Requires school principals to report the following student behavior to the school board: theft, destruction, or violence in a safe school zone, and any case of bullying or pornographic use of social media. These reports must be included in the school board minutes.
In 2000 the Legislature passed the Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention Act. The law requires each local school board to adopt a pupil safety and violence prevention policy which addresses bullying.
HB 1523, from the 2010 legislative session, revised the law to include incidents that occur off of school property, provided that "the conduct interferes with a pupil's educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operations of the school." Then-Gov. John Lynch signed the bill June 15, 2010.
A report released by the U.S. Department of Education in December 2011 compared New Hampshire's bullying law favorably to other states' laws. Nonetheless, some educators, parents and students believe the law isn't strict enough, while others argue the law is overreaching.
PROS & CONS
"Bullying should continue to encompass activities online and/or off school grounds."
- Cell phones and the internet have made the geographic location of bullying obsolete.
- Teachers aware of bullying off school grounds still have a duty to protect their students.
"Bullying should be limited to incidents that take place on school grounds."
- Schools should only be responsible for what happens on school grounds.
Requires a superintendent to give a monthly report of substantiated incidents of bullying to the school board.
Permits individuals to sue schools under the state anti-bullying law.
Reverses the expanded definition of bullying in the Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention Act.
Revises the New Hampshire bully law to include a clearer definition of bullying and cyber-bulling.
Was NH right to revise the Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention Act to hold schools responsible for activities online and/or off school grounds?
In October of last year, Gov. Chris Sununu held a workshop attended by legislators, school officials, parents and child advocates to discuss ways to address bullying in schools. The governor stated that the event was meant to serve as the first step in developing a comprehensive plan for addressing both in-person and online bullying.
This year there are two bills requiring that instances of bullying be reported to the school board. One of them has been killed.
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