Category Archives: LAWS

5-day deadline to report school bullying goes to Va. governor

RICHMOND — Virginia principals would be required to notify parents of bullies and their victims within five days of any report of bullying under a bill given final approval by the General Assembly Friday.

While the agreement to require the notification within five school days sailed through the Senate, it sparked debate from some House members who wanted the deadline extended.

“If my child was bullying, was being bullied, I would want to know,” responded the bill’s sponsor, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, a Democrat representing Virginia’s 41st District.

She hopes the notifications could prevent bullying, including online.

Another delegate, Marcus Simon, said the notification could have helped him.

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Some Teachers, Principals And Students Condemn Trump Transgender Policy

Some students, principals, parents and attorneys have condemned the Trump administration’s decision to remove some federal protections for transgender students.

Those protections had been issued by President Obama, who cited the federal Title IX law, and instructed public schools last year to allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities.

But the Departments of Education and Justice on Tuesday reversed that guidance, allowing state and local officials to pass rules that discriminate on the basis of gender identity without risk of losing federal funds, as we reported.

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Unpacking the concept of reasonableness

(Editor’s Note:  Australia has been a remarkably forceful pioneer in addressing, identifying, and correcting workplace bullying.  One of their greatest contributions was to address the question of what constitutes “reasonable management action” as opposed to bullying by managers.  This is a salient concern, because most workplace bullying is, in fact, conducted by  supervisory-level employees against subordinates.  While there is some dispute over whether an “imbalance of power” is a reasonable factor to include in the definition of bullying — at least at the school level — it’s essentially baked into the workplace through commonly used hierarchical administrative structures.  This article, from a New South Wales site, addresses the issue of reasonableness.  — Mike Tully, Editor)

Across all Australian workplaces the phenomenon of bullying is without doubt a front-and-centre topic.

And as a result, overt instances of bullying in the workplace now tend to be more readily identified than ever before.

One challenging idea for all concerned, however, is this: is it possible that management action that is entirely reasonable could be misconstrued by a worker as an act of bullying?

In both workers’ compensation matters and industrial relations more broadly, the linked concepts of “reasonable management action” carried out in a “reasonable manner” have certainly been difficult to pin down.

We take this opportunity to explore the complex concept of reasonableness as it related specifically to management action and workplace bullying.

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Democrats unveil legislative proposals, including anti-workplace bullying effort (KS)

Democrats unveiled a slew of proposals on Wednesday, offering a legislative agenda to counter Gov. Sam Brownback and Republicans.

The bills range from restoring teacher due process, allowing cities to use prevailing wage and reducing workplace bullying at state agencies. Several of the proposals have been around, but Democrats hope the new, more cooperative Legislature will boost the chance of passage.

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Juvenile officers: Minor school fights unlikely to result in felony charges (MO)

The president of the Missouri Bar was surprised by the public reaction to changes in the Missouri criminal code.

The Missouri Bar had drafted the legislation for the criminal code change over several years, consulting with prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, victim advocates and others. The reaction of parents and school officials in Columbia and elsewhere about the possibility of school fights or bullying resulting in felony charges was unexpected.

“It’s created a firestorm,” said Dana Cutler, president of the Missouri Bar.

In addition to the code changes, school districts have adopted anti-bullying policies to meet requirements for internal reporting and investigation outlined in a new state law.

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Electrician Tommy Liu charged under Brodie’s Law with workplace bullying of apprentice

A MELBOURNE magistrate has warned an electrician facing workplace bullying charges that “we’re not in the 1950s anymore”.

Police allege the Clyde North man harassed and stalked his young apprentice over two years, using explicit and threatening language in text messages.

But the boss, Tommy Liu, 44, considered his language was merely “colourful” and common workplace chatter, the court heard yesterday (January 11).

Police have charged Mr Liu with two counts of stalking and one count of using a carriage service to harass the Langwarrin employee.

The charges were laid under the legislation known as Brodie’s Law that makes serious bullying a crime punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

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CPS Board of Education approve anti-bullying rules, despite concern (MO)

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Despite concerns from board members, the Columbia Public Schools Board of Education approved an anti-bullying policy Monday night.

The 5-2 vote mandates that school employees report any knowledge of bullying incidents to the school’s principal within two days. A Missouri law passed last session require school districts across the state to come up with similar rules on handling bullying, defined as “intimidation or harassment” that “substantially interferes with the educational performance, opportunities, or benefits of any student without exception; or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school.”

Superintendent Peter Stiepleman said the district has trained principals on how to handle and investigate the reports it may receive. The district also partnered with EdCounsel, a local law firm that specializes in legal work with schools, to craft the new policy and handle the training.

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Superintendents Work to Interpret New Bullying, Fighting Laws (MO)

Lonedell R-XIV and St. Clair R-XIII school districts are working closely with education consultants and local law enforcement to help interpret a new assault law that recently went into effect.

The new law could be interpreted to mean that students who engage in fighting or bullying at school could be charged with a felony.

According to the vaguely worded law, “A person commits the offense of assault in the third degree if he or she knowingly causes physical injury to another person.”

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Lawmakers introduce ‘David’s Law’ to crack down on bullying

TEXAS – Stricter anti-bullying and cyber bullying laws could be coming to Texas as lawmakers meet at the Texas State Capitol Monday to introduce “David’s Law.”

Among other things, the bill seeks to make it a misdemeanor to cyber bully anyone under the age of 18. Named after David Molak — a San Antonio teen who killed himself after months of torment — the law would also require school districts to include cyber bullying in their bullying policies and develop a system to anonymously report bullying.

The law would give school districts the tools to investigate off-campus threats if they relate to the school environment as well as give them more power to reprimand the offender.

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A new Missouri law could make school bullying a felony and that’s a problem

A Missouri law set to go into effect on January 1 has some teachers and student advocates worried that punishing everyday school bullying could become yet another means of black and brown children being pushed directly into the penal system.

Under the new law, third-degree assault and some forms of harassment that inflict “emotional distress” on the victim will be considered a felony. As the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch points out, this means that anyone found to have intentionally caused physical harm to another person could be charged for having committed a felony.

While these changes are part of a broader Missouri law to get tougher on assault, misdemeanors, and felonies, schools are required to report harassment to local police, which means that children could end up getting charged with a felony for fighting. The law doesn’t mention how it applies to cases that happen on school grounds.

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