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State Breakdown of Laws Against Bullying and Peer Harassment

State Bill # Bill Summary Year

Arkansas

HB 1072 Includes cyberbullying in school district harassment prevention policies. 2007

California

AB 86 Specifies that bullying includes acts that constitute sexual harassment, hate, violence, or severe or pervasive intentional harassment, threats, or intimidation and that are committed personally or by means of an electronic communications or device system. 2008

Delaware

HB 7 This bill requires each school district and charter school to establish a policy on bullying prevention with certain minimal requirements including, but not limited to developing a bullying prevention program and reporting bullying to the Deleware Department of Education. Electronic communication is included in the definition of bullying. 2007

Florida

HB 669 Prohibits bullying or harassment during education programs or activities, on school buses, or through use of data or computer software accessed through school computer systems. 2008

Idaho

HB 750 States that no student shall intentionally commit, or conspire to commit, an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying against another student. Provides that an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying may also be committed through the use of a land line, car phone or wireless telephone or through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system or computer network. Provides that a student who personally violates any provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. 2006

Iowa

SF 61 Provides that school districts and accredited nonpublic schools shall adopt anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies. Defines "harassment" and "bullying" to mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on an actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets specified conditions. Requires districts and accredited nonpublic schools to develop and maintain a system to collect harassment and bullying incidence data and to integrate the policy into the comprehensive school improvement plan. 2007

Kansas

HB 2758 Adds cyberbullying to school district's policies that prohibit bullying at school. Cyberbullying is defined as bullying by use of any electronic communication device, including email, instant messaging, blogs, mobile phones and websites. 2008

Maryland

HB 199 Regards bullying, harassment, or intimidation as intentional conduct, including verbal, physical, or written conduct, or an intentional electronic communication, that: Creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student's educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student's physical or psychological well-being. 2008

Michigan

EO 46 Creates the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Advisory Board. EO 46 states that the Advisory Board shall establish and maintain accountability-based programs that are designed to enhance school safety. The programs may include research-based bullying, cyberbullying, and gang prevention programs. 2007

Minnesota

SB 646 Each school board shall adopt a written policy regarding intimidation and bullying in all forms, including, but not limited to, electronic forms and forms involving Internet use. 2007

Missouri

SB 818 This act requires school boards to have a written policy requiring school administrators to report crimes of harassment and stalking committed on school property to law enforcement. A person commits the crime of harassment if he or she knowingly frightens, intimidates, or causes emotional distress to another person by making a telephone call anonymously or by any electronic communication. 2008

Nebraska

LD 205 Each school district shall develop and adopt a policy concerning bullying prevention and education for all students. Bullying is defined 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, at a designated school bus stop, or at school-sponsored activities or school-sponsored athletic events. 2008

New Jersey

SB 993 Includes electronic communication in the definition of public school harassment, intimidation or bullying. The bill also defines electronic communication to mean a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer or pager. 2007

Okalahoma

SB 1941 Includes harmful electronic communication in the definition of bullying and requires school district boards of education to investigate allegations of bullying and intimidation. 2008

Oregon

HB 2673 Requires school districts to adopt policy prohibiting cyberbullying and adds cyberbullying to provisions relating to school district policies on harassment, intimidation or bullying. 2007

Pennslyvania

HB 1067 Defines bullying as as any intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, or a series of acts: (1) directed at another student or students, (2) which occurs in a school setting, (3) that is severe, persistent or pervasive, and (4) that has the effect of doing any of the following: (i) substantially interfering with a student's education, (ii) creating a threatening environment, or substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school, and "school setting" shall mean in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school. 2008

Rhode Island

SB 2012 Expands the definition of student discipline codes relating to harassment or bullying to include electronic communications; includes a computer, telephone, cellular telephone, text-messaging device and personal data assistance devices. 2008

South Carolina

HB 3573 Defines harassment, intimidation and bullying and requires school districts to adopt policies prohibiting this behavior. Bullying includes electronic communication and encourages schools and school districts to establish bullying prevention programs. 2006

Washington

SB 5288 Provides that each school district shall amend its harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention policy to include a section addressing acts of bullying, harassment, or intimidation that are conducted via electronic means. 2007

Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act

HR 1966 Amends the federal criminal code to impose criminal penalties on anyone who transmits in interstate or foreign commerce a communication intended to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to another person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior.

School and Family Education about the Internet (SAFE Internet) Act

S 1047 Authorizes the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance to make grants to eligible entities to carry out an age-appropriate, research-based Internet safety education program and other activities relating to Internet safety. Defines "eligible entity" as: (1) a local educational agency, a nonprofit organization, or a partnership between a state educational agency and one or more local educational agencies; or (2) a consortium of elementary schools or secondary schools collaborating with such an entity. Requires the Director, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Education and the

Adolescent Web Awareness Requires Education Act

HR 3630 AWARE Act, aims to dedicate $125 million in grants per year to develop Internet crime awareness and cybercrime prevention programs. This involves educating parents and children on how to protect themselves, support prevention initiatives, and develop public education campaigns to promote awareness of Internet crimes against children.
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