Whether your child is being bullied or is accused or suspected of being a bully, it is important for parents to know what the bullying laws are in your state. When the bullying in question is cyber bullying, parents have other considerations to bear in mind.
Government website stopbullying.gov has a state-by-state listing of the relevant bullying laws and policies. Click through to find the details about your state.
As of this writing, only one state, Montana, has a bullying policy but no bullying law. Eight states have a bullying law, but no accompanying policy or implementation guidance for schools. Forty-one states have both an anti bullying law and an accompanying policy
For the most part, bullying laws incorporate harassment, bulling and intimidation behaviors, and the basis of the bullying can range from race and gender to sexual orientation and persons with disabilities. Guidelines vary from state to state.
The main purpose of the laws and guidelines are twofold; to keep children safe and to help schools develop a framework for implementing sound policies in a fair and thoughtful manner.
We encourage parents and students to speak up quickly should a student be involved in a bullying situation, either as the bully or the bullied. School can only act on the information that they possess.
In cases of cyber bullying, parents should keep in mind that even if the bullying has stopped, evidence of the bullying acts might stay on the internet indefinitely. Even after satisfying relevant bullying laws, internet taunts, slurs or threats can be viewed in a very negative light by a college admissions officer or future employer, so parents after taking corrective actions with their child should take steps to remove the negative content from the web.
Parents and school officials can contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.