Statue RS 17:416.13 (2001) requires each local public school board to adopt and include into the student code of conduct a policy prohibiting the harassment, intimidation, and bullying of a student by another student.
Statue HB1259 (2010) defines cyber-bullying as the transmission of any electronic textual, visual, written, or oral communication with the malicious and willful intent to coerce, abuse, torment, or intimidate a person under the age of eighteen. “Electronic textual, visual, written, or oral communication” is defined as any communication of any kind made through the use of a computer online service, internet service, or any other means of electronic communication, including but not limited to a local bulletin board service, Internet chat room, electronic mail, or online messaging service. Although not specific to the school setting, the statute criminalizes cyberbullying, stating that whoever commits cyberbullying shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars, imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. If the offender is under the age of seventeen, the matter shall be governed exclusively by the provisions of Title VII of the Children’s Code.
Statue RS 17:183 (2004) prohibits hazing in public elementary and secondary schools. Each local public school board is required to develop, adopt, and post a policy to enforce the prohibition against hazing and to prevent occurrences. Minimum requirements of a policy are outlined in the statute.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Bullying can happen anywhere, but depending on the environment, some groups may be at an increased risk. Learn what factors increase the risk of children being bullied or children more likely to bully others and what warning signs can indicate that bullying may be happening. You can also find out how bullying can negatively impact kids.
No single factor puts a child at risk of being bullied or bulling others. Bullying can happen anywhere—cities, suburbs, or rural towns. Depending on the environment, some groups—such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) youth, youth with disabilities, and socially isolated youth—may be at an increased risk of being bullied.
There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying—either being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Not all children who are bullied or are bullying others ask for help.
Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern.
Schools and communities that respect diversity can help protect children against bullying behavior. However, when children perceived as different are not in supportive environments, they may be at a higher risk of being bullied. When working with kids from different groups—including LGBT youth and youth with disabilities or special health care needs—there are specific things you can do to prevent and address bullying.
Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy. Find out what you can do.
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. They can help kids understand bullying, keep the lines of communication open, encourage kids to do what they love, and model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn. The best way to address bullying is to stop it before it starts. There are a number of things school staff can do to make schools safer and prevent bullying.
Bullying can be prevented, especially when the power of a community is brought together. Community-wide strategies can help identify and support children who are bullied, redirect the behavior of children who bully, and change the attitudes of adults and youth who tolerate bullying behaviors in peer groups, schools, and communities.