State law requires districts to provide professional development for school personnel on bullying prevention and response.
Maine Revised Statutes 20-A 6554. Prohibition on bullying in public schools
5. Adoption of Policy. When revising the policies and procedures it has established to address bullying pursuant to section 1001, subsection 15, paragraph H, a school board shall ensure that its policies and procedures are consistent with the model policy developed or revised by the commissioner pursuant to section 254, subsection 11-A. The policies and procedures must include, but are not limited to:
- A. A provision identifying the responsibility of students and others on school grounds to comply with the policies;
- B. A clear statement that bullying, harassment and sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting incidents of such behavior are prohibited;
- C. A provision outlining the responsibility of a superintendent to implement and enforce the bullying policies required by this section, including:
- (1) A requirement that the superintendent designate a school principal or other school personnel to administer the policies at the school level; and
- (2) A procedure for publicly identifying the superintendent’s designee or designees for administering the policies at the school level;
- D. A requirement that school staff members, coaches and advisors for extracurricular and cocurricular activities report incidents of bullying to the school principal or other school personnel designated by the superintendent pursuant to paragraph C;
- E. Procedures for students, school staff members, parents and others to report incidents of bullying. The procedures must permit reports of bullying to be made anonymously;
- F. A procedure for promptly investigating and responding to incidents of bullying, including written documentation of reported incidents and the outcome of the investigations;
- G. A clear statement that any person who engages in bullying, who is determined to have knowingly and falsely accused another of bullying or who engages in acts of retaliation against a person who reports a suspected incident of bullying is subject to disciplinary actions, which actions may include but are not limited to imposing a series of graduated consequences that include alternative discipline;
- H. A procedure for a person to appeal a decision of a school principal or a superintendent’s designee related to taking or not taking disciplinary action in accordance with the policies adopted pursuant to this subsection. The appeals procedure must be consistent with other appeals procedures established by the school board and may include an appeal to the superintendent;
- I. A procedure to remediate any substantiated incident of bullying to counter the negative impact of the bullying and reduce the risk of future bullying incidents, which may include referring the victim, perpetrator or other involved persons to counseling or other appropriate services;
- J. A process for the school to communicate to the parent of a student who has been bullied the measures being taken to ensure the safety of the student who has been bullied and to prevent further acts of bullying; and
- K. A procedure for communicating with a local or state law enforcement agency if the school principal or the superintendent's designee believes that the pursuit of criminal charges or a civil action under the Maine Civil Rights Act is appropriate.