as introduced - 83rd Legislature (2003 - 2004) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
|Introduction||Posted on 02/06/2003|
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to education; directing school boards to 1.3 adopt a policy prohibiting intimidation and bullying; 1.4 requiring school boards to make existing sexual, 1.5 religious, and racial harassment and violence policies 1.6 consistent with the policy prohibiting intimidation 1.7 and bullying; amending Minnesota Statutes 2002, 1.8 section 121A.03, subdivision 2; proposing coding for 1.9 new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 121A. 1.10 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.11 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 121A.03, 1.12 subdivision 2, is amended to read: 1.13 Subd. 2. [SEXUAL, RELIGIOUS, AND RACIAL HARASSMENT AND 1.14 VIOLENCE POLICY.] (a) A school board must adopt a written 1.15 sexual, religious, and racial harassment and sexual, religious, 1.16 and racial violence policy that conforms with sections 363.01 to 1.17 363.15. The policy shall apply to pupils, teachers, 1.18 administrators, and other school personnel, include reporting 1.19 procedures, and set forth disciplinary actions that will be 1.20 taken for violation of the policy. Disciplinary actions must 1.21 conform with collective bargaining agreements and sections 1.22 121A.41 to 121A.56. The policy must be conspicuously posted 1.23 throughout each school building, given to each district employee 1.24 and independent contractor at the time of entering into the 1.25 person's employment contract, and included in each school's 1.26 student handbook on school policies. Each school must develop a 1.27 process for discussing the school's sexual, religious, and 2.1 racial harassment and violence policy with students and school 2.2 employees. 2.3 (b) The policy adopted under paragraph (a) must be 2.4 consistent with the requirements for a policy prohibiting 2.5 intimidation and bullying under section 121A.032. 2.6 [EFFECTIVE DATE.] This section is effective for the 2.7 2003-2004 school year and later. 2.8 Sec. 2. [121A.032] [SCHOOL BOARD POLICY; PROHIBITING 2.9 INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING.] 2.10 Subdivision 1. [PURPOSE.] The legislature finds that a 2.11 safe and civil environment is needed for students to attain high 2.12 academic standards. Intimidation or bullying, like other 2.13 disruptive or violent behavior, is conduct that interferes with 2.14 students' ability to learn and teachers' ability to educate 2.15 students in a safe environment. 2.16 Subd. 2. [INTIMIDATION OR BULLYING DEFINED.] "Intimidation 2.17 or bullying" means conduct that substantially interferes with a 2.18 student's educational benefits, opportunities or performance 2.19 occurring on or near school grounds, at a school-sponsored 2.20 activity, on school-provided transportation, at any official 2.21 school bus stop, or on a student's walking route to or from 2.22 school. Intimidation or bullying includes an intentional 2.23 gesture or a written, verbal, or physical act or threat that a 2.24 reasonable person under the circumstances knows or should know 2.25 has the effect of: 2.26 (1) harming a student; 2.27 (2) damaging a student's property; 2.28 (3) placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or 2.29 her person; 2.30 (4) placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to his 2.31 or her property; or 2.32 (5) presenting a sufficiently severe, persistent, or 2.33 pervasive threat or action and creating an intimidating, 2.34 threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student. 2.35 Subd. 3. [BOARD INTIMIDATION OR BULLYING POLICY 2.36 REQUIRED.] (a) A school board must develop, with input from 3.1 parents or guardians, school employees, school volunteers, 3.2 students, and community members, and adopt a policy prohibiting 3.3 intimidation and bullying, consistent with the requirements of 3.4 this section. At a minimum, the policy must: 3.5 (1) prohibit the intimidating or bullying of any student; 3.6 (2) describe the behavior expected of each student; 3.7 (3) define intimidation or bullying; 3.8 (4) include a reporting procedure that permits a person to 3.9 report anonymously, but precludes formal disciplinary action 3.10 based solely on an anonymous report; 3.11 (5) require school personnel to report prohibited incidents 3.12 of which they are aware; 3.13 (6) state the consequences for and the appropriate remedial 3.14 action to be taken against a person acting to intimidate or 3.15 bully; 3.16 (7) require school officials to notify the parent or 3.17 guardian of a student involved in a prohibited incident and the 3.18 disciplinary action taken based on a confirmed report; 3.19 (8) include a procedure for documenting any prohibited 3.20 incident that is reported; 3.21 (9) include a procedure for responding to and promptly 3.22 investigating any reported incident, including designating 3.23 employees responsible for taking and investigating reports; 3.24 (10) indicate how the school district will respond after an 3.25 incident is reported, investigated, and confirmed; 3.26 (11) include a disciplinary procedure for any student found 3.27 to have harassed, intimidated, or bullied; 3.28 (12) prohibit retaliation for reporting in good faith 3.29 intimidation or bullying and retaliation against a victim of 3.30 intimidation or bullying when a report has been made; 3.31 (13) provide appropriate remedial action for a person who 3.32 falsely accuses another of intimidation or bullying as a 3.33 reprisal or retaliation or to intimidate or bully; 3.34 (14) make notice of the policy available throughout the 3.35 district; 3.36 (15) address intimidation or bullying that occurs on or 4.1 near school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on 4.2 school-provided transportation, at any official school bus stop, 4.3 or on a student's walking route to or from school; and 4.4 (16) keep confidential and exempt from disclosure the name 4.5 of the person reporting an incident under this section. 4.6 (b) A disciplinary action taken under this section must be 4.7 consistent with collective bargaining agreements and the Pupil 4.8 Fair Dismissal Act. 4.9 Subd. 4. [MODEL POLICY.] The department of children, 4.10 families, and learning must develop and make available to school 4.11 boards a model policy on intimidation and bullying, consistent 4.12 with the requirements of this section. The department of 4.13 children, families, and learning, at the request of a local 4.14 school board, must assist the school board in developing a 4.15 policy. 4.16 Subd. 5. [RETALIATION PROHIBITED.] (a) A school employee, 4.17 student, or volunteer must not engage in reprisal or retaliation 4.18 against a victim of, witness to, or person with reliable 4.19 information about an act of intimidation or bullying. 4.20 (b) A school employee, student, or volunteer who witnesses 4.21 or has reliable information that a student has been intimidated 4.22 or bullied must report to a school official designated in the 4.23 school board's policy under subdivision 3, clause (9). 4.24 Subd. 6. [IMMUNITY.] A school employee, student, or 4.25 volunteer, acting in good faith, is immune from liability for 4.26 damages arising from reporting intimidation or bullying to a 4.27 designated school official under this section. 4.28 Subd. 7. [POLICY, TRAINING, AND EDUCATION.] (a) School 4.29 districts are encouraged to form task forces to prevent 4.30 intimidation or bullying; organize programs; and develop other 4.31 initiatives involving school employees, students, 4.32 administrators, volunteers, parents, guardians, law enforcement, 4.33 and community representatives. School districts also are 4.34 encouraged to develop a process for regularly educating 4.35 students, employees, and volunteers about the district's 4.36 harassment, intimidation, and bullying policy. 5.1 (b) School officials must include information about the 5.2 school board policy against intimidation and bullying in all 5.3 current employee training programs. 5.4 (c) A school board must provide at least annual notice of 5.5 its intimidation and bullying policy in student handbooks and in 5.6 other publications that establish the parameters of student 5.7 conduct. 5.8 Subd. 8. [LEGAL RECOURSE.] Except as provided under 5.9 subdivision 6, nothing in this section prohibits a victim from 5.10 bringing an action under any other applicable provision of civil 5.11 or criminal law. 5.12 [EFFECTIVE DATE.] This section is effective for the 5.13 2003-2004 school year and later.