Permits individuals to sue schools under the state anti-bullying law.
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 off 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.
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, 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.
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