What are the Louisiana state laws and regulations that cover bullying?
- Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §14:40.7. Cyberbullying
- Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §17:53. School board members; training required
- Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §17:183. Hazing; public elementary and secondary students; intent and findings; definitions; policies
- Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §17:280. Internet and cell phone safety education; required instruction
- Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §17:415. School records; duty to keep records by school principal
- Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §17:416. Discipline of students; suspension; expulsion
- Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §17:416.13. Student code of conduct; requirement; bullying; prohibition; notice; reporting: accountability
- Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §17.416.17. Youth development and assistance programs; legislative findings and purpose; school authority for programs for elementary students
- Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated §17:416.20. Student conduct standards; awareness and understanding by students; required orientation; guidelines
- Louisiana Revised Statues Annotated §17:1801. Hazing prohibited; penalties
- Children's Code Article 730(11). Grounds
How are bullying and cyberbullying defined in Louisiana anti-bullying laws and regulations?
Louisiana anti-bullying laws include the following definitions of bullying and cyberbullying:
(1) A pattern of any one or more of the following:
(a) Gestures, including but not limited to obscene gestures and making faces.
(b) Written, electronic, or verbal communications, including but not limited to calling names, threatening harm, taunting, malicious teasing, or spreading untrue rumors. Electronic communication includes but is not limited to a communication or image transmitted by email, instant message, text message, blog, or social networking website through the use of a telephone, mobile phone, pager, computer, or other electronic device.
(c) Physical acts, including but not limited to hitting, kicking, pushing, tripping, choking, damaging personal property, or unauthorized use of personal property.
(d) Repeatedly and purposefully shunning or excluding from activities.
(a) Where the pattern of behavior as provided in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection is exhibited toward a student, more than once, by another student or group of students and occurs, or is received by, a student while on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related function or activity, in any school bus or van, at any designated school bus stop, in any other school or private vehicle used to transport students to and from schools, or any school-sponsored activity or event.
(b) The pattern of behavior as provided in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection must have the effect of physically harming a student, placing the student in reasonable fear of physical harm, damaging a student’s property, placing the student in reasonable fear of damage to the student’s property, or must be sufficiently severe, persistent, and pervasive enough to either create an intimidating or threatening educational environment, have the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s performance in school, or have the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
“Cyberbullying” is the transmission of any electronic textual, visual, written, or oral communication with the malicious and willful intent to coerce, abuse, torment, or intimidate a person under the age of eighteen.
La. R.S. § 17:416.13 (2017)
Do Louisiana anti-bullying laws and regulations cover cyberbullying that occurs off-campus?
Yes. Louisiana anti-bullying laws cover off-campus conduct by imposing criminal sanctions for cyberbullying.
What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior?
Louisiana schools must adopt and incorporate into the code of conduct a policy prohibiting bullying of a student by another student. School district policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:
- Definitions of bullying that conform to definitions in state law;
- Statements prohibiting the bullying of a student by another student;
- Discipline and criminal consequences for violation of the policy;
- Procedures for reporting and investigations, including provisions concerning the scope and timing of investigations, an appeals process, parental notification requirements and parental relief provisions, and requirements for written documentation; and
- Requirements for how the policy will be publicized within the school.
Louisiana state law requires districts to report all documented incidences of bullying to the state Department of Education.
Do Louisiana anti-bullying laws and regulations include protections for specific groups?
No. There are no specific groups listed under Louisiana anti-bullying laws or regulations.
Louisiana 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 Louisiana anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies?
Yes. Louisiana anti-bullying laws encourage districts to provide youth development and assistance programs that may consist of prevention programs including bullying prevention.
Do Louisiana anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to prevent and respond to bullying incidents?
Yes. Louisiana anti-bullying laws require districts to provide a minimum of four hours of training for new employees who have contact with students and two hours of training each year for all school employees who have contact with students, including bus operators.
Do Louisiana anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying?
Yes. Louisiana school district policies require districts to notify the parent or legal guardians of the victim of available counseling options.
Do Louisiana anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to address bullying behavior?
Yes. Louisiana school district policies must include provisions for parent notification, including guidelines for holding meetings with the parents or legal guardians of the victim and the parents or legal guardians of the alleged perpetrator, as well as requirements for notifying parents of the potential consequences, penalties, and counseling options. Louisiana school district policies must also include a provision for parental relief that allows the parent to enroll the student in another school if reports of bullying are not appropriately investigated.
For More Information
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