State law requires districts to adopt anti-bullying policies addressing some U.S. Department of Education-recommended policy requirements.
17 V.I.C. § 780 Purpose
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the creation of a bullying prevention, gang resistance education and training program.
17 V.I.C. § 781 Legislative findings; intent
(a) The Legislature finds that bullying has a negative effect on the social environment of schools, creates a climate of fear among students, inhibits their ability to learn, and leads to other antisocial behavior:
- (1) Sexual, discrimination due to sexual orientation; and
- (2) Harassment.
(b) Bullying behavior has been linked to other forms of antisocial behavior, such as: vandalism, shoplifting, truancy and non-completion of school, fighting, using drugs and alcohol, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.
(c) The Legislature further finds that the number of youth delinquent gangs continues to rise on a territory-wide basis. Given the higher rates of criminal offenses by gang members, as well as the availability of increasingly lethal weapons, the spiraling level of criminal activity by gang members has taken on greater importance for law enforcement agencies, schools, the community, and prevention efforts.
17 V.I.C. § 782 Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(a) “Board” means the Virgin Islands Board of Education;
(b) “Bullying prevention” includes but is not limited to instruction in the prevention and strategies for student-centered problem solving all of the following:
(2) Student victimization;
(3) Sexual harassment;
(4) Sexual violence;
(5) Sexual, discrimination due to sexual orientation; and
(c) “Gang resistance education and training” means instruction in, without limitation, each of the following subject matters when accompanied by a stated objective of reducing gang activity and educating children in grades K through 12 about the consequences of gang involvement:
(1) Conflict resolution;
(2) Cultural sensitivity;
(3) Personal goal setting; and
(4) Resisting peer pressure.
17 V.I.C. § 783 Implementation
(a) Each school district shall make suitable provisions for instruction in bullying prevention and gang resistance education and training in all grades and include such instruction in the courses of study regularly taught therein.
(b) The Department of Education shall incorporate the bullying prevention and gang resistance education and training with Conflict Resolution Education set forth in Title 17, Chapter 42.
(c) The Board may collaborate with a community-based agency that provides specialized curricula in bullying prevention geared towards preventing sexual violence.
(d) The Board shall collaborate with law enforcement agencies for the purposes of gang resistance education and training. The Department of Education shall assist in the development of instructional materials and training for all school personnel in relation to bullying prevention and gang resistance education and training.
17 V.I.C. § 784 Effective date
Beginning 180 days after the effective date of this chapter, each school district shall create and maintain a policy on bullying, which must be filed with the Board. Each school district must communicate its policy on bullying to its students and their parents or guardians on an annual basis. The policy must be updated every two years and filed with the Board after being updated. The Board shall monitor the implementation of policies created under this subsection.
Bullying Intervention, Prevention and Remediation Policy
This document addresses bullying prevention policies