Bullying Prevention Legislation
Bullying has deservedly received greater attention in recent years. The California Legislature has responded by passing new laws to address the epidemic.
Click here for California Anti-Bullying Laws and Policies.
AB 9: Seth's Law“Seth’s Law” went into effect in 2012 to strengthen existing state anti-bullying laws to help protect all California public school students. Seth’s Law requires public schools in California to update their anti-bullying policies and programs, and it focuses on protecting students who are bullied based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression, as well as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, disability,and religion.
What does AB 9 require?AB 9 requires that schools and districts:More information about AB 9 is available online and in this ACLU fact sheet.
- Adopt a strong anti-bullying policy that specifically spells out prohibited bases for bullying, including sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression.
- Adopt a specific process for receiving and investigating complaints of bullying, including a requirement that school personnel intervene if they witness bullying.
- Publicize the anti-bullying policy and complaint process, including posting the policy in all schools and offices.
- Post on the district website materials to support victims of bullying.
AB 1156AB 1156 also took effect in 2012 to encourage inclusion of policies an procedures aimed at the prevention of bullying and cyberbullying in comprehensive school safety plans. The law has two major components:
- AB 1156 makes it easier for victims of bullying to transfer to a new school district. At the request of a student's legal guardian, AB 1156 requires that student bullying victims be given priority for transfer to a new school district under existing interdistrict transfer agreements, or in the absence of an agreement, be given additional consideration for the creation of an interdistrict attendance agreement.
- AB 1156 requires schools address cyberbullying and respond to other types of harassment as bullying. The law defines bullying to mean any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by any means of an electronic act, and including one or more acts committed by a student or group of students directed toward one or more students that can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing a reasonable student or students in fear of harm to that student's or those students' personal property.
- Causing a reasonable student to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health.
- Causing a reasonable student to experience substantial interference with his or her academic performance.
- Causing a reasonable student to experience substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
- Defines an "electronic act" as "the transmission of a communication, including but not limited to, a message, text, sound, or image by means of an electronic devise, including but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telefpohone, or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager.
Last Modified on August 28, 2015