Missouri State Senate

Introduced

SB 560 - This act modifies the requirements for school antibullying policies. The definition of "bullying" is modified to include discrimination and to include actions that substantially interfere with a student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits, or that substantially disrupt the orderly operation of the school. Bullying is prohibited by school employees or students on school property, at school functions, or on school buses. This act removes the requirement that school policies treat all students equally and not identify lists of protected classes of students. Instead, bullying that is based on certain characteristics or categories, as described in the act, is prohibited.

A school employee, student, or volunteer who has witnessed or has reliable information that a student or school employee has been subject to discrimination or harassment must report the incident to the appropriate school official.

School district policies must contain the following: a statement prohibiting bullying, including a definition of bullying, as described in the act; a statement requiring district employees to report an instance of bullying of which an employee has reliable information; a procedure for reporting an act of bullying, including anonymous reporting, as described in the act; a procedure for prompt investigations; how a school will respond to a confirmed incident of bullying; a statement prohibiting reprisal or retaliation against a person who reports an act of bullying; a statement of how the policy will be made public; a process for discussing the policy with students and training employees and volunteers; and a procedure for implementing and maintaining annual confidential surveys of students and school employees that measure their perception and experiences of harassment and discrimination.

The State Board of Education must develop model anti-bullying policies to assist school districts no later than September 1, 2015, and has authority to promulgate rules and regulations under this act.

This act is identical to HB 1820 (2014), SB 284 (2013), SB 799 (2012), SB 240 (2011), HB 460 (2011), SB 946 (2010) and is similar to HB 2232 (2014), HB 2233 (2014), HB 1049 (2012), HB 460 (2011), HB 273 (2011), HB 2036 (2010), SB 132 (2009), HB 1751 (2008) and provisions contained in HCS/SB 147 (2011).

MICHAEL RUFF

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