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Iowa Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Key Components

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

Bullying and harassment.

Do these laws cover cyberbullying?

Yes.

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

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

  • Age
  • Color
  • Creed
  • National origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Marital status
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Physical attributes
  • Physical or mental ability or disability
  • Ancestry
  • Political party preference
  • Political belief
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Familial status

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 policy I can use to create anti-bullying policies for my school or district?

The Iowa state model policy is available on the Iowa Department of Education website .

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

DEFINITIONS
Key Components Present in Iowa State Laws and Regulations Present in Iowa Model Policy
Purpose YES YES
Scope YES YES
Prohibited Behavior YES YES
Enumerated Groups YES YES
DISTRICT POLICY REVIEW & DEVELOPMENT
Key Components Present in Iowa State Laws and Regulations Present in Iowa Model Policy
District Policy YES YES
District Policy Review NO YES
DISTRICT POLICY COMPONENTS
Key Components Present in Iowa State Laws and Regulations Present in Iowa Model Policy
Definitions YES YES
Reporting YES YES
Investigations YES YES
Written Records NO YES
Consequences YES YES
Mental Health NO NO
ADDITIONAL COMPONENTS
Key Components Present in Iowa State Laws and Regulations Present in Iowa Model Policy
Communications YES YES
Training/Prevention YES YES
Transparency/Monitoring YES YES
Legal Remedies YES NO

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

What are the Iowa state laws and regulations that cover bullying?

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

Iowa anti-bullying laws include the following definitions of harassment and bullying:

“Harassment” and “bullying” shall be construed to mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:

    (1) Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property;

    (2) Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health;

    (3) Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance; and

    (4) Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Iowa Code § 280.28 (2007)

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

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

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

Iowa school districts must adopt a policy declaring harassment and bullying in schools as against state and school policy. School district policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Statements declaring harassment and bullying to be against state and school policy and statements of scope indicating where and when the policy applies;
  • Prohibitions against reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation;
  • Definitions of prohibited behavior to conform to definitions in state law;
  • Descriptions of the type of behavior expected from school employees, volunteers, parents or guardians, and students relative to prevention measures, reporting and investigation;
  • Statements of disciplinary consequences and remedial actions for violation of the policy;
  • Procedures for reporting and investigation, include designation of the individual responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented and the individual responsible for receiving reports; and
  • Statements regarding how the policy will be publicized within the district.

Iowa anti-bullying laws require districts to integrate antiharassment and anti-bullying polices into comprehensive school improvement plans and require districts to develop and maintain a system to collect harassment and bullying incidence data.

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

Yes. Iowa anti-bullying laws prohibit harassment and bullying based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student, including but not limited to age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.

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

Yes. Iowa school districts are encouraged to establish programs designed to eliminate harassment and bullying in schools, including developing a process to provide school employees, volunteers, and students with the skills and knowledge to help reduce incidents of harassment and bullying.

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

Yes. Iowa school districts are encouraged to establish programs designed to eliminate harassment and bullying in schools, including providing training on antiharassment and anti-bullying policies to school employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students.

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

No. Iowa school districts are not required to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying.

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

Yes. Iowa school districts must establish school improvement advisory committees comprised of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and representatives from the local community. The school improvement advisory committee is responsible for making recommendations to determine district harassment or bullying prevention goals, programs, training, and other initiatives.

For More Information

Visit the Iowa Department of Education’s “Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment” webpage and/or view the Iowa state model policy on 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