A Watch-dog Organization - Advocating for Bullied Children
& Reporting on State Anti Bullying Laws
 
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++

GEORGIA

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

AS PASSED
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

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:

SECTION 1.
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.

SECTION 2.
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:
"20-2-751.4.
(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 is:
(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, that:
(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 bullying; and
(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 handbooks.
(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 principal;
(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; and
(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."

SECTION 3.
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:
"20-2-1181.
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."

SECTION 4.
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.

SECTION 5.
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed. 

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