A Watch-dog Organization - Advocating for Bullied Children
& Reporting on State Anti Bullying Laws
Synopsis: This law is weak on Community involvement and only "encourages" programs to deal with bullying, but, there is a a cyberbullying component and a very strong reporting and data requirement. There are no provisions for counseling victims of bullying. Overall, a good law - graded an A-
Senate File 61
Section 1. Section 280.12, subsection 2, Code 2007, is
amended by adding the following new paragraph:
Section 2. NEW SECTION. 280.28 HARASSMENT AND BULLYING PROHIBITED == POLICY == IMMUNITY.
1. PURPOSE == FINDINGS == POLICY. The state of Iowa is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. The general assembly finds that a safe and civil school environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve at high academic levels. Harassing and bullying behavior can seriously disrupt the ability of school employees to maintain a safe and civil environment, and the ability of students to learn and succeed. Therefore, it is the policy of the state of Iowa that school employees, volunteers, and students in Iowa schools shall not engage in harassing or bullying behavior.
2. DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this section, unless
the context otherwise requires:
3. POLICY. On or before September 1, 2007, the board
of directors of a school district and the authorities in charge of each
accredited nonpublic school shall adopt a policy declaring harassment and
bullying in schools, on school property, and at any school function, or
school=sponsored activity regardless of its location, in a manner consistent
with this section, as against state and school policy. The board
and the authorities shall make a copy of the policy available to all school
employees, volunteers, students, and parents or guardians and shall take
all appropriate steps to bring the policy against harassment and bullying
and the responsibilities set forth in the policy to the attention of school
employees, volunteers, students, and parents or guardians. Each policy
shall, at a minimum, include all of the following components:
4. PROGRAMS ENCOURAGED. The board of directors of
a school district and the authorities in charge of each accredited nonpublic
school are encouraged to establish programs designed to eliminate harassment
and bullying in schools. To the extent that funds are available for
these purposes, school districts and accredited nonpublic schools shall
do the following:
5. IMMUNITY. A school employee, volunteer, or student, or a student's parent or guardian who promptly, reasonably, and in good faith reports an incident of harassment or bullying, in compliance with the procedures in the policy adopted pursuant to this section, to the appropriate school official designated by the school district or accredited nonpublic school, shall be immune from civil or criminal liability relating to such report and to participation in any administrative or judicial proceeding resulting from or relating to the report.
6. COLLECTION REQUIREMENT. The board of directors of a school district and the authorities in charge of each nonpublic school shall develop and maintain a system to collect harassment and bullying incidence data.
7. INTEGRATION OF POLICY AND REPORTING. The board of directors of a school district and the authorities in charge of each nonpublic school shall integrate its antiharassment and antibullying policy into the comprehensive school improvement plan required under section 256.7, subsection 21, and shall report data collected under subsection 6, as specified by the department, to the local community.
8. EXISTING REMEDIES NOT AFFECTED. This section shall not be construed to preclude a victim from seeking administrative or legal remedies under any applicable provision of law.
John P. Kibbie - President of the Senate