.The Senate Passed on
04/05/2007 05:32:10 PM, The House Passed on 04/26/07 - soon to be signed
by Gov. Ruth Ann Minner. This is the first Bully Police USA
standards A++ anti bullying law - Congratulations!
BILL NO. 7
SPONSOR: Rep. Spence & Rep. Manolakos & Sen.
DeLuca & Sen. Sokola;
Reps. Hudson, Maier, Schooley, Sens. Cloutier, Bunting, Peterson
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
144th GENERAL ASSEMBLY (2007)
HOUSE BILL NO. 7
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 14 OF THE DELAWARE CODE TO ESTABLISH THE SCHOOL
BULLYING PREVENTION ACT.
This Bill creates the School Bullying Prevention Act. The goals
of this Act is to provide a safer learning environment for students attending
public schools, including charter schools, in the State of Delaware and
for the staff members of those institutions.
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 Delaware Department of Education.
WHEREAS, the General Assembly recognizes that safe learning environments
are necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards;
WHEREAS, it is the intent of the General Assembly to provide
safe learning environments for all students; and
WHEREAS, the General Assembly further intends to create a safe
work environment for all public education employees.
NOW THEREFORE: BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE
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.
(a) Definition of bullying.
As used in this section, bullying means any intentional written,
electronic, verbal or physical act or actions against another person that
a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect
(1) Placing a person in reasonable fear of substantial harm
to his or her emotional or physical well-being or substantial damage to
his or her property.
(2) Creating a hostile, threatening, humiliating or abusive
educational environment due to the pervasiveness or persistence of actions
or due to a power differential between the bully and the target; or
(3) Interfering with a student having a safe school environment
that is necessary to facilitate educational performance, opportunities
or benefits; or
(4) Perpetuating bullying by inciting, soliciting or coercing
an individual or group to demean, dehumanize, embarrass or cause emotional,
psychological or physical harm to another person.
(b) Prohibition of bullying.
(1) Each school district and charter school shall prohibit bullying
and reprisal, retaliation or false accusation against a target, witness
or one with reliable information about an act of bullying.
(2) Each school district and charter school shall establish
a policy which, at a minimum, includes the following components:
(A) A statement prohibiting bullying of any person on school
property or at school functions or by use of data or computer software
that is accessed through a computer, computer system, computer network
or other electronic technology of a school district and charter school
from grades kindergarten through grade twelve. For purposes of this
section, school property and school functions have the same definition
as in § 4112 of this Title.
(B) A definition of bullying no less inclusive than that in
(a) of this section.
(C) Direction to develop a school-wide bullying prevention program.
(D) A requirement that each school establish a site-based committee
that is responsible for coordinating the school's bully prevention program
including the design, approval and monitoring of the program. A majority
of the members of the site-based committee shall be members of the school
professional staff, of which a majority shall be instructional staff.
The committee also shall contain representatives of the administrative
staff, support staff, student body (for school enrolling students in grades
7 through 12), parents and staff from the before- or after-school program(s).
These representatives shall be chosen by members of each respective group
except that representatives of the non-employee groups shall be appointed
by the school principal. The committee shall operate on a 1-person,
1-vote principle. In the event a site-based school discipline committee
has been established pursuant to § § 1605(7)(a) and (b), of Title
14 of the Delaware Code, that committee shall vote whether or not to accept
the aforementioned responsibilities.
(E) A requirement that any school employee that has reliable
information that would lead a reasonable person to suspect that a person
is a target of bullying shall immediately report it to the administration.
(F) A requirement that each school have a procedure for the
administration to promptly investigate in a timely manner and determine
whether bullying has occurred.
(G) A requirement that, to the extent that funding is available,
each school develop a plan for a system of supervision in non-classroom
areas. The plan shall provide for the review and exchange of information
regarding non-classroom areas.
(H) An identification of an appropriate range of consequences
(I) A procedure for a student and parent, guardian or relative
caregiver pursuant to § 202(f) of this Title or legal guardian to
provide information on bullying activity. However, this paragraph
does not permit formal disciplinary action solely based on an anonymous
(J) A requirement that a parent, guardian or relative caregiver
pursuant to § 202(f) of this Title or legal guardian of any target
of bullying or person who bullies another as defined herein, be notified.
(K) A requirement that all bullying incidents be reported to
the Department of Education within five (5) working days pursuant to Department
of Education regulations.
(L) A statement prohibiting retaliation following a report of
(M) A procedure for communication between school staff members
and medical professionals who are involved in treating students for bullying
(N) A requirement that the school bullying prevention program
be implemented throughout the year, and integrated with the school's discipline
policies and § 4112 of this Title.
(c) Dissemination of Policy and Accountability.
(1) Each school district and charter school shall adopt the
policy consistent with section (b) of this section and submit a copy to
the Delaware Department of Education by January 1, 2008.
(2) The policy shall appear in the student and staff handbook
and if no handbook is available, or it is not practical to reprint new
handbooks, a copy of the policy will be distributed annually to all students,
parents, faculty and staff.
(3) The policy shall be submitted to the Delaware Department
of Education by the first day of January each subsequent year.
The Department shall review such policy annually for compliance with State
and federal law and regulations promulgated by the Department of Education.
(4) The Delaware Department of Education shall prepare an annual
report, which shall include a summary of reported and substantiated incidences
(d) Duties of the Department of Education.
(1) The Delaware Department of Education shall collaborate with
the Delaware Department of Justice to develop a model policy, that may
change from time to time, that is applicable to kindergarten through grade
12, and post this policy on their websites in order to assist the school
districts and charter schools.
(2) Distribution of the Comprehensive School Discipline Improvement
Program funds to a school district and charter school provided in the General
Appropriations Act starting in Fiscal Year 2009 and thereafter is contingent
upon Department of Education approval of the school district's or charter
school's bullying prevention policy.
(3) To the extent that funding is available the State Department
of Education will provide for an award system for schools with exemplary
programs based on criteria promulgated by the Delaware Department of Education.
A school employee, school volunteer, student, parent, legal
guardian or relative caregiver pursuant to § 202(f) of this Title
is individually immune from a cause of action for damages arising from
reporting bullying in good faith and to the appropriate person or persons
using the procedures specified in the school district and charter school's
bullying prevention policy.
(f) Other Defenses.
(1) The physical location or time of access of a technology-related
incident is not a valid defense in any disciplinary action by the school
district and charter school initiated under this section provided there
is sufficient school nexus.
(2) This section does not apply to any person who uses data
or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system,
computer network or other electronic technology when acting within the
scope of his or her lawful employment or investigation a violation of this
section in accordance with school district or charter school policy.
(g) Relationship to School Crime Reporting Law.
An incident may meet the definition of bullying and also the
definition of a particular crime under State or federal law. Nothing
in this section or in the policies promulgated as a result thereof shall
prevent school officials from fulfilling all of the reporting requirements
of § 4112, Title 14 of the Delaware Code, or from reporting probable
crimes that occur on school property or at a school function which are
not required to be reported under that section. Nothing in this section
shall abrogate the reporting requirements for child abuse or sexual abuse
set forth in § 906 et seq. of Title 16 of the Delaware Code, or any
other reporting requirement under State or federal law.
(g) Rules and Regulations.
Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the Delaware
Department of Education may promulgate rules and regulations necessary
to implement this section.".