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Chafee effort to stop bullying

Chafee effort to stop bullying

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Published by PolitiFactRI
Background on efforts to prevent bullying in Rhode Island schools, specifically against gay, lesbian and transgender students.
Background on efforts to prevent bullying in Rhode Island schools, specifically against gay, lesbian and transgender students.

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Published by: PolitiFactRI on Apr 13, 2012
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04/13/2012

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http://www.rilin.state.ri.uslNews/pr~pl.int.asp?pl.id=7480
4/12/2012
RhodeIslandGeneralAssembly>PrintPage1of1
CLOSE[Xl
PressReleases
7/5/2011
Governorsigns'Safe
schcots
Act;'RIDEdirectedtodevelopmodelpolicyoncyberbullyingprevention
STATEHOUSE-TheGeneralAssemblyapprovedandthegovernorhassignedlegislation-TheSafeSchoolsAct-directingtheRhodeIslandDepartmentofEducationtoestablishamodelpolicyoncyberbullyingprevention,ThenewlawdirectstheDepartmentofEducationtoprovideanage-appropriatemodelpolicyonbullyingpreventiontoensureaunified,statewidepolicythatfollowsRhodeIslandGenerallaws.Thatpolicy,underthelegislation,willincludeprohibitionsagainstbullying,cyberbullyingandretaliation;clearproceduresforstudents,staff,parents,guardiansandotherstoreportbullying;proceduresforrespondingtoandinvestigatingreportsofbullying,andarangeofdisciplinaryactionsthatmaybetakenagainstaperpetratorforbullying.Further,thebillrequiresthat,byJanuary1,2012,anyschooldistrictpolicyprohibitingharassment,intimidationorbullyingbeamendedtoincludeInternetandcyberspaceguidelines.Thoseguidelinesaretoprovidethat"nostudent,employee,facultyorstaffofapublicschoolshallpost,forwardorotherwisedisseminateanydata,documents,photos,Imagesorvideosorotherinformationusinganytechnologymedium,includingsocialnetworkingwebsltes,whichmightresultinadisruptionofclassroomactivityoftheeducationalprocess."Thelegislation(2011-S0732Aaa)/(2011-H5941Aaa)wassponsoredbySen.BeatriceA.Lanzi(D-Dlst.26,Cranston)andRep.DeborahRuggiero(D-Dist.74,Jamestown,Middletown).Thebillwasdevelopedbyaspeciallegislativecommissionthatspentmorethanayearstudyingtheissuesofcyberbullying,cyberthreats,bullyingandsexting.SenatorLanziandRepresentativeRuggieroservedonthatstudypanel."We'veallheardaboutitontelevisionandreadstoriesinthenews,moreandmoreofourchildrenarebeingvictimizedonline,"saidSenatorLanzi."Nolongerdoesthebullyingstopattheendoftheday.Infact,thebullyingcanevengetworseoncetheschooldayIsover.PassageofthislegislationanditsenactmentintolawwillbeahugefirststeptowardputtinganendtocyberbullyingInourschoolsasweworktoensureourlawsprovidechildrenwiththebestpossibleprotectionfromonlinebullies.
II
SaidRepresentativeRuggiero,"Weneedonestatewidepolicyonthisimportantissue,notthecurrent36differentpoliciesofeachschooldistrict.TheSafeSchoolsActwillhelpteachers,administrators,parentsandstudentsidentify,respondtoandinvestigateanincidentofbullyingandcyberbullying.Noparentshouldburyachildandcertainlynotbecauseof'bullvclda.'whichIsbullyingthatleadstosuicide."CommissionerofEducationDeborahGistcalledit"criticallegislationonanimportantissue.Wemustallstepinandstepuptomakeourschoolssafeplacesforgreatteachingandlearning."Formoreinformation,contact:RandallT.Szyba,Publicistrszyba@rilin.state.ri.usStateHouseRoom20Providence,RI02903(401)222-2457
LegislativePress
&
InformationBureau,R.E.StateHouse,Room20
 
2011
MM
S732SUBSTITUTEAASAMENDED
LC02200/SUB
A12
STATEOFRHODEISLAND
INGEJ'I.'ERALASSEMBLYJANUARYSESSION,A.D.2011ANACTRELATINGTOEDUCATION--SAfESCHOOLSIntl'OducedBy:SenatorsLanzi,Tassoni,PaivaWeed,Ciccone,andDiPalmaDateIntl'Oduced:March23,2011RefelTcdTo:SenateJudiciary
It
isenactedbytheGeneralAssemblyasfollows:SECTION
1.
Title.Thisactshallbeknownandmay
be
citedasthe"SafeSchoolAct."2SECTION2.findingsDffactandpurpose.3
(1)
Thegeneralassemblyrecognizesthatthebullvingofastudentcreatesaclimateof4fearanddisrespectthancanseriouslvimpairthestudent'shealthandnegativelvaffectlearning.5Bullvingundemlinesthesafelearningenvironmentthatstudentsneedtoachievetheirfull6potential.Anyfomlordegreeofbullvingatschoolisthereforeprohibited.7
(?)
Withinthiscontext.itisimportantthatallparticipantsfeelfreetoexpresstheir8thoughtsandideasinamannerthatdoesnotdisrupttheeducationalprocess,orcreate9unnecessarydistractionsto.oradverselyimpact.theinterocrsonalrelationshipsbetweenthe10students,facultyandstaff.IISECTION3.Chapter16-21oftileGeneralLawsentitled"HealthandSafetyofPupils"is12herebyamendedbyaddingtheretothefollowingsections:1316-21-33.Safeschoolsact.--
fa)
Definitions.--Asusedinthischapter:14
(I)
"Bullying"meanstheusebyoneormorestudentsofa
written,
verbalorelectronic15expressionoraphvsicalactorgestureoranycombinationthereofdirectedatastudentthat16
(i)
Causesphysicaloremotionalham)tothestudentordamagetothestudent'spmpelty;17
(in
Placesthestudentinreasonablefearofhanntohimselflherselforofdamageto18his/herproperty;19(iii)Createsanintimidating.threatening,hostile.orabusiveeducationalenvironmentfor
 
2
thestudent;2(iv)Infringesontherightsoflhestudenttopmticipateinschoolactivities:or3(v)Materiallyandsubstantiallydisruptstheeducationprocessortheorderlyoperationof4aschool.1heexpression,physicalactorgesturemayinclude.butisnotlimitedto.anincidentor5incidentsthatmaybereasonablyperceivedasbeingmotivatedbycharacteristicssuchasrace,6color.religion,ancestry.nationalorigin.gender.sexualorientation,genderidentityand7expressionormental,physical,orsensorydisability,intellectualabilityorbvanyother8distinguishingcharacteristic.9(2)"Cybcr-bullving"meansbullyingthroughtheuseoftechnologyoranyelectronic10comn1lUlication,whichshallinclude.butshallnotbelimitedto,anytransferofsigns.signals.
11
writing.images.sounds,data,textingorintelligenceofanynaturetransmittedinwholeorinpm
12
byawire,radio,electromagnetic,photoelectronicorphotoopticalsystem,including,butnot13limitedto,electronicmail,Internetcommunications,instantmessagesorfacsimile
14
communications.For))UlJJosesofthissection.cyber-bullyingshallalsoinclude:
15
(i)
Thecreationofawebpageorblogin,,,hichthecreator~ssumestheidentityof16anotherperson:
17
(m
TheknowingimpersonationofanotherperSOllastheauthorofpostedcontentor
18
messages:or
19
(iii)
Thedistribution
by
electronicmeansofacommunicationtomorethanoneperson
0]'
20thepostingofmaterialsonanelectronicmediumthatma\'beaccessedbyone
0]'
morepersons.if
21
thecreation.impersonation,ordistributionresultsinanvoftheconditionsenumeratedinclauses22
(i)
to
(v)ofthedefinitionofbullyingherein.23(3)"Atschool"meansonschoolpremises,atanyschool-sponsoredactivityorevent24whetherornotitisheldonschoolpremises.onaschooJ..transpOltationvehicle,atanofficial25schoolbusstop,usingpropertyorequipmentprovidedbytheschool,orcreatesamaterialand26substantialdisruptionoflheeducationprocessortheorderlvoperationoftheschool.27
16-21-34,Statewidebullyingpolicyimplemented.--
(a)TheRhodeIslanddepartment28ofeducationshallprescribe
by
regulationastatewidebull\'ingpolicy,ensuringaconsistentmId29unified,statewideapproachtotheprohibitionofbullyingatschooLThestatewidepolicyshall30applytoallschoolsthatareapprovedforthepUlvoseofsection16-9-1andshallcont'linthe
31
following:32
(I)
Descriptionsorandstatementsprohibitingbullying.cvber-bullyingandretaliationof33school;
34
(2)Clearrequirementsandproceduresforstudents,statT.parents.guardiansandothersto

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