Public Act 11-232 takes steps to prevent bullying and to ensure that every child has the right to learn in public schools without the fear of teasing, humiliation or assault. Schools are required to: (1) adopt a clear policy against bullying behaviors; (2) train all school staff who interact with students on how to prevent bullying; (3) ensure that immediate action is taken whenever staff observes bullying or receives a report; and (4) gather data to access bullying in the school.
Further, the definition of “bullying” has been amended to add cyber-bullying, to clarify what constitutes bullying, and to eliminate the requirement that the bullying must exist during the school year only. The new definition includes enumerated categories to clarify that bullying includes acts based on actual or perceived characteristics of students.
If you have any questions related to education law in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.
Schools are required to take a number of steps to prevent bullying in the first place and, if it occurs, to address and curtail it. Each school board is required to have in place a plan, referred to as the “safe school climate plan,” to proactively address bullying. The plan must include, among other things, a process for students to anonymously report bullying and for parents or guardians to file a written report with the school regarding any incident of bullying they become aware of.
The safe school climate plan also requires school employees to orally report to a designated school employee called the “safe school climate specialist” any incident of bullying within one school day of becoming aware of it, and to file a written report within two days. The safe school climate specialist is required to review anonymous reports, and to promptly investigate any written reports of bullying. The school must report the number of verified instances of bullying to the State Commissioner of Education on an annual basis.
If you have any questions related to education law in Connecticut, please contact JosephC. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.