A Watch-dog Organization - Advocating for Bullied Children
& Reporting on State Anti Bullying Laws
|Submitted by Deb Landry, Bully Police-Maine Legislative
Liaison - Thanks Deb!
Maine's new law gets an A-...
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §1001, sub-§15, ¶A, as enacted by PL 1999, c. 351, §2, is amended to read:
1. The board of directors of each school district shall adopt and implement a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of all students. The policy shall, at a minimum, include or provide for all of the following: (covers point 1, 2 & 4 of the grading scale www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)
A. A definition of bullying and harassment. ‘bullying and harassment’ means an intentional written, verbal or physical act or threat of a physical act that, under the totality of circumstances: (covers point 3 of the grading scale www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)
A reasonable person should know will have the effect of: physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person, or placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to his or her property; or is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for a student. This includes actions that are based on any real or perceived characteristic, including, but not limited to, age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry. socioeconomic status, or familial status.
B. Professional development for all teachers and administrators to help them implement this policy: Schools will provide training on the school district’s or public school academy’s harassment, intimidation or bullying policies to school employees and volunteers who have significant contact with pupils. A school district or public school academy shall incorporate information regarding the school district’s or public or private school academy’s policy against harassment, intimidation or bullying into each school’s employee training program.
C. Develop process by which to evaluate on an ongoing basis improved school climate as it relates to bullying and harassment.
D. Develop a process for discussing the harassment, intimidation or bullying policy with pupils.
E. Monitoring and evaluation of the policy's effectiveness on an annual basis.(Evaluate/Assess) (covers point 11 of the grading scale www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)
F. Procedures for receiving and responding to complaints. (Protocols for staff, admin, teachers, parents)
G. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for violation of the policy, taking into account the pattern and severity of particular bullying and harassing behavior.
H. Public involvement in developing the policy and public notice of the policy. Public schools and school districts are encouraged to form bullying prevention task forces, programs and other initiatives involving school staff, pupils, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and community members. (covers point 5 of the grading scale www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)
I. Prohibition of reprisals or retaliation against any person who cooperates or assists in the investigation of bullying or harassing behavior. (covers point 8 of the grading scale www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)
J. Each school board shall develop procedures necessary to implement and administer this section. (1/2 point for #6 of the grading scale www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)
K. To assist school districts and public schools in developing policies for the prevention of harassment, intimidation or bullying, the department of education shall develop a model policy applicable to grades K-12. This model policy shall be issued no later than March 2006 and rolled out through the Maine School Management. (covers point 7 of the grading scale www.bullypolice.org/grade.html)
SUMMARY: This bill adds to the requirements for school boards' student codes of conduct by requiring school boards to adopt and annually review a policy prohibiting harassment of all students. The policy must include or provide for a definition of bullying and harassment which includes criteria set forth in the bill, effective prevention strategies, staff and administrator training, monitoring and evaluation of the policy's effectiveness, procedures for receiving and responding to complaints, consequences and remedial action, public notice of the policy, and a prohibition of reprisals or retaliation against anyone who cooperates or assists in the investigation of bullying or harassing behavior.