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 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.
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.
It also encourages reporting of any harassment incidences to the appropriate school official.
Statute (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. 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.
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.
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).