SB-0137, As Passed Senate, November 2, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUBSTITUTE FOR

 

SENATE BILL NO. 137

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     A bill to amend 1976 PA 451, entitled

 

"The revised school code,"

 

(MCL 380.1 to 380.1852) by adding section 1310b.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 1310b. (1) Not later than 6 months after the effective

 

date of this section, 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 by pupils at school, as defined in this section.

 

     (2) Before adopting the policy required under subsection (1),

 

the board or board of directors shall hold at least 1 public

 

hearing on the proposed policy. This public hearing may be held as

 

part of a regular board meeting. Not later than 30 days after

 


adopting the policy, the board or board of directors shall submit a

 

copy of its policy to the department.

 

     (3) Not later than 1 year after the effective date of this

 

section, the department shall submit a report to the senate and

 

house standing committees on education summarizing the status of

 

the implementation of policies under this section.

 

     (4) A policy adopted pursuant to subsection (1) shall include

 

at least all of the following:

 

     (a) A statement prohibiting bullying of a pupil.

 

     (b) A statement prohibiting a false accusation of bullying.

 

     (c) 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.

 

     (d) 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.

 

     (e) The identification by job title of school officials

 

responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented.

 

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

 

The policy shall include at least a requirement that notice of the

 

policy be provided to parents, guardians, staff, volunteers, and

 

pupils annually, with age-appropriate language for pupils, and a

 

requirement that the policy be included in all pupil and employee

 

handbooks and posted on the school district's or public school's

 

website.

 

     (g) A procedure for providing notification to the parent or

 

legal guardian of a reported victim of bullying and the parent or

 


legal guardian of an alleged perpetrator of the bullying on the

 

same day as school officials become aware of the bullying. The

 

policy may provide that if the bullying occurs outside school

 

hours, this notification will be made on the next school day.

 

     (h) A statement that the policy applies 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.

 

     (i) A statement that the policy applies to conduct using a

 

telecommunications access device or telecommunications service

 

provider, regardless of whether the conduct occurs on or 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.

 

     (j) A procedure for reporting an act of bullying or a false

 

accusation of bullying.

 

     (k) A requirement that any school employee who has reliable

 

information that would lead a reasonable person to suspect that a

 

pupil is a target of bullying or to suspect a false accusation of

 

bullying shall immediately report it to the principal or the

 

principal's designee.

 

     (l) 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.

 

     (m) 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.

 

     (n) A description of possible consequences and appropriate

 

remedial action for a pupil who commits an act of bullying. This

 

portion of the policy shall include a provision that formal

 

disciplinary action shall not be taken solely on the basis of an

 

anonymous report.

 

     (o) A description of possible consequences and appropriate

 

remedial action for a pupil who is determined to have knowingly

 

made a false accusation of bullying against 1 or more other pupils.

 

The possible consequences and remedial action for a false

 

accusation of bullying shall be the same as for an act of bullying.

 

This portion of the policy shall include a provision that formal

 

disciplinary action shall not be taken solely on the basis of an

 

anonymous report.

 

     (p) A description of possible consequences and appropriate

 

remedial action for a pupil who is determined to have knowingly

 

falsely accused another as a means of retaliation or reprisal or as

 

a means of bullying.

 

     (q) A strategy for providing, as necessary, counseling or

 

referral to appropriate services, including guidance, academic

 

intervention, and protection, for targets of bullying, perpetrators

 

of bullying, other pupils, and appropriate family members involved

 

in or affected by bullying or a false accusation of bullying.

 

     (5) 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 periodic 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.

 

     (6) A school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or parent or

 

guardian who promptly reports in good faith an act of bullying or a

 

false accusation 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.

 

     (7) This section does not prevent a person from seeking any

 

other civil or criminal redress available under law.

 

     (8) This section does not abridge the rights under the First

 

Amendment of the constitution of the United States or under article

 

I of the state constitution of 1963 of a school employee, school

 


volunteer, pupil, or a pupil's parent or guardian. This section

 

does not prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief

 

or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil,

 

or a pupil's parent or guardian.

 

     (9) This section applies only to conduct by a pupil directed

 

at 1 or more other pupils and, except as expressly provided in this

 

section, does not apply to conduct by any other person, including,

 

but not limited to, a school employee, a school volunteer who is

 

not a pupil, or a pupil's parent or guardian.

 

     (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, by a pupil directed at 1 or more

 

other pupils 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) Substantially and 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.

 

     (iii) Having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a

 

pupil's physical or mental health or causing substantial emotional

 

distress.

 

     (iv) Causing substantial disruption in, or substantial

 

interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

 

     (c) "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 "Matt's Safe School Law".