Rhode Island - Dating Violence Policy: Policy or Plan Requirements

Area: 
Policy Or Plan Requirements
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute
Summary: 

State law requires districts to adopt dating violence policies.

Rhode Island General Laws § 16-21-30. Dating violence policy.

(c) Each school district shall establish a specific policy to address incidents of dating violence involving students at school by December 1, 2008. Each school district shall verify compliance with the department of education on an annual basis through the annual school health report.

    1. Such policy shall include, but not be limited to, a statement that dating violence will not be tolerated, dating violence reporting procedures, guidelines to responding to at school incidents of dating violence and discipline procedures specific to such incidents.
    1. To ensure notice of the school district's dating violence policy, the policy shall be published in any school district policy and handbook that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and standards of conduct for students at school.
      d. Each school district shall provide dating violence training to all administrators, teachers, nurses and mental health staff at the middle and high school levels. Upon the recommendation of the administrator, other staff may be included or may attend the training on a volunteer basis. The dating violence training shall include, but not be limited to, basic principles of dating violence, warnings signs of dating violence and the school district's dating violence policy, to ensure that they are able to appropriately respond to incidents of dating violence at school. Thereafter, this training shall be provided yearly to all newly hired staff deemed appropriate to receive the training by the school's administration.
      e. Each school district shall inform the students' parents or legal guardians of the school district's dating violence policy. If requested, the school district shall provide the parents or legal guardians with the school district's dating violence policy and relevant information. It is strongly recommended that the school district provide parent awareness training.

Basic Education Program 200-RICR-20-10-1.3.2 Supportive and Nuturing School Community

B. Safe and Respectful Environment

    1. Each LEA shall build a safe and respectful learning environment by addressing the components described in 1.3.2(A) through (F) of this Part.

C. Freedom from Discrimination.

    1. Each LEA shall identify and remove barriers to students and adults that are based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, language, gender, religion, economic status, disability, or sexual orientation.
    1. Each LEA shall comply with all relevant state and federal statutes and regulations regarding discrimination.

D. Right to a Safe School.

    1. Each LEA shall ensure that students who are on school grounds before, during, and after school, during recess, and during other intermissions are appropriately supervised by adults.
    1. Each LEA shall follow state statute that states that each student and staff member has a right to attend or work at a school that is safe and secure, that is conducive to learning, and that is free from the threat, actual or implied, of physical harm.

E. Prevention of Bullying, Harassment, Hazing, Teen Dating Violence, and Sexual Violence.

    1. Each LEA shall:
      • a. Prevent and respond appropriately to incidents of bullying, hazing, teen dating violence, sexual violence, and related issues;
      • b. Promote nonviolent conflict resolution techniques in order to encourage attitudes and behaviors that foster harmonious relations;
      • c. Provide professional development, training, resources, and other means to assist students, staff, and other adults in the school building or at school sponsored activities in carrying out these responsibilities; and
      • d. Comply with relevant state and federal statutes regarding these issues.

F. Positive Behavioral Supports and Discipline.
Rhode Island Department of State


Rhode Island General Laws § 16-22-24. Dating violence education.

(a) Each school district shall incorporate dating violence education that is age-appropriate into the annual health curriculum framework for students in grades seven (7) through twelve (12).

  • (1) Dating violence education shall include, but not be limited to, defining dating violence, recognizing dating violence warning signs and characteristics of healthy relationships. Additionally, students shall be provided with the school district's dating violence policy as provided in subsection 16-21-30(c).
  • (2) For the purposes of this section:
    • (i) "Dating violence" means a pattern of behavior where one person uses threats of, or actually uses, physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse to control his or her dating partner.
    • (ii) "Dating partner" means any person involved in an intimate association with another primarily characterized by the expectation of affectionate involvement whether casual, serious or long-term.
    • (iii) "At school" means in a classroom, on or immediately adjacent to such school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, at an official school bus stop, or at any school sponsored activity or event whether or not it is on school grounds.
  • (3) To assist school districts in developing a dating violence education program, the department of education shall review and approve the grade level topics relating to dating violence and healthy relationships in the "health literacy for all students: the Rhode Island health education framework."
  • (4) The provisions of this section shall be amended in the health education curriculum sections of the Rhode Island rules and regulations for school health programs, R16-21-SCHO, and the Rhode Island basic education program at their next revisions.
  • (5) Upon written request to the school principal, a parent or legal guardian of a pupil less than eighteen (18) years of age, within a reasonable period of time after the request is made, shall be permitted to examine the dating violence education program instruction materials at the school in which his or her child is enrolled.

Rhode Island General Laws § 16-85-2. Legislative findings.

The general assembly hereby finds, determines and declares that when a student is a victim of dating violence, his or her academic life suffers and his or her safety at school is jeopardized. The general assembly therefore finds that a policy to create an environment free of dating violence shall be a part of each school district. It is the intent of the general assembly to enact legislation that would require each school district to establish a policy for responding to incidents of dating violence and to provide dating violence education to students, parents, staff, faculty and administrators, in order to prevent dating violence and to address incidents involving dating violence. All students have a right to work and study in a safe, supportive environment that is free from harassment, intimidation and violence.


Lindsay Ann Burke Act 12-22-24 Dating violence education.

Teen Dating Violence (grades 7 through 12): defining dating violence, recognizing dating violence warning signs and characteristics of healthy relationships, as stipulated in RIGL § 16-22-24, and as defined in these Regulations.
Additionally, students shall be provided with the school district's dating violence policy, as provided in § 37.3 of these Regulations and as provided in RIGL § 16-21-30(c).
Upon written request to the school principal, and within a reasonable period of time after the request is made, a parent or legal guardian of a pupil less than eighteen (18) years of age shall be permitted to examine the dating violence education program instruction materials at the school in which his/her child is enrolled;
Rhode Island Department of Education

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