, and develop a response to remediate any substantiated incidents, (11) Procedures for communication with parents or guardians of victims an perpetrators regarding the school’s remedies and assistance within 10 days of completion of the investigation, and (12) Identification of school officials responsible for ensuring policy implementation.

RSA 193-F:2-5 (2010) requires each school district and chartered school to annually report all substantiated incidents of bullying and cyberbullying to the department of education. In addition, it provides immunity from civil liability for employees, parents, volunteers and others associated with the school for the reporting, investigation, findings, recommended response, or implementation of a recommended response to bullying or cyberbullying. It also allows a school district or chartered public school to establish a separate discrimination or harassment policy that includes categories of pupils.

State Board of Education Rule Ed 306.04 requires local school boards to implement policies and procedures relative to student harassment, including bullying, and sexual harassment.

Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying is defined in RSA 193-F:2-5 (2010). The statute requires the school board of each district and the board of trustees of a chartered public school to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and cyberbullying. Requirements of the policy are outlined in the statute. Schools must report all substantiated incidents of bullying and cyberbullying to the Department of Education on an annual basis.

Hazing: State Board of Education Rule Ed 306.04 requires local school boards to implement policies and procedures relative to student hazing. RSA 631:7 (1993) classifies any person whose actions is likely or would be perceived as hazing guilty of a class B misdemeanor. Further, any educational institution that knowingly permits, fails to take reasonable measures of authority to prevent student hazing or fails to report to law enforcement agencies is also guilty of a misdemeanor.


New Jersey

Last Updated: 1/22/2013

Bullying/Harassment: P.L.2010, c.122 (2011) defines harassment, intimidation and bullying and requires each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying (HIB) on school property, at a school-sponsored function, on a school bus and off school grounds. The policy must define and prohibit harassment, intimidation and bullying; identify expectations for student behavior and consequences and remedial action for students committing HIB acts; describe procedures for reporting, notifying parents of alleged offenders and victims and investigating acts; address chief school administrator actions and reports to the board of education; identify parent rights to investigation findings and board hearings; and address board of education determinations on the chief school administrator’s report; and the range of ways schools will respond. Response plans must include an appropriate combination of counseling, support services, intervention services, and other programs. It must include a prohibition against and consequences and remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation and for false accusation as a means of retaliation or HIB. It must include a statement of how the policy is to be publicized. It must require that a link to the policy be posted on the homepage of the district’s website, and a requirement that contact information for the school anti-bullying specialists and district anti-bullying coordinators be posted on district and school websites. The policy must be reviewed and reevaluated annually. In addition, a school administrator who receives a report of harassment, intimidation, or bullying from a district employee, and fails to initiate or conduct an investigation, or should have known of an incident and fails to take sufficient action to minimize or eliminate it, may be subject of disciplinary action.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15b (2011) requires all acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying to be reported verbally to the school principal on the same day when the school employee or contracted service provider witnessed or received reliable information regarding an incident. Acts must be reported by school personnel in writing within two school days of the verbal reports. The investigations must be initiated by the principal or their designee within one school day of the report, must be conducted by a school anti-bullying specialist, and must be completed within 10 days. The principal must inform parents of alleged offenders and victims. The results of the investigations must be reported to the superintendent of schools within two days of completion of the investigations, and reported to the board of education at the next board meeting. Parents or guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation are entitled to receive information about the investigation within 5 days after the report to the board. A parent may request a hearing before the board after receipt of the information. The hearing must be held within 10 days of the request. Whether or not the parents request a hearing, the board of education must issue a decision, in writing, to affirm, reject or modify the chief school administrator’s decision at the board meeting following its receipt of the chief school administrator’s report.  

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-20a requires each principal to appoint a school anti-bullying specialist. The responsibilities of the school anti-bullying specialist are identified in the statute.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-20b requires each chief school administrator to appoint a district anti-bullying coordinator. The responsibilities of the district anti-bullying coordinator are identified in the statute.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-21 requires school districts to form a school safety team in each school in the district. The purpose of the team is to develop, foster and maintain a positive school climate. The requirements for meeting, team functions and membership are included in the statute.
N.J.S.A. 18A:17:46 requires school employees observing or having direct knowledge from a participant or victim of an act of violence to file a report of the incident with the school principal in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner, and a copy must be forwarded to the chief school administrator (CSA). The CSA must report twice each school year (between September 1 and January 1 and between January 1 and June 30) to the board of education at a public meeting all acts of violence, vandalism, harassment, intimidation and bullying that occurred during the previous reporting period. The report must break data down the information identified in the statute by each school in the district, in addition to district-wide data. The report will be used to grade the school district in comparison with other schools in the district. The grades of each school must be posted on the homepage of the district's website. The Commissioner of Education is required to develop guidelines for a program to grade each school assessing its effort to implement policies and programs consistent with P.L.2002, c.122. The grade received by each school and school district must be posted on the district’s websites.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-17a requires school districts to annually establish, implement, document and assess HIB prevention programs, approaches or other initiatives involving school staff, students, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and community members designed to create school-wide conditions to prevent and address HIB. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-29 requires school districts to observe a Week of Respect during the week beginning with the first Monday in October of each year to recognize the importance of character education. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-29 also requires age-appropriate instruction on HIB prevention throughout the school year. N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-17(b) requires training on the HIB policy to be provided to full- and part-time employees, volunteers who have significant contact with students and persons contracted to provide services to students. N.J.S.A. 18A:40A-17(c) requires information regarding the bullying policies to be  incorporated into a school's employee training program and provided to full- and part-time employees, volunteers who have significant contact with students and persons contracted to provide services to students. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-17(b) requires districts to develop a process for discussing the districts bullying and harassment policies with students. N.J.A.C. 18A:12-33 requires newly elected or appointed school board members to complete a training program on harassment, intimidation, and bullying in schools, including a school district's responsibilities. Board members are required to complete the program only once. N.J.S.A. 18A:26-8.2 requires school leaders (chief school administrator, principal, or supervisor endorsement) to complete training on issues of school ethics, school law and governance, which also must include information on the prevention of harassment, intimidation and bullying. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-22 requires all candidates for teaching certification and any person seeking certification through the alternate route to complete a program on HIB prevention. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-23 requires all candidates for administrative and supervisory certification to complete a program of HIB prevention. N.J.S.A. 18A:6-112 requires the two-hours of suicide instruction required in each professional development period to include information on HIB. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-22d requires school teachers to complete at least two hours of instruction on HIB prevention in each professional development period.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-24 (2011) requires the Department of Education to develop a guidance document to assist in resolving complaints concerning student harassment, intimidation or bullying. The requirements of the guidance document are outlined in the statute. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-25 requires the Commissioner of Education to establish a formal protocol for the office of the executive county superintendent to investigate complaints that document allegations of violations of P.L.2010, c.122 and order corrective actions, as appropriate. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-27 requires the Department to develop an online tutorial on harassment, intimidation and bullying. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-28 requires the department to establish a "Bullying Prevention Fund" that will be used to provide grants to districts for harassment, intimidation and bullying prevention training. It designates the first week of October as a "Week of Respect." N.J.S.A. 18A:6-7.1 requires the crime of bias intimidation to be included in the criminal record check for public school employment.

N.J.A.C. 18A: 37-33 (2012) requires each school district to have a policy to prevent, and for responding to, incidents of dating violence.

In L.W. v. Toms River Regional Schools Board of Education (2007) the Supreme Court of New Jersey determined that a school district may be held liable under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) (N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -49) when students harass another student because of their perceived sexual orientation. The opinion states "When assessing a school district’s liability, the fact finder must determine whether the district, with actual or constructive knowledge of the maltreatment, took actions reasonably calculated to end the harassment."

Cyberbullying: N.J.S.A. 18A:37-14 requires "electronic communication" to be included in a school district's policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying. It defines "electronic communication" as a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager.

Hazing: As described in the required Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement Officials (MOA), pursuant to State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:16-6.2(b)13, hazing may be considered to be bullying. Common bullying offenses include assault, harassment, threats, robbery, and sexual offenses. The MOA establishes that the school district must report to law enforcement officials any hazing incident that involves a criminal offense, and reminds school officials that hazing which involves the participation of a coach or a teacher may constitute child abuse in some circumstances.
Hazing is a separate offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:40-3. Hazing is a disorderly persons offense when the conduct, other than competitive athletic events, may place another person in danger of bodily injury. When serious bodily injury results, the offense is aggravated hazing, which is a crime of the fourth degree. The consent of the person hazed is not a defense. N.J.S.A. 2C:40-4. Any other criminal conduct under the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice also may be charged. N.J.S.A. 2C:40-5.

New Mexico

Last Updated: 12/27/2011

Bullying/Harassment6.12.7 NMAC requires school districts and charter schools to develop and implement a policy that addresses bullying. The policy must include but is not limited to:  (1) definitions; an absolute prohibition against bullying, (2) a method to ensure initial and annual dissemination of the anti-bullying policy to all students, parents, teachers, administrators and all other school or district employees, (3) procedures for reporting incidents of bullying which ensure confidentiality to those reporting bullying incidents and protection from reprisal retaliation or false accusation against victims, witnesses or others with information regarding a bullying incident, (4) consequences for bullying which include consideration of compliance with state and federal IDEA requirements, (5) consequences for knowingly making false reports pursuant to the anti-bullying policy; procedures for investigation by administration of incidents reported pursuant to the anti-bullying policy, and (6) a requirement that teachers and other school staff report any incidents of bullying.

State Board of Education Administrative Code 6.11.2.9 NMAC (2000) prohibits sexual harassment inside and within the legal limits of all public schools.

Cyberbullying: No state policy.

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


Nevada

Last Updated: 8/19/2010

Bullying/Harassment: NRS 388.133 (2010) defines bullying as "a willful act or course of conduct on the part of one or more pupils which is not authorized by law and which exposes a pupil repeatedly and over time to one or more negative actions which is highly offensive to a reasonable person and is intended to cause and actually causes the pupil to suffer harm or serious emotional distress.” 

NRS 388.135 (2001) prohibits pupils and school employees and officials from engaging in bullying, cyberbullying,  harassment or intimidation on the premises of any public school, public school sponsored activity, or on any school bus.

NRS 388.133 (2010) requires the Department of Education to prescribe by regulation a policy for all school districts and public schools to provide a safe and respectful learning environment free of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and intimidation. The policy must include (1) training in positive human relations with pupils without the use of bullying, cyberbullying, intimidation or harassment, (2) methods to improve the school environment in the area of positive human relations, and (3) methods to teach skills to pupils so they are able to replace inappropriate behavior with appropriate behavior.   Local boards must adopt the policy and report each year on violations.

Cyberbullying: NRS 388.133 (2009) defines cyberbullying as bullying through the means of electronic communication. "Electronic communication" is defined as the communication of any written, verbal or pictoral information through the use of an electronic device including, without limitation, a telephone, cellular phone, a computer or any similar means of communication."  NRS 388.135 (2009) prohibits pupils and school employees and officials from engaging in cyberbullying on the premises of any public school, public school sponsored activity, or on any school bus. NRS 392.915 (2009) makes makes it a misdemeanor to, via cyberbullying, knowingly threaten to cause bodily harm or death to a pupil or employee of a school district or charter school with the intent to iintimidate, harass, frighten, alarm or distress a pupil or employee of a school district or charter school by cause panic or civil unrest or interfering with the operation of a public school.

NRS 388.133 (2009) requires the Department of Education to prescribe by regulation a policy for all school districts and public schools to provide a safe and respectful learning environment free of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and intimidation. One of the elements the policy must include is training in positive human relations with pupils without the use of bullying, cyberbullying, intimidation or harassment. Other requirements are outlined in the statute. 

NRS 389.520 (2009) requires that the standards for computer education include a review of the ethical use of computers and other electronic devices, methods to ensure the prevention of cyberbullying, instruction on the safe use of computers and other electronic devices including instruction on how to avoid harassment, cyberbullying and other unwanted communication.

Hazing: NRS 200.605 (1999) states that any person who engages in hazing, as define within this statute, is guilty of a misdemeanor if no substantial bodily harm is inflicted or a gross misdemeanor if substantial bodily harm is inflicted.


New York

Last Updated: 7/22/2012

Bullying/Harassment: The Dignity for All Students Act (2012) defines harassment, bullying and discrimination and prohibits harassment, bullying or discrimination of a student by employees or students on school property or off of school property, if the act creates or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption within the school environment where it is foreseeable that the conduct, threats, intimidation or abuse might reach the school environment. It also prohibits discrimination of students based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex by school employees or students on school property or at a school function. It requires the board of education and trustees of each school district to create policies and guidelines that must include the following: 1) Policies intended to create a school environment that is free from discrimination or harassment, 2) Guidelines to be used in school training programs to discourage the development of discrimination or harassment and are designed to raise awareness, sensitivity and enable prevention and response of school employees to potential discrimination or harassment, and 3) Guidelines relating to the development of nondiscriminatory instructional and counseling methods, requiring at least one staff member at every school be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, relgion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender and sex. It requires the Commissioner of Education to create a procedure for annual reporting of incidents of discrimination and harassment on school grounds or at a school function. The statute also provides immunity from liability for those reporting discrimination or harassment of a student, when acting in good faith.  It also outlines specific policies that schools must follow in the reporting and investigation of an act of bullying or harassment.

Education Law 2801-a (no date available) requires school safety plans to contain strategies for improving communication among students and between students and staff and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as creating a forum or designating a mentor for students concerned with bullying or violence and establishing anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence."

Cyberbullying: The Dignity for All Students Act (2012) defines cyberbullying as harassment or bullying (as defined in the statute) that occurs through electronic means.

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


Ohio

Last Updated: 2/17/2012

Bullying/Harassment:  ORC 3313.666 (2012) requires the board of education of local school districts to establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying.  "Harassment, intimidation or bullying" is defined as any intentional written, verbal, electronic or physical act toward another student more than once that causes mental or physical harm and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the harassed student.  The policy must include a statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying of any student on school property, on a school bus or at school-sponsored events; a definition of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, a procedure for reporting prohibiting incidents, including anonymous reporting; a provision for the possibility of suspension of a student found responsible for harassment, intimidation or bullying by an electronic act; a requirement that school personnel report prohibited incidents to school administrators; prohibition of students deliberately making false reports of harassment, intimidation or bullying and a disciplinary procedure for doing so; requirement for parental notification; documentation procedures; procedures for responding to and investigating incidents; strategies for protecting targeted students from additional incidents; disciplinary procedures; reporting requirements for district administration.

ORC 3313.667 (2006) encourages schools districts to form bullying prevention task forces, programs and other initiatives.  It also encourages districts to educate students and to provide training, workshops or courses on the distric't's harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy. Each board must incorporate training on the board's harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy into in-service training required by the division.

Cyberbullying: ORC 3313.666 (2012) includes electronic act in the definition and prohibition of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Electronic act is defined as "an act committed through the use of a cellular telephone, computer, pager, or personal communication device, or other electronic communication device. The statute specifically requires local school boards to adopt a bullying, harassment and intimidation policy that expressly provides for the possibility of suspension of a student found responsible for harassment, intimidation, or bullying by an electronic act.

Hazing: ORC 2903.31 (1983) forbids any person from recklessly participating in the hazing of another. School administrators, employees, and faculty members of any public or private school may not permit the hazing of another person. Violation of this Code is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. ORC 2307.44 (1983) allows victims of hazing to pursue civil actions for injury and damages against any participants, organization who authorized, allowed, commanded, requested, or tolerated the hazing, and any local or national director, trustee, or officer of said organization. Action may also be brought against any administrator, employee, of faculty member of the institution who knew or reasonably should have known of the hazing and did not make reasonable attempts to prevent it; If found liable, the educational institution may also be held liable.


Oklahoma

Last Updated: 11/17/2008

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 70-24-100.4 (2008), the School Bullying Prevention Act, requires each district board to adopt a policy for the control and discipline of all children attending a public school. The policy must  specifically prohibit threatening behavior, harrassment , intimidation and bullying by students at school and via electronic communication. The policy must also establish a procedure for reporting and investigation and reporting of incidents, address prevention and education, and establish procedures for referral to mental health care options. The Act requires the district board policy to allow a school to request the disclosure of any information concerning students that have received mental health care following a school referral, if there is a specific threat to the safety of students and/or personnel.

Statute 70-24-100.5 (2002) requires each Safe School Committee to study and make recommendations to the principal regarding student bullying and harassment at school and the professional development needs of faculty and staff.

Cyberbullying: Statute  70-24-100.3 (2008) includes acts of electronic communications its list of potential acts of "harassment, intimidation and bullying" in the school environment." "Electronic communication" is defined as the communication of any written, verbal, or pictoral information by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, a cellular telephone or other wireless telecommunication device, or a computer. A specific electonic communication does not need to originate at a school or with school equipment to be included under this policy if it is specifically directed at students or school personnel and contains harassment, intimidation or bullying.

Hazing: Statute 21-1190 (1995) states that no student organization or any person associated with any organization sanctioned or authorized by the governing board of any public or private school or institution of higher education in Oklahoma shall engage or participate in hazing. Any organization convicted of hazing, a misdemeanor, can be fined up to $1,500 and shall forfeit for a period no less than one year their rights and privileges of being an organization organized or operating at the public or private school. Any individual convicted of hazing can be imprisoned for up to 90 days and/or fined up to $500. Oklahoma's definition of hazing is laid out in subsection F here within.

 


Oregon

Last Updated: 11/9/2010

Bullying/Harassment: ORS 339.356 (2009) requires each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying and prohibiting cyberbullying. Policies must include definitions of harassment, intimidation, bullying and cyberbullying consistent with ORS 339.351 (2009), definition of "protected class" consistent with ORS 339.351 (2009), description of expected behavior, consequences and remedial action for those committing acts, uniform procedures for reporting, and uniform procedures for investigation, response to acts and requested review of response to a report. ORS 339.351 (2009) defines cyberbullying as the use of any electronic communication devised to harass, intimidate or bully."  It defines harassment, intimidation or bullying as any act that substantially interferes with a student's educational benefits, opportunities or performance, that takes place on or immediately adjacent to school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation or at any official school bus stop, and that has the effect of physically harming a student or damaging their property, or creating a hostile educational environment."

ORS 339.250 (2001) states that harassment of another student or a school employee is grounds for suspension or expulsion.

ORS 342.700 (1997) also requires school districts to adopt a policy on sexual harassment that meets the requirements under ORS 342.704 (1997) and have said policy posted in all grade 6-12 schools. The policy must prohibit all staff and students from participating in acts of sexual harassment, defined in detail in this statute.

Cyberbullying:  ORS 339.356 (2009) requires each school district to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying and prohibiting cyberbullying. Policies must include include definitions of harassment, intimidation, bullying and cyberbullying consistent with ORS 339.351 (2009), definition of "protected class" consistent with ORS 339.351 (2009), a description of expected behavior, consequences and remedial action for those committing acts, uniform procedures for reporting, and uniform procedures for investigation, response to acts and requested review of response to a report. ORS 339.351 (2001) defines cyberbullying as the use of any electronic communication devise to harass, intimidate or bully."  

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


Pennsylvania

Last Updated: 12/28/2011

Bullying/Harassment: H1067 (2008) requires each school to adopt or amend an existing policy on bullying and incorporate it into the school code of conduct. Bullying is defined as an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act or series of acts directed at another student or students which occurs in a school setting. The act is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the effect of substantially interfering with a students education, creating a threatening environment, or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school. "School setting" is defined as the school, school grounds, in school vehicles, at a school bus stop, or any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.

The policy must delineate disciplinary consequences for bullying and may provide prevention, intervention and education programs. A school may define bullying in such a way as to encompass acts that occur outside of a school setting if they meet the definitions of bullying outlined in the statute. The policy must identify the appropriate school staff person to receive reports of incidents of alleged bullying  and must be posted on the school's website and in every classroom, if possible.

CyberbullyingH1067 (2008) includes an "intentional electronic act" in its definition of bullying in the school setting and requires each school to adopt or amend an existing policy on bullying and incorporate it into the school code of conduct.

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


Rhode Island

Last Updated: 2/13/2013
Bullying/Harassment: In accordance with Statute 16-21-33 (2011) and Statute 16-21-34 (2011), any form or degree of bullying at school is prohibited.

The Rhode Island Statewide Bullying Policy (2011) was promulgated pursuant to the authority set forth in Statute 162134 of the General Laws of Rhode Island.  Known as the Safe School Act, the statute recognizes that the bullying of a student creates a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the student's health and negatively affect learning. Bullying undermines the safe learning environment that students need to achieve their full potential.  The purpose of the Policy is to ensure a consistent and unified statewide approach to the prohibition of bullying at school.  

Statute 16-21-33 (2011), the “Safe Schools Act” defines bullying, cyberbullying and “at school” and requires the state department of education to prescribe by regulation a statewide bullying policy. The policy applies to all public, approved private and collaborative schools. The policy must contain the following:
(1) Descriptions of and statements prohibiting bullying, cyber-bullying and retaliation at school, (2) Clear requirements and procedures for students, staff, parents, guardians and others to report bullying or retaliation
(3) A provision that reports of bullying or retaliation may be made anonymously with no disciplinary action against a student for reporting
(4) Clear procedures for prompt response and investigation of reports of bullying or retaliation, (5) The range of disciplinary actions that may be taken against a perpetrator for bullying or retaliation; balancing accountability with teaching appropriate behavior, along with a parental engagement strategy and a provision that states punishments for violations of the bullying policy shall be determined by the school’s appropriate authority (minimizing student suspension from school unless deemed a necessary consequence of the violations)
(6) Clear procedures for restoring a sense of safety for a victim assessing their needs for protection
(7) Strategies for protecting from bullying or retaliation a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying or witnesses or has reliable information about an act of bullying
(8) Procedures for promptly notifying the parents or guardians of a victim and a perpetrator, notification of preventative actions taken against future acts, and procedures for immediate notification of the local law enforcement agency when the criminal charges may be pursued against the perpetrator
(9) A provision that a student who knowingly makes a false accusation of bullying or retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action
(10) A strategy for providing counseling or referral to appropriate services currently being offered by schools or communities for perpetrators and victims and their families
(11) A provision that requires a principal or designee to be responsible for the implementation and oversight of the bullying policy;
(12) Provisions for informing parents and guardians about the district bullying policy, including a link on the district’s home page and annual distribution to parents and guardians and notification within 24 hours of the incident to parents or guardians of the victim and alleged perpetrator
(13) Immunity from a cause of action for damages for those reporting, in good faith, an act of bullying
(14) Prohibit accessing social networking sites at school, except for educational or instructional purposes and with the prior approval from school administration.

Cyberbullying
: Statute 16-21-33 (2011) defines cyberbullying as "bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which includes, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, texting or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Within the section of this law, it also includes (1) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person; (2) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author or posted content or messages the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of materials on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the creation, impersonation, or distribution results in any of the conditions enumerated in clauses. The statute requires the state department of education to adopt a statewide bullying policy that prohibits cyberbullying. Additional requirements of the policy are outlined under the Bullying/Harassment topic.

Hazing: Statute 11-21-2 (1956) makes hazing, defined in detail in Statute 11-21-1 (1909), a misdemeanor offense, punishable of up to a $500 fine and/or imprisonment from 30 days to one year.

South Carolina

Last Updated: 4/8/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Code 59-63-120 (2005) defines harassment, intimidation, or bullying "as a gesture, an electronic communication, or a written, verbal, physical or sexual act that is reasonably perceived to have the effect of (a) harming a student physically or emotionally or damaging a student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of personal harm or property damage; or (b) insulting or demeaning a student or group of students causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school."

Code 59-63-130 (2005), prohibits anyone from harassing, intimidating, and bullying another person.  In addition, the Code stipulates that a person may not engage in reprisal, retaliation or false accusation against a victim, witness, or one with reliable information about an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying."

Code 59-63-140 (2005) requires school districts to adopt policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying at school and encourages them to establish bullying prevention programs and other initiatives.  To assist school districts in this process, the State Board of Education developed a Model Policy Prohibiting Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying.

Code 59-63-150 (2005) states that school employee or volunteer who promptly reports an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying to the appropriate school official designated by the local school district's policy is immune from a cause from action for damages arising from failure to remedy a reported incident

The Codes cited above can be referenced in the Safe School Climate Act (2005).

H4758
(2008) allows a high school student who is the victim of physical abuse, harassment, or stalking by a classmate during school hours or otherwise resulting in a restraining order to transfer with the consent of the student's school district to another high school within or out of the district within thirty school days of the restraining order being violated, without any loss of eligibility to participate in interscholastic activities at the school to which the student transfers.

Cyberbullying: 
Code 59-63-120 (2005) defines harassment, intimidation, or bullying "as a gesture, an electronic communication, or a written, verbal, physical or sexual act that is reasonably perceived to have the effect of (a) harming a student physically or emotionally or damaging a student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of personal harm or property damage; or (b) insulting or demeaning a student or group of students causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school." With this definition, Code, 59-63-130 (2005) prohibits anyone from harassing, intimidating, and bullying another person.

Hazing
: Code 59-63-275 (no date available) prohibits hazing at all public educational institutions. Student violation of this code may result in dismissal, expulsion, suspension, or other punishment as deemed appropriate by the principal.


South Dakota

Last Updated: 4/6/2009

Bullying/Harassment: No state policy.

Cyberbullying: No state policy.

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


Tennessee

Last Updated: 9/29/2011

Bullying/Harassment: Code 49-6-1015 (2005) defines harassment, intimidation or bullying in the school setting.  Codes 49-6-1016 (2009) and 49-6-1017 (2005) require each local agency to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying.  Districts are required to include a definition of bullying, harassment, and intimidation, a statement prohibiting such acts, a description of the type of behavior constituting these acts, consequences and remedial action for harassment, intimidation, or bullying, and a procedure for reporting acts and conducting a prompt investigation.  Code 49-6-1018 (2005) prohibits retaliation or reprisal against a victim of or witness to or person with reliable information about an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.   Code 49-6-1019 (2005) encourages school districts to form harassment, intimidation or bullying prevention task forces, programs, and other initiatives. Districts are encouraged to include a definition of bullying, harassment, and intimidation, a statement prohibiting such acts, a description of the type of behavior constituting these acts, consequences and remedial action for harassment, intimidation, or bullying, and a procedure for reporting acts and conducting a prompt investigation.

Cyberbullying: Although not specific to the school environment, under Code 39-17-308 (2009), threatening by electronic communication to take action known to be unlawful by any person is a Class A misdemeanor.

Hazing: Code 49-2-120 (2001) requires each school to adopt a written policy prohibiting hazing by any student or organization operating under school sanction.  The policy shall be distributed or made available to each student at the beginning of each school year.  During the first month of each new school year, time shall be set aside to specifically discuss the policy and its ramifications as a criminal offense and the penalties that may be imposed by the LEA.


Texas

Last Updated: 9/22/2011

Bullying/Harassment: Education Code 27.0832 (2011) defines bullying and requires each board of trustees of each district to adopt a policy concerning bullying. The policy must (1) prohibit bullying and retalization against those providing information about a bullying incident, (2) establish procedures for providing notice of an incident to a  victim and bully's parent or guardian, (3) establish actions a student should take to obtain asistance and intervention in response to bullying, (4) outline counseling options for bullyies, victims and witnesses, (5) establish procedures for reporting and investigation of an incident, (5) prohibit disciplinary measures for a student who is found to be a victim of bullying acting in self-defense, and (6) require that bullying of a student with disabilities comply with IDEA requirements. The policy must be included in district handbooks and district improvement plans.

Education Code 37.083 (2011) defines bullying, harassment and "hit lists" and requires a districts to adopt and implement a discipline management program to be included in the district improvement plan. The program must provide for prevention of and education concerning unwanted physical or verbal aggression and sexual harassment in school, on school grounds and in school vehicldes. code of conduct to prohibit bullying, harassment and making hit lists. 

Education Code 37.083 (1995) allows schools to develop and implement a sexual harassment policy.  Education Code 37.0831 (2007) requires each school district to adopt and implement a dating violence policy.  The policy must include a definition of dating violence that includes the intentional use of physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse by a person to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control another person in a dating relationship.  It also must address safety planning, enforcement of protective orders, school-based alternatives to protective orders, training for staff, counseling and awareness education for students and parents.

Education Code 25.0342 (2011) allows a board of trustees of a school district to transfer a student who engaged in bullying to another classroom at the campus to which the bullying victim was assigned at the time the bullying occurred, or another campus in the district, in consultation with a parent or another person with authority to act on behalf of a student who is a victim of bullying (as defined in the code). In addition, the parent or person with authority may request to the board of trustees of a school district or the boards designee the transfer of a victim of bullying to another classroom at the campus or a different campus in the school district.

Education Code 37.123 (1995) prohibits disruptive activities on public or private school property, a Class B misdemeanor, which includes obstructing the passage of persons in a school building, with or without the use or threat of use of violence. Education Code  37.124 (1995) prohibits the disruption of classes, including preventing or attempting to prevent a student from attending class or a required school activity on or within 500 feet of school property. Violation of this policy is a Class C misdemeanor.

Cyberbullying: Education code 27.0832 (2011) includes "expression by electronic means" in the definition of bullying, occuring on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity or school-operated vehicle. Education Code 27.0832 (2011) defines bullying and requires each board of trustees of each district to adopt a policy concerning bullying.

Hazing: Education Code 37.152 (1995) prohibits the act, the encouragement, direction, or aiding, and the reckless permitting of hazing. If any of these lead to serious bodily injury, the offenders are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. If no serious injury occurs, the offenders are guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. If death results from the hazing, the offenders are guilty of a state jail felony. Also, if one has firsthand knowledge of the planning or occurrence of a hazing incident and fails to report it in writing to the appropriate school official, they are guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

Education Code 37.153 (1995) prohibits organizations from condoning, encouraging, or having its members participate or assist in hazing activities. Violation of this policy is a misdemeanor offense, punishable with fines between $5,000 and $10,000. If the hazing resulted in personal injury, property damage, or other loss, a fine of at least $5,000 and up to double the amount lost or expense incurred due to injury or loss is to be assessed.


Utah

Last Updated: 4/28/2012

Code 53A-11a-102 (2008) defines bullying in the school environment as intentionally knowing or committing an act that endangers the physical health or safety of a school employee or student, involves brutality of a physical nature, consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, involves phycial activity that endangers the physical health and safety of a school employee or student's freedom to move, or physically osbstructs a school employee or student's freedom to move. A "bullying" act is done for the purpose of placing a school employee or act in fear of physical harm or harm to their property, Code 53A-11a-201 prohibits bullying or hazing by a school employee or student on school property, a school related or sponsored event, a school bus, at a school bus stop, while the school employee or student is to or from a location or event described above. Code 53A-11a-301 (2008) requires each school board to adopt a bullying or hazing policy. The requirements of the policy are outlined in the statute. Code 53A-11a-301 (2008) requires the State Board of Education to develop a model policy on bullying, hazing and retaliation.

State Board of Education Policy R277-613-1 (2009) defines bullying as intentionally or knowingly committing an act that is done for the purpose of placing a school employee or student in fear of physical harm to the school employee or student or harm to property of the school employee or student. Acts of bullying may include (a) endangerment to the physical health or safety of a school employee or student, (b) any brutality of a physical nature  (c) placing of a harmful substance on the body, or exposure to the elements to a school employee or student, (d) forced or unwilling consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance by a school employee or student, (e) any forced or coerced act or activity of a sexual nature or with sexual connotations such as asking prospective or active team members to remove articles of clothing or expose or touch private areas of the body, (f) other physical activity that endangers the physical health and safety of a school employee or student; or (g) physically obstructing a school employee's or student's freedom to move.

State Board of Education Policy R277-613-1 (2009) requires each school district to implement a policy prohibiting bullying and hazing consistent with Code 53A-11a-301 (2008). It also requires policies to provide for an assessment of the prevalence of bullying in school districts, schools and charter schools, specifically locations where students are unsafe and additional adult supervision may be required, such as playgrounds, hallways and lunch areas.

R277-609 (2008) requires student assessments of the prevalence of bullying in schools to be conducted both at the district and the school and charter level. The policy also extends the requirements for anti-bullying awareness and intervention skills to include custodians, kitchen and lunchroom workers, and secretaries. 

SCR 1 (Resolution Encouraging School Boards to Adopt Policy Prohibiting Bullying) (2006) urges school districts to develop a program to identify and assist victims of bullying, harassment and intimidation, and educate those committing the acts. 

State Board of Education Policy R277-613-1 (2009) requires any student, employee or volunteer participating in a public school sponsored athletic program, both curricular and extracurricular club or activity, to participate in bullying and hazing prevention training. Refresher training is also required of all students and employees at least once every three years.

Code53A-11-904 (2003) allows the suspension of a student for behavior or threatened behavior that poses an immediate threat to the welfare, safety, or morals of other students or personnel.

Cyberbullying: State Board of Education Policy R277-613-1 (2009) defines cyberbullying as "the use of email, instant messaging, chat rooms, pagers, cell phones or other forms of information technology to deliberately harass, threaten, or intimidate someone for the purpose of placing a school employee or student in fear of  physical harm to the school employee or student or harm to property of the school employee or student. State Board of Education Policy R277-613-1 (2009) requires each school district to implement a policy prohibiting bullying and hazing consistent with Code 53A-11a-301 (2008).

Hazing:  Code 53A-11a-102 (2008) defines hazing in the school environment.  Code 53A-11a-201 prohibits hazing by a school employee or student on school property, a school related or sponsored event, a school bus, at a school bus stop, while the school employee or student is to or from a location or event described above. Code 53A-11a-301 (2008) requires each school board to adopt a bullying or hazing policy. The requirements of the policy are outlined in the statute. Code 53A-11-908 requires local boards of education, and recommends the State Board, adopt rules prohibiting hazing.  

State Board of Education Policy R277-613-1 defines hazing as "intentionally or knowingly committing an act that is done for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, holding office in, or as a condition for membership or acceptance, or continued membership or acceptance, in any school or sposored team, organization, program or event." Acts of hazing are outlined in the policy.  State Board of Education Policy R277-613-1 (2009) requires each school district to implement a policy prohibiting bullying and hazing consistent with Code 53A-11a-301 (2008).

 

Virginia

Last Updated: 5/23/2013

Bullying/Harassment: Code 22.1-279.6 (2012) requires the Board of Education to establish guidelines and develop model policies for codes of student conduct to aid local school boards in the implementation of such policies. The guidelines and model policies must include self-defense, bullying, the use of electronic means for purposes of bullying, harassment, and intimidation, and dissemination of such policies to students, their parents, and school personnel,  and standards for in-service training of school personnel in and examples of the appropriate management of student conduct and student offenses in violation of school board policies. School boards are required to adopt and revise regulations that are are consistent with, but may be more stringent than, the guildelines of the Board. Each school board must include in its code of conduct prohibitions against bullying, hazing and profane or obscene language or conduct.

Code 8.01-220.1:2 (2005) provides immunity from liability for school employees and volunteers from civil damages arising from reporting alleged acts of bullying or crimes against others, if the person in good faith promptly reports such acts or crimes to the appropriate school official incompliance with specified procedures.

Cyberbullying: Code 22.1-279.6 (2008) requires the Board of Education to establish guidelines and develop model policies for codes of student conduct to aid local school boards in the implementation of such policies. The guildelines and model policies must include standards for school board policies on the use of electronic means for the purposes of bullying, harassment and intimidation.

Hazing: Code 22.1-279.6 (2008) requires the Board of Education to establish guidelines and develop model policies for codes of student conduct to aid local school boards in the implementation of such policies. The guildelines and model policies must include standards for school board policies on hazing, and policies must cite Code 18.2-56, which defines and prohibits hazing and imposes a Class 1 misdemeanor for violations.


Vermont

Last Updated: 9/22/2011

Bullying/Harassment16 VSA 11 (2011) defines bullying and harassment in the school setting. The definition includes bullying or harassment that occurs during the school day on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity, or before or after the school day on a school bus or at a school-sponsored activity. In addition, it includes bullying or harassment that does not occur during the school day on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity and can be shown to pose a clear and substantial interference with another student's right to access educational programs.

16 VSA 1161(a) (2004) requires each school to adopt a plan for responding to student misbehavior including a description of behaviors on and off school grounds which constitute misconduct, including harassment, bullying, and hazing, as defined in 16 VSA 11 (2011).  Act 117 (2004) requires the commissioner of education to update and distribute a model school plan on student discipline.  The model plan must address the following:  (1) a prohibition against bullying, (2) enable anonymous reporting, (3) enable parents or guardians to file reports of suspected bullying, (4) require staff to report suspected incidents, (5) require administrators to investigate any reports, (6) include an intervention strategy for school staff to deal with bullying, (7) require parental notification of acts against students, (8) require data collection of reported and verified incidents.  The Model Bullying Prevention Plan (2004) can be found here.                   

16 VSA 565 states that bullying and harassment have no place and will not be tolerated in Vermont schools. Each school board must develop, adopt, ensure enforcement of, and make available harassment and hazing prevention policies.

Cyberbullying: The definition of bullying and hazing in 16 VSA 11 (2011) includes incidents and acts conducted by electronic means.

Hazing: 16 VSA 565 states that hazing has no place and will not be tolerated in Vermont schools. Each school board must develop, adopt, ensure enforcement of, and make available harassment and hazing prevention policies.


Washington

Last Updated: 10/6/2010

Bullying/Harassment: RCW 28A.300.285 (2010) requires each school district to adopt or amend a policy that prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any student. The policy must incorporate the revised model policy. Harassment, intimidation or bullying" is defined as any electronic, written, verbal or physical act that results in the following:  (1) Physically harms a student or damages their property, (2) Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's education, (3) Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment, or (4) Has the effect of substantially disrupting the operation of the school.  

RCW 28A.300.285 (2010)   requires each school district to designate one person in the district as the primary contact regarding the antiharassment, intimidation or bullying policy. The primary contact shall receive copies of all complaints, have responsibility for assuring the implementation of the policy and procedure, and serve as the priamry contact on the policy and procedures.

SB 5288 (2007) requires the state school directors association and the superintendent of public instructi
on to convene an advisory committee to develop a model policy prohibiting acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying that are conducted via electronic means by a student while on school grounds during the school day.  It also requires the state school directors association and the advisory committee to develop sample educational materials on safe internet use and options for reporting bullying via electronic means.

RCW 28A.640.020 (1994) requires the superintendent of public instruction to develop criteria for sexual harassment policies.  RCW 28A.600.480 (2002) prohibits in reprisal, retaliation or false accusation against a witness, victim or one with reliable information about an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying in the school environment.  It also provides immunity (from a cause of action for failure to remedy the incident) to a school employee, student or volunteer who promptly reports an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying. 

Cyberbullying: RCW 28A.300.285 (2002) requires each school district to adopt or amend a policy that prohibits harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any student. The definition of "harassment, intimidation or bullying" includes an electronic act  that (1) Physically harms a student or damages their property, (2) Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's education, (3) Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment, or (4) Has the effect of substantially disrupting the operation of the school. 

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


Wisconsin

Last Updated: 3/22/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 118.46 (2009) requires the Department of Education to develop a model school policy on bullying by pupils. The policy must include the following: (1) a definition and prohibition of bullying, (2) procedures for confidential reporting and investigation of reports (3) a requirement to investigate reported incidents, (4) a prohibition against a pupil retaliating against another pupil for reporting and incident of bullying, (5) disciplinary alternatives for pupils that engage in bullying or retaliates against a pupil reporting an incident, and (6) an identification of the school-related events, property and vehicles used for pupil transportation to which the policy applied. The statute requires each school board to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying by pupils. The school board may adopt the model policy.

Statute 118.13 (1997), which prohibits discrimination against students based on gender, race, religion national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability, has been interpreted through Code PI 9 (1986) to include a prohibition against harassment that substantially interferes with a pupil s school performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive school environment. Bullying behavior may fall under this definition.

Cyberbullying: No state policy.

Hazing: No specific state policy. However, Statute 118.13, which prohibits discrimination against students based on gender, race, religion national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability, has been interpreted through Code PI 9 to include a prohibition against harassment that substantially interferes with a pupil s school performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive school environment. Hazing behavior may fall under this definition.


West Virginia

Last Updated: 2/29/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Code 18-2C-3 (2001) requires each county board of education to establish a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment as defined in Code 18-2C-2 (2001).  The policy must include the following:  (1) a definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying no less inclusive than outlined in 18-2C-2 (2001), (2) reporting, investigating, documenting, and disciplinary procedures for bullying incidents, and (3) strategies for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation or bullying. Parents and legal guardians are also to be notified and the information relating to the incident must be confidential. Code 18-2C-4 (2001) provides immunity to a school employee, student or volunteer is immune from a cause of action from damages arising with reporting of an incident of bullying or harassment.

Code 18-2C-5 (2001) recommends schools and county boards form bullying and harassment prevention task forces. Furthermore, school districts are required to not only provide training on bullying policy to school employees and volunteers who have direct contact with students but also develop a process to educate students on bullying and harassment policy. Code 18-2-7b (no date available) requires the State Board prescribe programs for coordinating violence reduction efforts in schools. 

Board Policy 4373 (2011) sets forth the required code of conduct for all students in the state to ensure a nurturing and orderly, safe, drug-free, violence- and harassment-free learning environment. The rule details the disciplinary action and procedure to be taken against a student who bullies or harasses another, a Level 3 punishable offense.  The policy requires that acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying that are reasonably perceived as being motivated by an actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics, shall be reported using the following list: race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, sexual orientation, mental/physical/developmental/sensory disability or other characteristic. Detailed descriptions of each of these cases are provided in the policy. The policy Board Policy 4336 (2004) then extends this policy and outlines specific procedures for school buses and transportation.

Board Policy 2421 (1997) enacts regulations targeted at preventing racial, sexual, and religious/ethnic violence. The policy requires county boards to design and implement prevention and response programs, to outline investigatory and reporting procedures, and to delineate penalties and prohibits students, staff or members of the public from engaging in sexual, racial or ethnic/religious harassment or violence during any school-related activity or education sponsored event. 

Cyberbullying: Code 18-2C-3 (2001) includes electronic acts in the definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Board Policy 4373 (2011) further defines bullying to include "An electronic act, communication, transmission or threat includes but is not limited to one which is administered via telephone, wireless phone, computer, pager or any electronic or wireless device whatsoever, and includes but is not limited to transmission of any image or voice, email or text message using any such device.

Hazing: Code 18-2-33 (no date available) requires the State Board of Education to promulgate rules that addresses hazing in the public schools. Board Policy 4373 sets forth the required code of conduct for all students in the state. The rule details the disciplinary action and procedure to be taken against a student who hazes another, a Level III" offense. Hazing includes any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of another person or persons to destroy or remove public or private property for the purpose of initiation or continued membership in any organization or activity.


Wyoming

Last Updated: 3/31/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Code 21-4-312 (2009) defines harassment, intimidation and bullying "any intentional gesture, any intentional electronic communication or any intentional written, verbal or physical act initiated, occurring or received at school that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of: (A) Harming a student physically or emotionally, damaging a student's property or placing a student in reasonable fear of personal harm or property damage; (B) Insulting or demeaning a student or group of students causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school; or (C) Creating an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for a student or group of students through sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive behavior." It prohibits intimidation, harassment or bullying at school, or reprisal or retaliation against a victim, witness or person reporting information about an act. The definition of "school" is included in the statute.

Code 21-4-312 (2009) requires the Department of Education to develop a model policy. It also requires local school districts to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying, intimidation or harassment. Requirements of the policy include a definition of bullying, harassment and intimidation, consequences and remedial actions for those committing acts, procedures for reporting and documenting acts, a statement prohibiting reprisal or retaliation, strategies for protecting a victim from further harassment,

Cyberbullying: Code 21-4-312 (2009) includes "intentional electronic communications" in the definition of bullying, harassment and intimidation and prohibits such acts "school," which is further defined in the statute.

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.


Print Page

Click the Print button to print only the content portion of the page. The left menu area and top header will not be printed