Connecticut

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Connecticut Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Key Components

What terms are used in Connecticut anti-bullying laws and regulations?

Bullying and school climate.

Do these laws cover cyberbullying?

Yes.

What groups are listed under Connecticut anti-bullying laws and regulations?

The following groups are listed under Connecticut anti-bullying laws and regulations:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Ancestry
  • National origin
  • Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity or expression
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Academic status
  • Physical appearance
  • Mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability
  • Association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics

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.

Is there a state model policyI can use to create anti-bullying policies for my school or district?

The Connecticut model school climate policyis available on the Connecticut State Department of Education website.

Which of the key components can be found in Connecticut anti-bullying laws, regulations, and model policies?

DEFINITIONS
Key Components Present in Connecticut State Laws and Regulations Present in Connecticut Model Policy
Purpose YES YES
Scope YES YES
Prohibited Behavior YES YES
Enumerated Groups YES YES
DISTRICT POLICY REVIEW & DEVELOPMENT
Key Components Present in Connecticut State Laws and Regulations Present in Connecticut Model Policy
District Policy YES YES
District Policy Review YES YES
DISTRICT POLICY COMPONENTS
Key Components Present in Connecticut State Laws and Regulations Present in Connecticut Model Policy
Definitions YES YES
Reporting YES YES
Investigations YES YES
Written Records YES YES
Consequences YES YES
Mental Health YES YES
ADDITIONAL COMPONENTS
Key Components Present in Connecticut State Laws and Regulations Present in Connecticut Model Policy
Communications YES YES
Training/Prevention YES YES
Transparency/Monitoring YES YES
Legal Remedies YES YES

NOTE:Click on the Key Components links to get more information about that component.

What are the Connecticut laws and regulations that cover bullying?

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

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

“Bullying” means (A) the repeated use by one or more students of a written, oral or electronic communication, such as cyberbullying, directed at or referring to another student attending school in the same school district, or (B) a physical act or gesture by one or more students repeatedly directed at another student attending school in the same school district, that: (i) Causes physical or emotional harm to such student or damage to such student’s property, (ii) places such student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property, (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for such student, (iv) infringes on the rights of such student at school, or (v) substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. “Bullying” shall include, but not be limited to, a written, oral or electronic communication or physical act or gesture based on any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, or mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics.

“Cyberbullying” means any act of bullying through the use of the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, cellular mobile telephone or other mobile electronic devices or any electronic communications.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-222d (2017)

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

Yes. Connecticut anti-bullying laws cover off-campus conduct outside of the school setting if such bullying (i) creates a hostile environment at school for the student against whom such bullying was directed, or (ii) infringes on the rights of the student against whom such bullying was directed at school, or (iii) substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

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

Connecticut school districts must develop and implement a safe school climate plan to address the existence of bullying in schools and must appoint a district safe school climate coordinator responsible for implementing the district’s safe school climate plan. Safe school climate plans must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Statements prohibiting bullying and statements of scope indicating where and when the policy applies;
  • Procedures for reporting and investigations, including provisions for anonymous reporting and procedures for documenting and maintaining records;
  • Prevention and intervention strategies;
  • Procedures for parentification and parent conferences with parents or guardians of students who commit verified acts of bullying and the parents or guardians of students against whom such acts were directed;
  • Statements of consequences for violation of the policy in student codes of conduct;
  • Requirements for law enforcement notification when acts of bullying may constitute criminal conduct;
  • Requirements regarding how the policy will be publicized within the district.

Connecticut state law requires districts to submit safe school climate plans to the Department of Education for review and approval. Schools must also complete and submit to the Department of Education an annual assessment using school climate assessment instruments and must report verified acts of bullying.

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

Yes. Connecticut anti-bullying laws prohibit bullying based on any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, or mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics.

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

Yes. Connecticut school district safe school climate plans must included a prevention and intervention strategy that may include, but is not limited to implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports or other evidence-based model approaches, school rules prohibiting bullying, adult supervision of selected areas of school campuses, individual interventions with students involved in bullying incidents, school-wide school climate training, parent engagement strategies, and culturally-competent school-based curriculum.

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

Yes. Connecticut school district safe school climate plans must include a requirement for all school employees to complete annual in-service training on the identification, and prevention of and response to, bullying.

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

Yes. Connecticut safe school climate plans must direct the development of case-by-case interventions, including counseling, for addressing repeated incidents of bullying, and must direct the development of student safety support plans that address safety measures the school will take to protect students against further acts of bullying.

Do Connecticut anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to ad dress bullying behavior?

Yes. Connecticut school district plans must include provisions to notify the parents or guardians of students who commit any verified acts of bullying and the parents or guardians of students against whom such acts were directed. School districts must also invite the parents or guardians of a student against whom bullying was directed to a meeting to communicate the measures being taken by the school to ensure the safety of the student and policies and procedures in place to prevent further acts of bullying. School districts must also invite the parents or guardians of a student who commits any verified act of bullying to a meeting to discuss specific interventions undertaken by the school to prevent further acts of bullying.

For More Information

Visit the Connecticut State Department of Education "Bullying and Harassment" webpage and/or view the Connecticut model school climate policyon bullying and harassment.

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