|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.
2010 - Georgia Updates with SB 250 - The law goes
from a solid B to an A++
Governor Sonny Perdue signed Senate Bill 250 into
law, which includes language authored by
State Representative Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) that
strengthens Georgia's anti bullying law.
Senate Bill 250
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
To amend Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code
of Georgia Annotated, relating to elementary and secondary education, so
as to revise provisions relating to unlawful disruption of or interference
with the operation of public schools or public school buses; to expand
the definition of "bullying"; to provide for legislative findings; to provide
that a student can be reassigned to another school for the purpose of separating
such student from his or her bullying victim; to direct the Department
of Education to develop a model policy regarding bullying; to provide that
a mental state of knowledge, intention, or recklessness shall be an element
of such offense; to provide for an effective date and for applicability;
to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
It is the intent of the General Assembly that the model policy regarding
bullying that is required to be promulgated by the Department of Education
under this Act shall be utilized as a resource for the benefit of local
school systems and shall not be used as a definition of the exclusive applicable
standard of care in any civil or administrative action.
Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating
to elementary and secondary education, is amended by revising Code Section
20-2-751.4, relating to policies prohibiting bullying, as follows:
(a) As used in this Code section, the term 'bullying' means an act
which occurs on school property, on school vehicles, at designated school
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 of a local school system, that
(1) Any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person,
when accompanied by an apparent present ability to do so; or
(2) Any intentional display of force such as would give the victim
reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm; or
(3) Any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, which a reasonable
person would perceive as being intended to threaten, harass, or intimidate,
(A) Causes another person substantial physical harm within the meaning
of Code Section 16-5-23.1 or visible bodily harm as such term is defined
in Code Section 16-5-23.1;
(B) Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's education;
(C) Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating
or threatening educational environment; or
(D) Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation
of the school.
(b) No later than August 1, 2011:
(1) Each local board of education shall adopt policies, applicable
to students in grades six through 12, that prohibit a policy that prohibits
bullying of a student by another student and shall require such prohibition
to be included in the student code of conduct for middle and high schools
in that school system.;
(2) Each local Local board policies policy shall require that, upon
a finding by the disciplinary hearing officer, panel, or tribunal of school
officials provided for in this subpart that a student in grades six through
12 has committed the offense of bullying for the third time in a school
year, such student shall be assigned to an alternative school.;
(3) Each local board of education shall establish and publish in its
local board policy a method to notify the parent, guardian, or other person
who has control or charge of a student upon a finding by a school administrator
that such student has committed an offense of bullying or is a victim of
(4) Each local board of education shall ensure that students and parents
of students are notified of the prohibition against bullying, and the penalties
for violating the prohibition, by posting such information at each middle
and high school and by including such information in student and parent
(c) No later than January 1, 2011, the Department of Education shall
develop a model policy regarding bullying, that may be revised from time
to time, and shall post such policy on its website in order to assist local
school systems. Such model policy shall include:
(1) A statement prohibiting bullying;
(2) A requirement that any teacher or other school employee who has
reliable information that would lead a reasonable person to suspect that
someone is a target of bullying shall immediately report it to the school
(3) A requirement that each school have a procedure for the school
administration to promptly investigate in a timely manner and determine
whether bullying has occurred;
(4) An age-appropriate range of consequences for bullying which shall
include, at minimum and without limitation, disciplinary action or counseling
as appropriate under the circumstances;
(5) A procedure for a teacher or other school employee, student, parent,
guardian, or other person who has control or charge of a student, either
anonymously or in such person's name, at such person's option, to report
or otherwise provide information on bullying activity;
(6) A statement prohibiting retaliation following a report of bullying;
(7) Provisions consistent with the requirements of subsection (b) of
this Code section.
(d) The Department of Education shall develop and post on its website
a list of entities and their contact information which produce antibullying
training programs and materials deemed appropriate by the department for
use in local school systems.
(e) Any person who reports an incident of bullying in good faith shall
be immune from civil liability for any damages caused by such reporting.
(f) Nothing in this Code section or in the model policy promulgated
by the Department of Education shall be construed to require a local board
of education to provide transportation to a student transferred to another
school as a result of a bullying incident.
(g) Any school system which is not in compliance with the requirements
of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be ineligible to receive state
funding pursuant to Code Sections 20-2-161 and 20-2-260."
Said chapter is further amended by revising Code Section 20-2-1181,
relating to unlawful disruption of or interference with the operation of
public schools or public school buses, as follows:
It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly, intentionally, or
recklessly disrupt or interfere with the operation of any public school,
public school bus, or public school bus stop as designated by local school
boards of education. Any person violating this Code section shall be guilty
of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature."
This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or
upon its becoming law without such approval. This Act shall apply with
respect to conduct on or after that date and conduct prior to that date
shall continue to be governed by prior law.
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.