Act No. 241

Public Acts of 2011

Approved by the Governor

December 6, 2011

Filed with the Secretary of State

December 6, 2011

EFFECTIVE DATE: December 6, 2011

STATE OF MICHIGAN

96TH LEGISLATURE

REGULAR SESSION OF 2011

Introduced by Reps. Potvin, Bauer, Bledsoe, Brunner, Byrum, Callton, Clemente, Constan, Crawford, Darany, Durhal, Foster, Geiss, Haugh, Heise, Howze, Hughes, Lane, Liss, MacMaster, McCann, Nathan, O’Brien, Oakes, Olson, Olumba, Ouimet, Rendon, Rutledge, Roy Schmidt, Wayne Schmidt, Segal, Slavens, Smiley, Stallworth, Stanley, Stapleton, Talabi, Tyler, Womack and Zorn

ENROLLED HOUSE BILL No. 4163

AN ACT to amend 1976 PA 451, entitled “An act to provide a system of public instruction and elementary and secondary schools; to revise, consolidate, and clarify the laws relating to elementary and secondary education; to provide for the organization, regulation, and maintenance of schools, school districts, public school academies, intermediate school districts, and other public school entities; to prescribe rights, powers, duties, and privileges of schools, school districts, public school academies, intermediate school districts, and other public school entities; to provide for the regulation of school teachers and certain other school employees; to provide for school elections and to prescribe powers and duties with respect thereto; to provide for the levy and collection of taxes; to provide for the borrowing of money and issuance of bonds and other evidences of indebtedness; to establish a fund and provide for expenditures from that fund; to provide for and prescribe the powers and duties of certain state departments, the state board of education, and certain other boards and officials; to provide for licensure of boarding schools; to prescribe penalties; and to repeal acts and parts of acts,” (MCL 380.1 to 380.1852) by adding section 1310b.

The People of the State of Michigan enact:

Sec. 1310b. (1) Subject to subsection (3), 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 at school, as defined in this section.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), 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. Subject to subsection (3), 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) If, as of the effective date of 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 subsection (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 new 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 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 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 policies under 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.

(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.

(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) 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.

(8) 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, 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) “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.

(9) This section shall be known as “Matt’s Safe School Law”.

This act is ordered to take immediate effect.

Clerk of the House of Representatives

Secretary of the Senate

Approved

Governor