In the latest status update on bullying, schools could now be held liable for students' Facebook and out-of-school harassment.
Education Department officials say legal action could be taken if schools don't address harassment and if it's determined they "reasonably should have known" about a student's conduct. This is the case even if the school was unaware of the bullying.
“Public schools have tremendous power and responsibility to protect students from bullying and harassment,” said Elizabeth Gill, Staff Attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union. “Better school procedures and policies to prevent and address bullying will make a safer environment for students who are suffering, and can even save lives.”
Firm, fair, and consistent enforcement of school discipline policies, meaningful school climate strategies which include anti-bullying initiatives, and balanced security measures can lead to school climates with less bullying and fewer safety threats to children. Anti-bullying legislation, typically an unfunded mandate requiring schools to have anti-bullying policies but providing no financial resources to improve school climate and security, offer more political hype than substance for helping school administrators address the problem. ( http://twitthis.com/7ybg44 ))
The House voted 248-96 to approve HB 370, which limits school involvement in bullying incidents that occur off school property, eliminates a superintendent’s waiver to inform parents about bullying incidents and eliminates a list of reasons that may trigger student bullying, including sexual orientation.
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