|There is a little story that goes with this new law.
In late Spring and Summer 2010, several people told me that Missouri passed
a law, John Halligan (a father who lost his son Ryan to "bullycide" in
Vermont), my older son Jacob (who is in law school) and Scott Perkins (The
Missouri Suicide Prevention Project) kept insisting that there was
a law. I kept searching the links they sent for the passage of this law
and couldn't find that the governor of Missouri had signed an anti bullying
law. I won't post a law as passed until I have proof. I had
made that mistake once before with Pennsylvania. It's embarassing
to post a law as passed and find out that the law died in a committee or
that the governor never signed the law and that it had died without passing
(Pennsylvania's law became official in 2007).
Thanks to all of those who made me keep searching for
Missouri's law. This law was pressed in between a bunch of other
statutes and very hard to find...but thankfully Missouri now has an anti
bullying law with 44 others states.
Just a note - the law is only a few paragraphs
long, but it is well written and covers enough of the grading system (grade)
to warrent an A-. It's missing some
important points, such as protections against lawsuits, help for victims,
or bullies, and a requirement for anti bullying programs. The good
news is that grades can go up, so, there is more that lawmakers can do
to improve this law in the future.
Get the entire HB 1543 by going to the PDF below:
HOUSE BILL NO. 1543
95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
3136L.10T - 2010
Be it enacted by the General
Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
160.775. 1. Every district shall adopt an antibullying policy by
September 1, 2007.
2. "Bullying" means intimidation or harassment that causes a reasonable
student to fear for his or her physical safety or property. Bullying may
consist of physical actions, including gestures, or oral, cyberbullying,
electronic, or written communication, and any threat of retaliation for
reporting of such acts.
3. Each district's antibullying policy shall be founded on the assumption
that all students need a safe learning environment. Policies shall treat
students equally and shall not contain specific lists of protected classes
of students who are to receive special treatment. Policies may include
age appropriate differences for schools based on the grade levels at the
school. Each such policy shall contain a statement of the consequences
4. Each district's antibullying policy shall require district employees
to report any instance of bullying of which the employee has firsthand
knowledge. The district policy shall address training of employees in the
requirements of the district policy.
Although 167.117 is not part of the official
anti-bullying law, I've posted it because it relates to bullying, via any
type of assault.
1. In any instance when any person is believed to have committed an act
which if committed by an adult would be assault in the first, second or
third degree, sexual assault, or deviate sexual assault against a pupil
or school employee, while on school property, including a school bus in
service on behalf of the district, or while involved in school activities,
the principal shall immediately report such incident to the appropriate
local law enforcement agency and to the superintendent, except in any instance
when any person is believed to have committed an act which if committed
by an adult would be assault in the third degree and a written agreement
as to the procedure for the reporting of such incidents of third degree
assault has been executed between the superintendent of the school district
and the appropriate local law enforcement agency, the principal shall report
such incident to the appropriate local law enforcement agency in accordance
with such agreement.
2. In any instance when a pupil is discovered to have on or about such
pupil's person, or among such pupil's possessions, or placed elsewhere
on the school premises, including but not limited to the school playground
or the school parking lot, on a school bus or at a school activity whether
on or off of school property any controlled substance as defined in section
195.010, RSMo, or any weapon as defined in subsection  6 of section
160.261, RSMo, in violation of school policy, the principal shall immediately
report such incident to the appropriate local law enforcement agency and
to the superintendent.
3. In any instance when a teacher becomes aware of an assault as set forth
in subsection 1 of this section or finds a pupil in possession of a weapon
or controlled substances as set forth in subsection 2 of this section,
the teacher shall immediately report such incident to the principal.
4. A school employee, superintendent or such person's designee who in good
faith provides information to law enforcement or juvenile authorities pursuant
to this section or section 160.261, RSMo, shall not be civilly liable for
providing such information.
5. Any school official responsible for reporting pursuant to this section
or section 160.261, RSMo, who willfully neglects or refuses to perform
this duty shall be subject to the penalty established pursuant to section
B. Because of the need to provide adequate funding to public schools, the
enactment of section 163.410 of section A of this act is deemed necessary
for the immediate preservation of the public health, welfare, peace and
safety, and is hereby declared to be an emergency act within the meaning
of the constitution, and the enactment of section 163.410 of section A
of this act shall be in full force and effect upon its passage and approval
or July 1, 2010, whichever occurs later.
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