HB 366

Session
Regular Session 2018
Title
Schools, student harassment, Student Harassment Prevention Act, name changed to Jamari Terrell Williams Act, expand act to include harassment of a student by another student, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence off of school property, cyberbullying, Secs. 16-28B-1 to 16-28B-5, inclusive, am'd.
Description

To amend Sections 16-28B-1, 16-28B-2, 16-28B-3, 16-28B-4, and 16-28B-5, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the prevention of student bullying; to include student against student bullying, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence off of school property; to redefine harassment as bullying; to specifically include cyberbullying in the definition of bullying; and to change the name of the act to the Jamari Terrell Williams Act.

Subjects
Harassment
View Original PDF: HB 366 - Engrossed - PDF

To amend Sections 16-28B-1, 16-28B-2, 16-28B-3, 16-28B-4, and 16-28B-5, Code of Alabama 1975, relating to the prevention of student bullying; to include student against student bullying, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence off of school property; to redefine harassment as bullying; to specifically include cyberbullying in the definition of bullying; and to change the name of the act to the Jamari Terrell Williams Act.

Section 1

Sections 16-28B-1, 16-28B-2, 16-28B-3, 16-28B-4, and 16-28B-5 of the Code of Alabama 1975, are amended to read as follows:

§16-28B-1.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Student Harassment Prevention Act Jamari Terrell Williams Act.

§16-28B-2.

It is the intent of the Legislature to provide for the adoption of policies in public school systems to prevent the harassment of students. It is the further intent of the Legislature that this chapter apply only to student against student harassment, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence in the public schools of Alabama, and between students while not on school property, in grades prekindergarten through 12, and that the State Department of Education develop, and each local board of education adopt procedural policies to manage and possibly prevent these acts against any student by another student or students based on the characteristics of a student.

Additionally, it is the intent of the Legislature that the filing of a complaint of harassment be in writing and submitted by the affected student, or the parent or guardian of the affected student, and not by an education employee on behalf of an affected student or his or her parent or guardian.

§16-28B-3.

The following terms have the following meanings:

(1) DEPARTMENT. The State Department of Education.

(2) HARASSMENT. A continuous pattern of intentional behavior that takes place on or off of school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function including, but not limited to, cyberbullying or written, electronic, verbal, or physical acts that are reasonably perceived as being motivated by any characteristic of a student, or by the association of a student with an individual who has a particular characteristic, if the characteristic falls into one of the categories of personal characteristics contained in the model policy adopted by the department or by a local board. To constitute harassment, a pattern of behavior may do any of the following:

a. Place a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property.

b. Have the effect of substantially interfering with the educational performance, opportunities, or benefits of a student.

c. Have the effect of substantially disrupting or interfering with the orderly operation of the school.

d. Have the effect of creating a hostile environment in the school, on or off of school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function.

e. Have the effect of being sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.

(3) HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT. The perception by an affected student or victim that the conduct of another student constitutes a threat of violence or harassment and that the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person, under the circumstances, would agree that the conduct constitutes harassment, threat of assault, or assault.

(4) LOCAL BOARD. A city or county board of education.

(5) SCHOOL. Each public school, grades prekindergarten through 12, the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, the Alabama High School of Mathematics and Science, and the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

(6) SCHOOL SYSTEM. The schools under the jurisdiction of a local board.

§16-28B-4.

(a) No student shall engage in or be subjected to harassment, intimidation, violence, or threats of violence on or off of school property, on a school bus, or at any school-sponsored function by any other student in his or her school system.

(b) No person shall engage in reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim, witness, or other person who has reliable information about an act of harassment, violence, or threat of violence.

(c) Any student, or parent or guardian of the student, who is the object of harassment may file a complaint outlining the details of the harassment, on a form authorized by the local board, and submit the form to the official designated by the local board to receive complaints at the school.

(d) Each school shall develop plans or programs, including, but not limited to, peer mediation teams, in an effort to encourage students to report and address incidents of harassment, violence, or threats of violence.

§16-28B-5.

The department shall develop a model policy prohibiting harassment, violence, and threats of violence on or off of school property, on a school bus, or at any school-sponsored function. The model policy, at a minimum, shall contain all of the following components:

(1) A statement prohibiting harassment, violence, and threats of violence.

(2) Definitions of the terms harassment, as provided in subdivision (2) of Section 16-28B-3, intimidation, and threats of violence.

(3) A description of the behavior expected of each student.

(4) A series of graduated consequences for any student who commits an act of intimidation, harassment, violence, or threats of violence. Punishment shall conform with applicable federal and state disability, antidiscrimination, and education laws and school discipline policies.

(5) A procedure for reporting an act of intimidation, threat of suicide, harassment, violence, or threat of violence. An anonymous report may not be the basis for imposing formal disciplinary action against a student.

(6) A procedure for the prompt investigation of reports of serious violations and complaints, specifying that the principal, or his or her designee, is the person responsible for the investigation.

(7) A response procedure for a school to follow upon confirmation of an incident of intimidation, harassment, violence, or threats of violence.

(8) A statement prohibiting reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of intimidation, violence, threat of violence, or harassment, including the consequences of and any appropriate remedial action that may be taken against a person who engages in such reprisal or retaliation.

(9) A statement of the consequences of and appropriate remedial action that may be taken against a person who has deliberately and recklessly falsely accused another.

(10) A procedure for publicizing local board policy, including providing notice that the policy applies to behavior occurring off of school property and to participation in school-sponsored functions.

(11) A clearly defined procedure for students to use in reporting harassment, including, but not limited to, written reports on local board approved complaint forms and written reports of instances of harassment, intimidation, violence, and threats of violence based on the personal characteristics of a student. The complaint form may be served in person or by mail on the principal, or his or her designee, or his or her office. The procedures shall be made known and be readily available to each student, employee, and the parent or guardian of each student. It is the sole responsibility of the affected student, or the parent or guardian of the affected student, to report incidences of harassment to the principal, or his or her designee.

(12) A procedure for promulgating rules to implement this chapter, including the development of a model student complaint form. The department shall seek public input in developing and revising the model policy, model complaint form, and any other necessary forms.

(13) A procedure for the development of a nonexhaustive list of the specific personal characteristics of a student which may often lead to harassment. Based upon experience, a local board of education may add, but not remove, characteristics from the list. The additional characteristics or perceived characteristics that cause harassment shall be identified by the local board on a case-by-case basis and added to the local board policy. The list shall be included in the code of conduct policy of each local board."

Section 2

This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.

No articles found.
Action Date Chamber Action
March 22, 2018HAssigned Act No. 2018-472.
March 22, 2018HForwarded to Governor on March 22, 2018 at 2:22 p.m. on March 22, 2018.
March 22, 2018HClerk of the House Certification
March 22, 2018SSignature Requested
March 22, 2018HEnrolled
March 22, 2018HPassed Second House
March 22, 2018SMotion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 1046
March 22, 2018SThird Reading Passed
March 20, 2018SRead for the second time and placed on the calendar
March 13, 2018SRead for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Education and Youth Affairs
March 8, 2018HCosponsors Added
March 8, 2018HEngrossed
March 8, 2018HMotion to Read a Third Time and Pass adopted Roll Call 677
March 8, 2018HMotion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 676
March 8, 2018HBaker 2nd Amendment Offered
March 8, 2018HMotion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 675
March 8, 2018HBaker 1st Amendment Offered
March 8, 2018HMotion to Adopt adopted Roll Call 674
March 8, 2018HEducation Policy Amendment Offered
March 8, 2018HHB366 Third Reading
February 22, 2018HRead for the second time and placed on the calendar 1 amendment
February 1, 2018HRead for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Education Policy
2018-03-22
Chamber: Senate
Result: Passed
2018-03-08
Chamber: House
Result: Passed
2018-03-08
Chamber: House
Result: Passed
2018-03-08
Chamber: House
Result: Passed
2018-03-08
Chamber: House
Result: Passed
2018-03-08
Chamber: House
Result: Passed