Rhode Island - Bullying Policy Definitions: Policy or Plan Requirements

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

State law requires districts to adopt anti-bullying policies addressing some U.S. Department of Education-recommended policy requirements.

Safe School Act- Statewide Bullying Policy 200-RICR-30-10-2

2.2 Definitions.
A. "Bullying" means

    1. The use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof directed at a student that:
      • a. Causes physical or emotional harm to the student or damage to the student's property;
      • b. Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;
      • c. Creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or abusive educational environment for the student;
      • d. Infringes on the rights of the student to participate in school activities; or
      • e. Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

Safe School Act- Statewide Bullying Policy 200-RICR-30-10-2

  1. Bullying most often occurs as repeated behavior and often is not a single incident between the bullying/cyber‐ bullying offender(s) and the bullying victim(s).

B. Cyber-Bullying means

    1. Bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, texting or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.
    1. Forms of cyber-bullying may include but are not limited to:
      • a. The creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person;
      • b. The knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages; or
      • c. The distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of materials on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the creation, impersonation, or distribution results in any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (a) to (e) of the definition of bullying.

Rhode Island General Laws § 16-21-33. Safe schools act.

(a) Definitions. As used in this chapter:

  • (1) "Bullying" means the use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof directed at a student that:
    • (i) Causes physical or emotional harm to the student or damage to the student's property;
    • (ii) Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;
    • (iii) Creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or abusive educational environment for the student;
    • (iv) Infringes on the rights of the student to participate in school activities; or
    • (v) Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. The expression, physical act or gesture may include, but is not limited to, an incident or incidents that may be reasonably perceived as being motivated by characteristics such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or mental, physical, or sensory disability, intellectual ability or by any other distinguishing characteristic.
  • (2) "Cyber-bullying" means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, texting or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. * For purposes of this section, cyber-bullying shall also include:
    • (i) The creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person;
    • (ii) The knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages; or
    • (iii) The distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of materials on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the creation, impersonation, or distribution results in any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v) of the definition of bullying herein.
      Rhode Island General Assembly

Rhode Island General Laws § 16-21-34. Statewide bullying policy implemented.

(a) The Rhode Island department of education shall prescribe by regulation a statewide bullying policy, ensuring a consistent and unified, statewide approach to the prohibition of bullying at school. The statewide policy shall apply to all schools that are approved for the purpose of § 16-9-1 and shall contain the following:

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