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Colorado Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Which Colorado laws and regulations cover bullying?

How are bullying and cyberbullying defined in Colorado anti-bullying laws and regulations?

Colorado anti-bullying laws and regulations include the following definitions of bullying:

"Bullying" means any written or verbal expression, or physical or electronic act or gesture, or a pattern thereof, that is intended to coerce, intimidate, or cause any physical, mental, or emotional harm to any student. Bullying is prohibited against any student for any reason, including but not limited to any such behavior that is directed toward a student on the basis of his or her academic performance or against whom federal and state laws prohibit discrimination upon any of the bases described in section 22-32-109 (1)(ll)(I). This definition is not intended to infringe upon any right guaranteed to any person by the first amendment to the United States constitution or to prevent the expression of any religious, political, or philosophical views.

C.R.S. 22-32-109.1 (2017)

Do Colorado anti-bullying laws and regulations cover cyberbullying that occurs off-campus?

No. Colorado anti-bullying laws do not cover off-campus conduct.

What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior?

Colorado school districts must adopt a safe school plan and conduct and discipline code that contains a specific policy addressing bullying prevention and education. School districts are encouraged to address key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Biennial administrations of surveys of students’ impressions of the severity of bullying in their schools;
  • Character building;
  • Designation of a team of persons at each school of the school district who advise the school administration concerning the severity and frequency of bullying incidents that occur in the school;
  • Statements regarding appropriate disciplinary consequences for bullying or retaliatory actions against students who report bullying incidents; and
  • Requirements for how the conduct and discipline code must by publicized.

Colorado state law requires districts to report annually to the Department of Education the number of conduct and discipline code violations, including the number of incidents of bullying and other behavior that creates a threat of physical harm to the student or to other students. School districts must also report information on the school's policy concerning bullying prevention and education, including information related to the development and implementation of any bullying prevention programs.

Do Colorado anti-bullying laws and regulations include protections for specific groups?

Yes. Colorado anti-bullying laws prohibit bullying against any student for any reason, including but not limited to any such behavior that is directed toward a student on the basis of his or her academic performance, or on the basis of his or her disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services.

Colorado schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination on a number of different personal characteristics. Find out when bullying may be a civil rights violation.

Do Colorado anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies?

Yes. Colorado anti-bullying laws encourage districts to implement evidence-based bullying prevention programs by establishing a state-funded bullying prevention and education grant program.

Do Colorado anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to respond to bullying incidents?

No. Colorado anti-bullying laws do not require districts to provide training to teachers or other school staff on how to respond to bullying incidents.

Do Colorado anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying?

No. Colorado anti-bullying laws do not require districts to provide safeguards of mental health supports for students involved with bullying.

Do Colorado anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to address bullying behavior?

Yes. Colorado school districts must adopt a safe school plan following consultation with the school district and school accountability committees, parents, teachers, administrators, students, student councils where available, and, where appropriate, the community at large. School districts must also designate of a team of persons at each school to advise the school administration concerning the severity and frequency of bullying incidents that occur in the school. Team members may include, but need not be limited to, law enforcement officials, social workers, prosecutors, health professionals, mental health professionals, school psychologists, counselors, teachers, administrators, parents, and students.

For More Information

Visit the Colorado Department of Education "Bullying Prevention and Education" webpage.

The key component framework used in the analysis of state laws is based on the review of legislation presented in the “Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies – December 2011” (U.S. Department of Education).

 

Content last updated on June 20, 2017