BILL REQ. #: S-0438.1
|State of Washington||60th Legislature||2007 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/16/2007. Referred to Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.
AN ACT Relating to including cyberbullying in school district harassment prevention policies; and amending RCW 28A.300.285.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
Sec. 1 RCW 28A.300.285 and 2002 c 207 s 2 are each amended to
read as follows:
(1) By August 1, 2003, each school district shall adopt or amend if necessary a policy, within the scope of its authority, that prohibits the harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any student. It is the responsibility of each school district to share this policy with parents or guardians, students, volunteers, and school employees.
(2) "Harassment, intimidation, or bullying" means any intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by any characteristic in RCW 9A.36.080(3), or other distinguishing characteristics, when the intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act:
(a) Physically harms a student or damages the student's property; or
(b) Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's education; or
(c) Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
(d) Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
(3) The policy should be adopted or amended through a process that includes representation of parents or guardians, school employees, volunteers, students, administrators, and community representatives. It is recommended that each such policy emphasize positive character traits and values, including the importance of civil and respectful speech and conduct, and the responsibility of students to comply with the district's policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
(4) By August 1, 2002, the superintendent of public instruction, in consultation with representatives of parents, school personnel, and other interested parties, shall provide to school districts and educational service districts a model harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention policy and training materials on the components that should be included in any district policy. Training materials shall be disseminated in a variety of ways, including workshops and other staff developmental activities, and through the office of the superintendent of public instruction's web site, with a link to the safety center web page. On the web site:
(a) The office of the superintendent of public instruction shall post its model policy, recommended training materials, and instructional materials;
(b) The office of the superintendent of public instruction has the authority to update with new technologies access to this information in the safety center, to the extent resources are made available; and
(c) Individual school districts shall have direct access to the safety center web site to post a brief summary of their policies, programs, partnerships, vendors, and instructional and training materials, and to provide a link to the school district's web site for further information.
(5) By August 1, 2008, each school district shall amend its harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention policy to include a section addressing acts of bullying, harassment, or intimidation that are conducted via electronic means. The policy shall include a requirement that materials meant to educate parents and students about the seriousness of cyberbullying be disseminated to parents or made available on the school district's web site. The material shall include information on responsible and safe internet use as well as what options are available if a student is being bullied via electronic means, including but not limited to, reporting threats to local police and when to involve school officials, the internet service provider, or phone service provider. If a school district has internet use policies, the act of bullying, harassing, or intimidating another student via online means shall be included as a prohibited act and be subject to disciplinary action.
(6) As used in this section, "electronic" or "electronic means" means any communication where there is the transmission of information by wire, radio, optical cable, electromagnetic, or other similar means. "Electronic" and "electronic means" include, but are not limited to, communication via electronic mail, internet-based communications, pager service, cell phones, and electronic text messaging.