State Statutes

State Cyberbullying Laws

A Brief Review of State Cyberbullying Laws and Policies

Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D. and Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D. February 2012

Cyberbullying Research Center

www.cyberbullying.us

Alabama

The Alabama Student Harassment Prevention Act – HB 0216

PDF – http://www.BullyPolice.org/AL_law2009HB0216.pdf

Schools must develop policies to help with harassment, includes electronic forms of bullying; “punishment shall conform

with applicable federal and state disability, antidiscrimination, and education laws and school discipline policies.”

Alaska

House Bill 482 (2006): Sec. 14.33.200. Harassment, intimidation, and bullying policy. (a) By July 1, 2007, each school

district shall adopt a policy that prohibits the harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any student. The policy must also

include provisions for an appropriate punishment schedule up to and including expulsion and reporting of criminal ac-

tivity to local law enforcement authorities.

05-09-06: Passed the Legislature, to be transmitted to the Governor for signature.

Various statutes: http://www.olweus.org/public/laws_alaska.page

Does not have a cyberbullying statute, but ALASKA STAT. § 11.61.120 which is an anti-harassment statute defines harass-

ment as including by electronic means which threatens the physical well-being of another person.

(http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=20753)

Arizona

H.B. 2415 – (signed by Governor on April 19, 2011) Includes harassment, bullying, and intimidating with the use of elec-

tronic technology http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/50leg/1r/bills/hb2415h.pdf

H.B. 2368 (2005): requires school district governing boards to adopt and enforce procedures that prohibit the harass-

ment, bullying and intimidation of pupils on school grounds, school property, school buses, school bus stops and at

school sponsored events and activities

Arkansas

July 2011: cyberbullying crime law took effect: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2011/2011R/Acts/Act905.pdf.

Cyberbullying is a Class B misdemeanor.

Reference to off-campus behaviors:  Policies must prohibit bullying: “(B) (i) By an electronic act that results in the sub-

stantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment.” “(ii) This section shall apply to an

electronic act whether or not the electronic act originated on school property or with school equipment, if the electronic

act 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.”

(Ark. Code Ann. §6-18-514—http://www.arkdisabilityrights.org/doc/arcode/aca6-18-514.pdf).

H. B. 1072, 2007 Code §6-18-514(a) Anti-bullying Policies; now Act 115

http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2007/R/Acts/Act115.pdf;

http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/ArkansasCode/6/6-18-514.htm

Policies must state the consequences for engaging in the prohibited conduct, which may vary depending on the age or

grade of the student involved.

California

AB 9 “Seth’s Law” (2011) requires school policy and investigation processes (named after 13 year old Seth Walsh who

committed suicide after being harassed about sexual orientation and identity) (http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/text/354065)

AB 1156 (2011) expanded the definition of bullying and connected it to academic performance. Notes that bullying causes

a substantial disruption and detrimental effect on students. Encourages training for school officials.  Creates provisions

to remove victim from the “unhealthy setting.”

AB 746, signed into law July, 2011.  Language of the law includes student behaviors on social networking web sites:

“Under existing law, bullying, including bullying committed by means of an electronic act, as defined, is a ground on

which suspension or expulsion may be based.  This bill would specify that an electronic act for purposes of the act in-

cludes a post on a social network Internet Web site.”

SB 719 (Bullying Prevention for School Safety and Crime Reduction Act of 2003); Chapter 828.

2001 Cal. Stats., A.B. 79, Chap. 646 Requires the Department of Education to develop model policies on the prevention

of bullying and on conflict resolution, makes the model policies available to school districts and authorizes school dis-

tricts to adopt one or both policies for incorporation into the school safety plan.

PDF file: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/01-02/bill/asm/ab_0051-0100/ab_79_bill_20011010_chaptered.pdf

HTML file: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/01-02/bill/asm/ab_0051-0100/ab_79_bill_20011010_chaptered.html

A. B. 86, 2008 Code §32261 (g) Lieu. Pupil safety. Gives school officials grounds to suspend a pupil or recommend a pu-

pil for expulsion for bullying, including, but not limited to, bullying by electronic act.

Colorado

SB 01-080 policy:  http://www.bullypolice.org/co_02.pdf

“Colorado has no official anti bullying law.  Colorado State Lawmakers chose a “Legislative declaration” and creation of

Policy.  Policy can be as good as law.” – From bullypolice.

School Districts are required by law to adopt a written conduct and discipline code relating to the discipline, conduct,

safety and welfare of all students enrolled in the public schools of the District. Section 22-32-

109.1(2)(a)(I), C.R.S. (2000); “Safe School Plan.”  Must include “a specific policy concerning bullying prevention and ed-

ucation, including information related to the development and implementation of any bullying prevention programs.

Section 22-32-109.1(2)(a)(I) through (X), C.R.S. (2002).”

Criminal sanction: See pg. 32-33 of the above link

Defines that a policy must be made in schools about bullying and it is up to the school to decide the punishment. Does

not include electronic forms of punishment.

Connecticut

Signed by governor on 7-13-2011; “An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws”, or S.B. 1138).

“Cyberbullying” means any 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…” School policies must “include

provisions addressing bullying outside of the school setting if such bullying (A) creates a hostile environment at school

for the victim, (B) infringes on the rights of the victim at school, or (C) substantially disrupts the education process or the

orderly operation of a school…” http://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/TOB/S/2011SB-01138-R00-SB.htm

H.B. 5826 (2008): http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/ACT/PA/2008PA-00160-R00HB-05826-PA.htm

2002 Connecticut Public Act 2-119, SHB 5425; Statutes § 10-222d; defines a policy that Schools must adhere to for the

severity of bullying but does not clearly define punishments nor explain thoroughly what bullying means. http://

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/pub/Chap170.htm#Sec10-222d.htm

Delaware

HB NO. 7: An Act to amend Title 14 of the Delaware code to establish the School Bullying Prevention Act. http://

http://www.aacap.org/galleries/LegislativeAction/DE%20-%20anti-bullying%20bill.pdf 14 Delaware Code 4112(D) includes

bullying that is “…intentional written, electronic, verbal or physical act http://www.doe.k12.de.us/infosuites/

students_family/climate/files/Bully%20Prevention%20Law%20Outline.pdf

Section 1.  Amend Title 14 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new § 4123A to read as follows:

“§ 4123A.  School Bullying Prevention and Criminal Youth Gang Detection Training.

Section 2.  Amend Chapter 41, Title 14 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new § 4112D, to read as follows:

“§ 4112D.  School Bullying Prevention.

Nothing mentioned other than under (h) identify consequences must be met for bullying actions; up to the school to de-

cide punishment

Florida

H.B. 699 s. 1006.147: School Safety “Jeffrey Johnson Stand Up for All Students Act”: Consequences must be made clear

by the school district; http://www.myfloridahouse.com/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?

FileName=_h0669__.xml&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=0669&Session=2008

Georgia

Proposed: “The End to Cyberbullying  Act” – includes off campus and cyberbullying

http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20112012/110632.pdf

SB 250 (2010): http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/pdf/sb250.pdf: Students found bullying third time in school

year are sent to alternative school, requires that policies against bullying be posted in all middle and high schools, re-

quires that bullying policies be included in student and parent handbooks.

O.C.G.A. 20-2-751.4: “…by use of data or software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, computer net-

work, or other electronic technology of a local school system…”

1999 Georgia Laws, H.B. 84, Chap. 282 (O.C.G.A. § 20-2-751.4 and O.C.G.A. § 20-2-751.5.) Requires the implementation

of a character education program at all grade levels that is to include methods of discouraging bullying and violent acts

against fellow students.  Adds razor blade to the definition of weapon.

Hawaii

H.B. 688 (Signed July 11, 2011): http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2011/Bills/HB688_.HTM.  Includes cyberbully-

ing.

SB2094.DOC: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2010/bills/SB2094_.HTM. If any child of school age engages in

bullying or cyberbullying, the child, and the father, mother, or legal guardian, shall be fined not more than $100 for each

separate offense.

Idaho

H.B. 750, “Jared’s Law”: Student who personally violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor;

possible suspension or denial of school attendance; http://www3.state.id.us/oasis/2006/H0750.html

Illinois

January 1, 2012, H.B. 3281 “The board may suspend or by regulation authorize the superintendent of the district or the

principal, assistant principal, or dean of students of any school to suspend a student for a period not to exceed 10 school

days or may expel a student for a definite period of time not to exceed 2 calendar years, as determined on a case by

case basis, if (i) that student has been determined to have made an explicit threat on an Internet website against a school

employee, a student, or any school-related personnel, (ii) the Internet website through which the threat was made is a

site that was accessible within the school at the time the threat was made or was available to third parties who worked or

studied within the school grounds at the time the threat was made, and (iii) the threat could be reasonably interpreted as

threatening to the safety and security of the threatened individual because of his or her duties or employment status or

status as a student inside the school. The provisions of this subsection (d-5)apply in all school districts, including special

charter districts and districts organized under Article 34 of this Code.” (emphasis added)

2011 proposal references cyberbullying: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?Doc-

Name=&SessionId=84&GA=97&DocTypeId=HB&DocNum=1466&GAID=11&LegID=58226&SpecSess=0&Session=0

S.B. 3266 (2010) (105 ILCS 5/27-13.3, 5/27-23.7, 5/10-20.14); http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?

DocName=010500050HArt.+27&ActID=1005&ChapAct=105%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B5%

2F&ChapterID=17&ChapterName=SCHOOLS&SectionID=49363&SeqStart=145600000&SeqEnd=151900000&ActNam

e=School+Code.

“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 mem-

bers.” Violation of the provisions of the statute will result in a class B misdemeanor.” http://www.olweus.org/public/

laws_illinois.page

H.B. 6391: Beginning with the 2010-2011 school year, a school district must include in the age-appropriate curriculum

topics devices, including, but not limited to, the risks and consequences of dissemination and transmission of sexually

explicit images and video. The age-appropriate unit of instruction may be incorporated into the current courses of study

regularly taught in the district’s schools, as determined by the school board. Nothing about the actual penalty other than

it is up to the school.

Indiana

HB 1276: Amends the definition of “bullying” to include communications transmitted from an electronic communica-

tions device or through a social networking web site. http://www.indiana-asbo.org/pdf/2010-2%20_2_.pdf: page 49

Senate Enrolled Act No. 285: http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2005/PDF/SE/SE0285.1.pdf

IC 20-30-5.5; IC 20-33-8-0.2; IC 20-33-8-13.5; IC 5-2-10.1-2; IC 5-2-10.1-11.12

See also: http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title20/ar33/ch8.html

Iowa

S.F. 61, 2007 Code §280.28 Harassment and Bullying; http://www.eychanerfoundation.org/antibullying/

SenateFile61.pdf; Just describes that consequences must be enacted by the schools.

Kansas

H.B. 2310: defines bullying

H.B 2758, 2008 Statutes Annotated §72-8256: defines cyberbullying; up to schools to decide punishment; http://

http://www.kslegislature.org/bills/2008/2758.pdf

HB 370 includes cyberbullying: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/11rs/hb370.htm

Kentucky

525.080

Chapter 125, H.B. 91; 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 stu-

dent to suffer fear of physical harm, intimidation, humiliation, or embarrassment and which serves no purpose of legiti-

mate communication. Punishment is a Class B misdemeanor. http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statrev/ACTS2008/0125.pdf; Each

local board of education shall be responsible for formulating a code of acceptable behavior and discipline to apply to the

students in each school operated by the board.

Louisiana

H.B. 1259, Act 989 http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=723230: “Cyberbullying is the trans-

mission 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…whoever commits the crime of cyberbullying shall be

fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.”

H.B. 364, Act 230; http://www.legis.state.la.us/leg_docs/01RS/CVT1/OUT/0000IV8L.PDF

H.B. 1458; School board may charge fee to attend conflict resolution class/es, not to exceed $100

http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/byinst.asp?sessionid=10RS&billid=HB1458; Provides relative to cyberbullying and

student codes of conduct adopted by local school boards, not passed for all School before or by August, 1, 2010.

Reference to off-campus behaviors: “Cyberbullying (for purposes of writing each policy) means: harassment, intimida-

tion, or bullying of a student on school property by another student using a computer, mobile phone, or other interactive

or digital technology OR harassment, intimidation, or bullying of a student while off school property by another student

using any such means when the action or actions are intended to have an effect on the student when the student is on

school property.” (La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 14:40.7, 17:416.13—http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=81029)

Maine

“An Act to Prohibit Cyberbullying:” http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_124th/billpdfs/SP035501.pdf

P.L. 2005, Ch. 307: http://www.mainelegislature.org/ros/LOM/LOM122nd/8Pub301-350/Pub301-350-06.htm

Statute Title 20-A 1001.15H (2005): School officials must “establish procedures and policies to address bullying, harass-

ment, and sexual harassment” (http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/20-A/title20-Asec1001.html)

SP035501: Current law requires each school board to adopt a policy that addresses injurious hazing. This bill defines

“cyberbullying” as injurious hazing by any verbal, textual or graphic communication of any kind effected, created or

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. Punishment is up to the School Board.

Maryland

H.B. 199, 2008 Code §7-424, 7-424.1 Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation; http://mlis.state.md.us/2008rs/bills/hb/

hb0199e.pdf; Up to the schools to establish policy for punishment.

Massachusetts

CHAPTER 92 AN ACT RELATIVE TO BULLYING IN SCHOOLS. (see Senate, No. 2404) Approved by the Governor, May

3, 2010; Includes cyberbullying and addresses those behaviors that “materially and substantially disrupts the education

process or the orderly operation of the school.”  Includes behaviors that occur: “at a location, activity, function or pro-

gram 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.” http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2010/Chapter92

S.B. 261 (S2323); http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/186/st02pdf/st02283.pdf; Each school district, common-

wealth charter school and non-public school shall provide to all school staff annual written notice of the bullying preven-

tion and intervention plan.   The faculty and staff at each school shall be trained annually on the bullying prevention and

intervention plan applicable to the school. Relevant sections of the bullying prevention and intervention plan shall be in-

cluded in a district or school employee handbook. Define clearly what cyber bullying is and how severe it can be on

schools.

Michigan

Act 451 of 1976 (MCL 380.1 – 380.1852) by adding sec. 1310b: “Matt’s Safe School Law” or “Act 451” http://

legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?mcl-380-1310b

“‘Bullying’ means any written, verbal, or physical act, or any electronic communication, that is intended or that a reason-

able person would know is likely to harm 1 or more pupils either directly or indirectly…”

House Bill 6468 (2010): Crimes; other; cyberbullying; prohibit, and provide penalties. Amends 1931 PA 328 (MCL 750.1

– 750.568) by adding sec. 411w. (http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2009-2010/billintroduced/House/

htm/2010-HIB-6468.htm) (this law has not passed)

Minnesota

S.B. 646, 2007 Statutes §121A.0695; Includes electronic forms be incorporated into harassment prevention policies;

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=S0646.0.html&session=ls85

S.F. No. 971; https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=S0971.2.html&session=ls86

Mississippi

House Bill 552 makes impersonating someone for the purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding an-

other person (online or off) a misdemeanor (http://e-lobbyist.com/gaits/text/213626).  Signed by the governor on

March 11, 2011.

S.B.2015; passed July 2010; http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2010/pdf/SB/2001-2099/SB2015SG.pdf: “…

bullying or harassing behavior” is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic or verbal communications, or any physi-

cal 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, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus…”

S.B. 2390 (2001); “2001 Miss. Laws, S.B. 2390 – Directs the State Board of Education to develop a list of recommended

conflict resolution and peer mediation programs that address responsible decision making, the causes and effects of

school violence and harassment, cultural diversity, and nonviolent methods for resolving conflict, including peer media-

tion. Requires the board to make the list available to local school administrative units and school buildings by the begin-

ning of the 2002-2003 school year.”

Missouri

Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 160 (160.775) – http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C100-199/1600000775.HTM

“‘Bullying’ means intimidation or harassment that causes a reasonable student to fear for his or her physical safety or

property. Bullying may consist of physical actions, including gestures, or oral, cyberbullying, electronic, or written com-

munication, and any threat of retaliation for reporting of such acts.”

S.B. 818; http://www.senate.mo.gov/08info/pdf-bill/tat/SB818.pdf; “Currently, harassment is a Class A misdemeanor.

Under this act, it is a Class A misdemeanor unless 1) committed by a person twenty-one years of age or older against a

person seventeen years of age or younger; or 2) the person has previously committed the crime of harassment. In such

cases, harassment is a class D felony.”  http://www.senate.mo.gov/08info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?

SessionType=R&BillID=147

Montana

No law.

Nebraska

Proposed law (January 2011): Cyber-bullying as defined in section 79-2,137 shall constitute grounds for long-term sus-

pension, expulsion, or mandatory reassignment, subject to the procedural provisions of the Student Discipline Act, if

such conduct causes or is reasonably projected to cause a substantial or material disruption of the school environment

14 or threatens the safety and security of students or school personnel, regardless of whether such conduct occurs or is

initiated on or off of school grounds. http://nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/Current/PDF/Intro/LB123.pdf

L.B. 205, 2008: R.R.S. Nebraska 121A.069579-2,137; Grounds for long-term suspension, expulsion, or mandatory reas-

signment, subject to the procedural provisions of the Student Discipline Act, when such activity occurs on school

grounds, in a vehicle owned, leased, or contracted by a school being used for a school purpose or in a vehicle being driven

for a school purpose by a school employee or by his or her designee, or at a school-sponsored activity or athletic event

Nevada

S.B. 163 (chapter 188); “Cyber-bullying” means bullying through the use of electronic communication; “Electronic com-

munication” means the communication of any written, verbal or pictorial information through the use of an electronic

device, including, without limitation, a telephone, a cellular phone, a computer or any similar means of communication.

Section 7 of this bill requires each school district to adopt the policy for inclusion in its policy on the provision of a safe

and respectful learning environment; http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/75th2009/Bills/SB/SB163_EN.pdf; penalty of

misdemeanor. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-388.html#NRS388Sec123

New Hampshire

Took effect July 1, 2010

HB 1523 (2010); Update which revises the Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention Act. “The sole purpose of this chapter is

to protect all children from bullying and cyberbullying.” RSA 193-F:2 through RSA 193-F:5 are repealed and reenacted,

and 193-F: 6 through 193-F:10 added. Takes effect beginning July 1, 2010. http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/

legislation/2010/hb1523.html

The school board of each school district shall adopt a written policy prohibiting bullying, harassment, intimidation, and

cyberbullying. A school district shall involve, to the greatest extent practicable, pupils, parents, administrators, school

staff, school volunteers, community representatives, and local law enforcement agencies in the process of developing the

policy. To the extent possible, the school district policy should be integrated with the school’s curriculum, discipline poli-

cies, behavior programs, and other violence prevention efforts.

2000 N.H. Laws, S.B. 360; HB 1523; Creates the Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention Act.  Requires local school boards

to adopt a pupil safety and violence prevention policy that addresses bullying and provides technical assistance. Requires

school employees to report any information regarding bullying behavior to the school principal and provides immunity

to any school employee who makes such a report from any cause of action arising from a failure to remedy the reported

incident.

New Jersey

September 1, 2011; P.L.2010, CHAPTER 122; “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act.”   “Harassment, intimidation or bullying”

means any gesture, any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, whether it be a single incident

or a series of incidents …that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function [or] on a school bus, or off

school grounds that substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the school or the rights of other stu-

dents, http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2010/Bills/AL10/122_.PDF

S.B. 993, 2007: New Jersey Statutes §18A:37-14; Nothing said about the punishment other than it’s up to the School Dis-

trict and the “electronic Communication” is added to the policy of Harassment in Schools. Examples could range from

expulsion to detention; http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/PL07/129_.HTM; http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/

Bills/A4000/3803_R1.PDF

New Mexico

NMAC 6.12.7; Statutory regulation which has the force of law; http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmac/parts/

title06/06.012.0007.htm

New York

SENATE BILL – S 1987-B (A 3661-C): “Dignity for All Students Act” to afford all students in public schools an environ-

ment free of harassment and discrimination based on actual or perceived race, national origin, ethnic group, religion,

disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex; passed by the NY State Senate on June 22, 2010, signed by the governor on

September 8, 2010. “‘Harassment’ shall  mean the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, in-

timidation or abuse that  has  or  would have  the  effect  of  unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s

educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical well-being; or  conduct,  verbal

threats,  intimidation  or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his

or her physical safety; such conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse includes but  is  not  limited  to conduct, verbal

threats, intimidation or abuse based on a person’s actual  or  perceived  race,  color,  weight, national origin, ethnic

group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender  or sex.” Requires “instruction in civility, citizen-

ship and character education.”

Scheduled to take effect July 1, 2012.

H.B. A04028 (S 7158) – (PROPOSED): Increases penalty for some forms of hazing from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Adds provisions to education law which would prohibit “bullying and cyber-bullying on school property, including a

school function.” Establishes a class B misdemeanor of failure to report hazing and requires instruction to discourage

bullying and cyber-bullying in schools and polices for schools to be enacted. “‘Cyber-bullying’ means  a  course  of con-

duct or repeated acts of abusive behavior by  communicating  through  electronic  means,  with  a person  anonymously

or  otherwise over a period of time committing such acts as, but not limited to, taunting, insulting,  humiliating,  harass-

ing, menacing, sending hate mail or embarrassing photographs.” (http://m.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/A4028-2009)

“Law to Encourage the Acceptance of All Differences (LEAD)” proposal: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S4921

-2011; argues: “it is imperative that any legislation aimed at protecting students from bullying includes a prohibition of

acts of cyberbullying when such acts create a hostile environment for the student at school or materially and substantially

disrupt the educational process or the orderly operation of a school.” That said, the proposed law does not appear to in-

clude any specific language that would explicitly allow school intervention in behaviors that occur away from school.

Commissioner’s Regulation 100.2 (l) and Education Law 2801 and Education Law 2801-a: Requires each board of educa-

tion to adopt and enforce a code of conduct, which includes disciplinary measures to be taken in incidents involving the

use of physical force or harassment. 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 mecha-

nisms for school violence.

North Carolina

H.B.1261; Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of cyber-bullying, which offense shall be punishable as a

Class 1 misdemeanor if the defendant is 18 years of age or older at the time the offense is committed. If the defendant is

under the age of 18 at the time the offense is committed, the offense shall be punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor;

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/Sessions/2009/Bills/House/PDF/H1261v3.pdf

S.B. 526; http://www.bullypolice.org/NC_law2009.pdf

North Dakota

House Bill 1465 defines bullying and requires school districts to have bullying policies by July 1, 2012. http://

http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/62-2011/documents/11-8212-02000.pdf  “Bullying” means: a. Conduct that occurs in a pub-

lic school, on school district premises, in a district owned or leased schoolbus or school vehicle, or at any public school or

school district sanctioned or sponsored activity or event; b. Conduct that is received by a student while the student is in a

public school, on school district premises, in a district owned or leased schoolbus or school vehicle, or at any public

school or school district sanctioned or sponsored activity or event.  “Conduct” includes the use of technology or other

electronic media.

Code 12.1.17-07 (2009) makes harassment via phone, in writing or via electronic communication a Class A misdemeanor.

Ohio

H.B. 276 ; http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=126_HB_0276

S.B. 126 (pending); Require a board of education to adopt a policy that prohibits bullying by electronic means, to require

a school district’s harassment policy to address acts that occur off school property but materially disrupt the educational

environment of the school, to require a school district annually to provide training on the district’s bullying policy for dis-

trict employees and volunteers

Oklahoma

S.B.1941, 2008: 70 Oklahoma Statutes §24-100.3; Adopts a School Bullying Prevention Act that orders School Districts

to adopt a policy for Harassment and bullying that included electronic forms.; http://sde.state.ok.us/Schools/

SafeHealthy/pdf/SB1941.pdf

H.B. 2215/ S.B. 992 enact the Bully Prevention Act, define bullying; amend 70 O.S. 2001, Section 24-100

Oregon

H.B. 2637, 2007: Oregon Revised Statutes §339.351, §339.356; specifically defines Cyber bullying unlike many other

states. Does not have penalty other than up to the School District to decide, but an Act has been put into place that it is

making Schools have a policy; http://landru.leg.state.or.us/ors/339.html

http://www.leg.state.or.us/11reg/measures/hb2800.dir/hb2832.intro.html

Pennsylvania

H.B. 1067, 2008: 24 Pennsylvania Statutes §1303.1-A; requires school systems to develop policies prohibiting bullying,

including through electronic means. Also defines bullying as harassment with electronic means; http://

www. l egi s . s t at e. pa. us /CFDOCS/Legi s /PN/Publ i c/bt Check. cf m?

txtType=PDF&sessYr=2007&sessInd=0&billBody=H&billTyp=B&billNbr=1067&pn=4199

Rhode Island

S. 2012, 2008: General Laws §16-21-26; school districts adopt policies to determine how to deal with this bullying; repeat

offenders of the policy under Rhode Island general law will go to family court. http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText08/

SenateText08/S2012B.pdf

South Carolina

H.B. 3573, 2006: South Carolina Code §59-63-120, §59-63-140; Extends bullying to electronic means of communication.

Developed Safe School Climate Act which leaves it up to School Districts to decide the actions to take; http://

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess116_2005-2006/bills/3573.htm

South Dakota

No law.

Tennessee

S.B. 1621; http://www.bullypolice.org/TNSB1621.pdf

S.B.113; A misdemeanor (up to 1 year in prison and a $2,500 fine) for making threats made online as well as certain in-

stances of cyberharassment.

Texas

H.B. 1942 http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/82R/billtext/pdf/HB01942F.pdf#navpanes=0 Act applies beginning

with the 2012-2013 school year.  Schools must have a policy. “…‘bullying’ means…engaging in written or verbal expres-

sion, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on school property, at a school-sponsored or

school-related activity, or in a vehicle operated by the district.”  Nothing in the law about behaviors that occur away from

school or about substantial disruption to the learning environment.

H.B. 283; Tex. Educ. Code Ann 25.0342, 37.217, 37.001, 37.083; http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/pdf/

ED.37.pdf

Utah

SB 304 – signed March 22, 2001 (http://le.utah.gov/~2011/bills/sbillenr/sb0304.htm): (3) “‘Cyber-bullying” means us-

ing the Internet, a cell phone, or another device to send or post text, video, or an image with the intent or knowledge, or

with reckless disregard, that the text, video, or image will hurt, embarrass, or threaten an individual, regardless of wheth-

er the individual directed, consented to, or acquiesced in the conduct, or voluntarily accessed the electronic communica-

tion.”

HB325: Requires local school boards and local charter boards to adopt a policy, on or before September 1, 2009, for re-

porting and responding to bullying, hazing, or retaliation; http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE53A/

htm/53A11a010200.htm; http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE53A/htm/53A11a030100.htm

“State Board of Education Policy R277-613-1 (2009) defines Cyber Bullying as “the use of email, instant messaging, chat

rooms, pagers, cell phones or other forms of information technology to deliberately harass, threaten, or intimidate some-

one 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. The policy requires each school district to implement a policy pro-

hibiting bullying and hazing consistent with Code 53A-11a-301 (2008).”  http://www.olweus.org/public/laws_utah.page

Vermont

2004 Vermont Act 117; 16 V.S.A. § 11(a)(32); An Act was enabled in memory of Ryan Patrick Halligan who was severely

bullied electronically. The penalty is to have schools develop a plan to notify parents of bullying along with the victim and

expulsion may be a consequence. The law passed is called the Vermont Bully’s Prevention Law; http://

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/statutes/fullsection.cfm?Title=16&Chapter=001&Section=00011; http://www.leg.state.vt.us/

statutes/fullsection.cfm?Title=16&Chapter=009&Section=00565

Virginia

H.B.1624; Virginia must design a model policy for means of Harassment and others means of bullying including  stand-

ards, consistent with state, federal and case laws, for school board policies on alcohol and drugs, gang-related activity,

hazing, vandalism, trespassing, threats, search and seizure, disciplining of students with disabilities, intentional injury of

others, 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 (iii) 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; http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+22.1-279.6

Washington

S.B. 5288, 2007: Revised Code of Washington §28A.300.285; Adds cyber bullying to the Harassment and bullying Act

that Schools must have a policy for; terms of penalty are determined by the School; http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/

billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bills/Session%20Law%202010/2801-S.SL.pdf AN ACT Relating to including cyberbullying in

school district harassment prevention policies.

RCS 28A.300.285 http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=28A.300.285 “The Washington state school directors’

association, with the assistance of the office of the superintendent of public instruction, shall convene an advisory com-

mittee to develop a model policy prohibiting acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying that are conducted via elec-

tronic means by a student while on school grounds and during the school day. The policy shall include a requirement that

materials meant to educate parents and students about the seriousness of cyberbullying be disseminated to parents or

made available on the school district’s web site.”

West Virginia

2001 West Virginia Acts, H.B. 3023, Chap. 103 (W.Va. Code Ann.18-2C-3); http://www.legis.state.wv.us/

Bill_Text_HTML/2001_SESSIONS/RS/Bills/hb3023%20enr.htm;

“Synopsis – 2001 West Virginia Acts, H.B. 3023, Chap. 103  Requires county school boards to develop and adopt a policy

prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying on school property or at school-sponsored events.  Requires state board

of education to develop a model policy to assist county boards.  Requires policy to include definition, statement prohibit-

ing harassment, intimidation or bullying, reporting procedures, notification of parents, procedures for response and in-

vestigation, process for documentation of incidents, strategy for protecting victims from further harassment or bullying

after a report is made and a disciplinary procedure for students found guilty.”

Wisconsin

2009 Wisconsin Act 309 (SENATE BILL 154) (https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2009/related/acts/309).  School dis-

tricts need to adopt bullying policies by August 15, 2010.  Law does not include electronic forms of bullying nor does it

refer to off-campus bullying.

947.0125 Unlawful use of computerized communication systems; Class B misdemeanor; a fine up to $1,000, or impris-

onment for up to 90 days, or both for sending electronic threats or using lewd or profane language in electronic commu-

nication. (http://www.legis.state.wi.us/statutes/Stat0947.pdf)

Wyoming

H.B.0223 Safe School Climate Act; Orders the Safe School Climate Act that all School Districts must have a policy in re-

gard to the bullying (including electronically) and the punishments are the discretion of the Schools; http://

http://www.BullyPolice.org/WYHB0223.pdf

District of Columbia

DCMR 5-2405.5: http://os.dc.gov/os/frames.asp?doc=/os/lib/os/info/odai/title_5/24.pdf, DCMR 5-2503.2: http://

os.dc.gov/os/frames.asp?doc=/os/lib/os/info/odai/title_5/25.pdf

B18-0770 (proposed); Bullying includes electronic forms of communication. A policy would be sent in place that all

schools follow.

Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Florida Atlantic University and Justin W. Patchin, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  Together, they lecture across the United States and abroad on the causes and consequences of cyberbullying and offer comprehensive workshops for parents, teachers, counselors, mental health professionals, law enforcement, youth and others concerned with addressing and preventing online aggression.   The Cyberbullying Research Center is dedicated to providing up-to-date information about the nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying among adolescents.

For more information, visit http://www.cyberbullying.us

© 2012 Cyberbullying Research Center – Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patchin

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