Summary: Cyberbullying is a fast-growing problem that affects about half of all teens. The Cyberbullying Prevention and Education Act requires school districts to train their staffs to recognize and deal with cyberbullying.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act shall be called the “Cyberbullying Prevention and Education Act.”
SECTION 2. PURPOSE
This law is enacted to protect the health and safety of schoolchildren.
SECTION 3. PROHIBIT CYBERBULLYING
After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:
(A) DEFINITIONS—For purposes of this section:
1) “Bullying means the repeated expression by one or more students of a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that:
a) causes physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property;
b) places the victim in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property;
c) creates a hostile environment at school for the victim;
d) infringes on the rights of the victim at school; or
e) materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
2) “Cyberbullying” means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, texting, email, Internet pages, instant messages or facsimile communications.
(B) PLANS TO STOP CYBERBULLYING
1) Each local educational agency shall adopt a plan for schools in the district which shall include a provision for ongoing professional development to build the skills of all staff members, including, but not limited to, educators, administrators, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities and paraprofessionals, to prevent, identify and respond to cyberbullying.
2) The content of professional development required under this section shall include, but not be limited to:
a) developmentally appropriate strategies to prevent bullying incidents;
b) developmentally appropriate strategies for immediate, effective interventions to stop bullying incidents;
c) information regarding the complex interaction and power differential that can take place between and among a perpetrator, victim and witnesses to the bullying;
d) research findings on bullying, including information about specific categories of students who have been shown to be particularly at risk for bullying in the school environment;
e) information on the incidence and nature of cyberbullying; and
f) Internet safety issues as they relate to cyberbullying.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This law shall become effective on July 1, 202X.