MATT’S SAFE SCHOOL LAW

Zachary Christian EDL 725 Summer 2013

SECTION 380.1310B
This law was passed on December 6th, 2011. The first piece to this law was implementation of a bullying prevention model by all schools no later than 6 months from the passing date. Therefore, ALL SCHOOLS IN THE STATE should now have a policy on the books.  It is important to note that most schools already had a comprehensive policy on bullying.

IMPLEMENTATION

In order to meet state regulation, 1 public hearing must be held to implement the new bullying policy. A copy of the policy must be submitted to the MDE not later than 30 days after adopting the policy. A previous policy can be used if it is in compliance with Matt’s Law; a school is not required to make a new one if the existing one is adequate.

MANDATORY ITEMS IN POLICY
#1: “A statement prohibiting bullying of a pupil.”  #2: “A statement prohibiting retaliation or false accusation against a target of bullying, a witness, or another person with reliable information about an act of bullying.”  #3: “A provision indicating that all pupils are protected under the policy and that bullying is equally prohibited without regard to its subject matter or motivating animus.”  #4: “The identification by job title of school officials responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented.”

MANDATORY ITEMS (CONT)

#5: “A statement describing how the policy is to be publicized.”

#6: “A procedure for providing notification to the parent or legal guardian of the victim and the perpetrator of the bullying.”

#7: “A procedure for reporting an act of bullying.”  #8: “A procedure for prompt investigation of a report of violation of the policy.”  #9: “A procedure for the school to document any prohibited incident that is reported and all consequences that ensued.”

ENCOURAGED ITEMS (NOT MANDATORY)

Provision to form bullying prevention task forces. (most ISDs have these) Annual training for administrators and school employees to learn more about the prevention and identification of bullying “Provide educational programs for pupils and parents on preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying and cyberbullying.”

TERMS IMPORTANT TO LAW

“AT SCHOOL” means in a classroom, elsewhere on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, or at a school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises. Section 380.1310b

“AT SCHOOL” also includes conduct using a telecommunications access device or telecommunications service provider that occurs off school premises if the telecommunications access device or service is owned by or under the control of the school district or public school academy. Section 380.1310b

TERMS (CONT.)

“BULLYING” means any written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm 1 or more pupils either directly or indirectly by doing any of the following: Section 380.1310b Substantially interfering with educational opportunities benefits, or programs of 1 or more pupils. Section 380.1310b Adversely affecting the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school district’s programs by placing the pupil in reasonable fear or physical harm or emotional distress. Section 380.1310b

BULLYING DEFINITION (CONT.)

“Having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a pupil’s physical or mental health.” “Causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.”
“” are direct quotes from section 380.1310b of Act 451 of the Michigan Revised School Code.

ACTUAL LEGISLATION
Most of this information come directly for the bill itself, which can be found here:  http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(xuwx5355wtau1g45bazu oy45))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl380-1310b  A state model that districts can use is found here:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/SBE_Model_A ntiBullying_Policy_Revised_9.8_172355_7.pdf