State law requires state agencies to develop models and guidance for districts to promote positive social and emotional climate.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-21-30. Dating violence policy.
(a) As used in this section: (1) "Dating violence" means a pattern of behavior where one person uses threats of, or actually uses, physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse to control his or her dating partner. (2) "Dating partner" means any person, regardless of gender, involved in an intimate relationship with another primarily characterized by the expectation of affectionate involvement whether casual, serious or long-term. (3) "At school" means in a classroom, on or immediately adjacent to school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, at an official school bus stop, or at any school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is on school grounds. (b) The department of education shall develop a model dating violence policy to assist school districts in developing policies for dating violence reporting and response. The model policy shall be issued on or before April 1, 2008. (c) Each school district shall establish a specific policy to address incidents of dating violence involving students at school by December 1, 2008. Each school district shall verify compliance with the department of education on an annual basis through the annual school health report. (1) Such policy shall include, but not be limited to, a statement that dating violence will not be tolerated, dating violence reporting procedures, guidelines to responding to at school incidents of dating violence and discipline procedures specific to such incidents. (2) To ensure notice of the school district's dating violence policy, the policy shall be published in any school district policy and handbook that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and Standard of conduct for students at school. (d) Each school district shall provide dating violence training to all administrators, teachers, nurses and mental health staff at the middle and high school levels. Upon the recommendation of the administrator, other staff may be included or may attend the training on a volunteer basis. The dating violence training shall include, but not be limited to, basic principles of dating violence, warnings signs of dating violence and the school district's dating violence policy, to ensure that they are able to appropriately respond to incidents of dating violence at school. Thereafter, this training shall be provided yearly to all newly hired staff deemed appropriate to receive the training by the school's administration. (e) Each school district shall inform the students' parents or legal guardians of the school district's dating violence policy. If requested, the school district shall provide the parents or legal guardians with the school district's dating violence policy and relevant information. It is strongly recommended that the school district provide parent awareness training. (f) This section does not prevent a victim from seeking redress under any other available law, either civil or criminal. This section does not create or alter any tort liability.
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:
- (1) Descriptions of and statements prohibiting bullying, cyber-bullying and retaliation of school;