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Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 30 of 2015

Senate: Adjourned until Wednesday, June 3, 2015 10:00:00 AM

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Section 380.1310b

THE REVISED SCHOOL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 451 of 1976


380.1310b Policy prohibiting bullying; adoption and implementation by board of school district or intermediate school district or board of directors of public school academy; public hearing; submission of policy to department; contents of policy; annual report of incidents of bullying; form and procedure; school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or parent or guardian reporting act of bullying to school official; modified policy; definitions; section to be known as "Matt Epling Safe School Law."

Sec. 1310b.

(1) The board of a school district or intermediate school district or board of directors of a public school academy shall adopt and implement a policy prohibiting bullying at school, as defined in this section.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), before adopting the policy required under subsection (1) or any modification to the policy, the board or board of directors shall hold at least 1 public hearing on the proposed policy or modification. This public hearing may be held as part of a regular board meeting. Subject to subsection (3), not later than 30 days after adopting or modifying the policy under subsection (1), the board or board of directors shall submit a copy of its policy to the department.

(3) If, as of the effective date of the 2014 amendments to this section, a school district, intermediate school district, or public school academy has already adopted and implemented an existing policy prohibiting bullying at school and that policy is in compliance with subsections (1) and (5), the board of the school district or intermediate school district or board of directors of the public school academy is not required to adopt and implement a modified policy under subsection (1). However, this subsection applies to a school district, intermediate school district, or public school academy described in this subsection only if the board or board of directors submits a copy of its policy to the department not later than 60 days after the effective date of the 2014 amendments to this section.

(4) Not later than 1 year after the deadline under subsection (2) for districts and public school academies to submit copies of their modified policies to the department, the department shall submit a report to the senate and house standing committees on education summarizing the status of the implementation of the modifications to policies required under the 2014 amendments to this section.

(5) A policy adopted pursuant to subsection (1) shall include at least all of the following:

(a) A statement prohibiting bullying of a pupil. Not later than 6 months after the effective date of the 2014 amendments to this section, this statement shall be modified as necessary to comply with the 2014 amendments to this section including, but not limited to, the inclusion of cyberbullying as a form of bullying.

(b) A statement prohibiting retaliation or false accusation against a target of bullying, a witness, or another person with reliable information about an act of bullying.

(c) A provision indicating that all pupils are protected under the policy and that bullying is equally prohibited without regard to its subject matter or motivating animus.

(d) The identification by job title of school officials responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented.

(e) A statement describing how the policy is to be publicized.

(f) A procedure for providing notification to the parent or legal guardian of a victim of bullying and the parent or legal guardian of a perpetrator of the bullying.

(g) A procedure for reporting an act of bullying.

(h) A procedure for prompt investigation of a report of violation of the policy or a related complaint, identifying either the principal or the principal's designee as the person responsible for the investigation.

(i) A procedure for each public school to document any prohibited incident that is reported and a procedure to report all verified incidents of bullying and the resulting consequences, including discipline and referrals, to the board of the school district or intermediate school district or board of directors of the public school academy on an annual basis.

(j) An assurance of confidentiality for an individual who reports an act of bullying and procedures to safeguard that confidentiality.

(6) The legislature encourages a board or board of directors to include all of the following in the policy required under this section:

(a) Provisions to form bullying prevention task forces, programs, teen courts, and other initiatives involving school staff, pupils, school clubs or other student groups, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement, community members, and other stakeholders.

(b) A requirement for annual training for administrators, school employees, and volunteers who have significant contact with pupils on preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying.

(c) A requirement for educational programs for pupils and parents on preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying and cyberbullying.

(7) The department shall establish a form and procedure for school districts and public school academies to report incidents of bullying to the department on an annual basis and shall make this information readily available to the public. A school district or public school academy shall report incidents of bullying to the department according to the form and procedures established by the department. The department shall ensure that the information collected and made available under this subsection does not include personally identifiable information about any individual who reports or is involved in a specific incident of bullying.

(8) A school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or parent or guardian who promptly reports in good faith an act of bullying to the appropriate school official designated in the school district's or public school academy's policy and who makes this report in compliance with the procedures set forth in the policy is immune from a cause of action for damages arising out of the reporting itself or any failure to remedy the reported incident. However, this immunity does not apply to a school official who is designated under subsection (5)(d), or who is responsible for remedying the bullying, when acting in that capacity.

(9) If the board of a school district or intermediate school district or board of directors of a public school academy amends or otherwise modifies its policy required under this subsection at any time after a copy of the policy was initially submitted to the department under subsection (2) or (3), the board or board of directors shall submit a copy of the modified policy to the department not later than 30 days after adopting the modification.

(10) As used in this section:

(a) "At school" means in a classroom, elsewhere on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, or at a school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises. "At school" includes conduct using a telecommunications access device or telecommunications service provider that occurs off school premises if the telecommunications access device or the telecommunications service provider is owned by or under the control of the school district or public school academy.

(b) "Bullying" means any written, verbal, or physical act, or any electronic communication, including, but not limited to, cyberbullying, that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm 1 or more pupils either directly or indirectly by doing any of the following:

(i) Substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of 1 or more pupils.

(ii) Adversely affecting the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school district's or public school's educational programs or activities by placing the pupil in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing substantial emotional distress.

(iii) Having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a pupil's physical or mental health.

(iv) Causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

(c) "Cyberbullying" means any electronic communication that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm 1 or more pupils either directly or indirectly by doing any of the following:

(i) Substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of 1 or more pupils.

(ii) Adversely affecting the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school district's or public school's educational programs or activities by placing the pupil in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing substantial emotional distress.

(iii) Having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a pupil's physical or mental health.

(iv) Causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

(d) "Telecommunications access device" and "telecommunications service provider" mean those terms as defined in section 219a of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.219a.

(11) This section shall be known as "The Matt Epling Safe School Law".


History: Add. 2011, Act 241, Imd. Eff. Dec. 6, 2011 ;-- Am. 2014, Act 478, Eff. Mar. 31, 2015
Popular Name: Act 451


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