State law addresses accountability by requiring districts to review and update anti-bullying policies and/or to submit policies to the state for review and approval.
Iowa Administrative Code 281-12.3 Administration.
12.3(13) Policy declaring harassment and bullying against state and school policy. The policy adopted by the board regarding harassment of or by students and staff shall declare harassment and bullying in schools, on school property, and at any school function or school-sponsored activity regardless of its location to be against state and school policy. The board shall make a copy of the policy available to all school employees, volunteers, students, and parents or guardians and shall take all appropriate steps to bring the policy against harassment and bullying and the responsibilities set forth in the policy to the attention of school employees, volunteers, students, and parents or guardians. Each policy shall, at a minimum, include all of the following components:
- a. A statement declaring harassment and bullying to be against state and school policy. The statement shall include but not be limited to the following provisions:
- (1) School employees, volunteers, and students in school, on school property, or at any school function or school-sponsored activity shall not engage in harassing and bullying behavior.
- (2) School employees, volunteers, and students shall not engage in reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim, a witness, or an individual who has reliable information about such an act of harassment or bullying.
- b. A definition of harassment and bullying consistent with the following: Harassment and bullying shall be construed to mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on the student's actual or perceived age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status, and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:
- (1) Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or property.
- (2) Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student's physical or mental health.
- (3) Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's academic performance.
- (4) Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school. The local board policy must set forth all 17 of the above-enumerated traits or characteristics, but does not need to be limited to the 17 enumerated traits or characteristics.
- c. A description of the type of behavior expected from school employees, volunteers, parents or guardians, and students relative to prevention, reporting, and investigation of harassment or bullying.
- d. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who violates the antiharassment and antibullying policy.
- e. A procedure for reporting an act of harassment or bullying, including the identification by job title of the school official responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented, and the identification of the person or persons responsible for receiving reports of harassment or bullying.