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Hawaii Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Which Hawaii laws and regulations cover bullying?

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

Hawaii anti-bullying laws include the following definitions of bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment:

“Bullying” means any written, verbal, graphic, or physical act that a student or group of students exhibits toward other particular student(s) and the behavior causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s); and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s).

“Cyberbullying” means electronically transmitted acts, i.e., Internet, cell phone, personal digital assistance (PDA), or wireless hand-held device that a student has exhibited toward another student or employee of the department which causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s) or school personnel and is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment:

    (1) On campus, or other department of education premises, on department of education transportation, or during a department of education sponsored activity or event on or off school property;

    (2) Through a department of education data system without department of education authorized communication; or

    (3) Through an off campus computer network that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student or school personnel, or both.

“Harassment” means a student who is harassing, bullying, including cyberbullying, annoying, or alarming another person by engaging in the following conduct that includes but is not limited to:

    (1) Striking, shoving, kicking, or otherwise touching a person in an offensive manner or subjecting such person to offensive physical contact;

    (2) Insulting, taunting, or challenging another person in a manner likely to provoke a violent response;

    (3) Making verbal or non-verbal expressions that causes others to feel uncomfortable, pressured, threatened, or in danger because of reasons that include but are not limited to the person's race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, including gender identity and expression, religion, disability, or sexual orientation that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment, or interferes with the education of a student, or otherwise adversely affects the educational opportunity of a student or students;

    (4) Name calling, making rude gestures, insulting, or teasing another person who feels humiliated, intimidated, threatened, or embarrassed;

    (5) Making a telephone call without purpose of legitimate communication;

    (6) Making repeated communications anonymously, or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language on campus or, other department of education premises, on department of education transportation, or during a department of education sponsored activity or event on or off school property;

    (7) Causing fear as to prevent others from gaining legitimate access to or use of school buildings, facilities, services, or grounds such as, but is not limited to, restroom facilities; or

    (8) Physically harming, physically restraining, threatening, or stalking, or a combination of the foregoing.

Hawaii Administrative Rules 8-19

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

Yes. Hawaii anti-bullying laws cover cyberbullying acts committed through an off campus computer network if the act is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abuse educational environment for the other student or school personnel, or both.

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

Hawaii anti-bullying laws prohibit bullying and cyberbullying and require schools to publish school rules, and to inform students, school staff, and parents of the prohibited conduct. Hawaii administrative rules governing student misconduct and discipline establish reporting and investigation procedures and address consequences for specific offenses, including bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment.

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

Yes. Hawaii anti-bullying laws prohibit students from making verbal or non-verbal expressions that cause others to feel uncomfortable, pressured, threatened, or in danger because of reasons that include but are not limited to the person's race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, including gender identity and expression, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

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

No. Hawaii anti-bullying laws do not require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies.

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

No. Hawaii anti-bullying laws do not require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to prevent or respond to bullying incidents.

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

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

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

No. Hawaii anti-bullying laws do not create expectations for parent involvement in addressing bullying behavior.

For More Information

Visit the Hawaii State Department of Education’s “Anti-Bullying Work” 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 21, 2017