State law requires districts to provide counseling, safeguards, or other supportive services to students who have been bullied.
200-RICR-20-10-1.3.2 Supportive and Nuturing School Community
E. Prevention of Bullying, Harassment, Hazing, Teen Dating Violence, and Sexual Violence.
- 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.
200-RICR-20-10-1.3.3 Health and Social Service Supports
C. Psychological and Mental Health Services
- Mental and emotional health issues directly impede students' abilities to learn. Such issues include bullying, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, anxiety, and domestic violence, as well as psychiatric disorders.
- Therefore, each LEA shall: a. Ensure that students have access to a coordinated program of culturally and linguistically responsive psychological and mental health services, on site or through effective referral systems; b. Ensure that school psychological and mental health services will be provided by appropriately credentialed, high quality staff. Services must provide for identification of risks and assessment of service needs; primary prevention; individual, family, and group counseling; consultative services; and resource and service coordination; and c. To the extent practicable, ensure that schools coordinate with community youth development, prevention, and treatment efforts.
200-RICR-30-10-2 Safe School Act- Statewide Bullying Policy
A. The school principal, director or head of school shall promptly investigate all allegations of bullying, harassment, or intimidation. If the allegation is found to be credible, appropriate disciplinary actions, subject to applicable due process requirements, will be imposed. The School Resource Officer or other qualified staff may be utilized to mediate bullying situations. B. The investigation will include an assessment by the school psychologist and/or social worker of what effect the bullying, harassment or intimidation has had on the victim. A student who engages in continuous and/or serious acts of bullying will also be referred to the school psychologist and/or social worker. [...] D. Protection:
- If a student is the victim of serious or persistent bullying:
- a. The school principal, director or head of school will intervene immediately to provide the student with a safe educational environment.
- b. The interventions will be developed, if possible, with input from the student, his or her parent/guardian, and staff.
- c. The parents/guardians of a victim shall also be notified of the action taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation. [...] 2.9 Social Services/Counseling. Referral to appropriate counseling and/or social services currently being offered by schools or communities shall be provided for bullying victims, perpetrators and appropriate family members of said students.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-21-24. Requirements of school safety plans, school emergency response plans, and school crisis response plans.
(a) School safety plans, as required by this chapter, shall address, but not to be limited to, prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The school safety plans shall include, at a minimum, the following policies and procedures: (12) Strategies for improving communication, including use of common, consistent plain language by school district officials, school officials and emergency responders, among students and between students and staff and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as the establishment of youth-run programs, peer mediation, conflict resolution, creating a forum or designating a mentor for students concerned with bullying or violence, and establishing anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence.
State of 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: (10) A strategy for providing counseling or referral to appropriate services currently being offered by schools or communities for perpetrators and victims and for appropriate family members of said students. The plan shall afford all students the same protection regardless of their status under the law.