Maryland

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Maryland Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Key Components

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

Bullying, harassment, or intimidation.

Do these laws cover cyberbullying?

Yes.

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

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

  • Race
  • National origin
  • Marital status
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Religion
  • Ancestry
  • Physical attribute
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Familial status
  • Physical or mental ability or disability

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 Maryland state model policy is available on the Maryland State Department of Education website .

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

DEFINITIONS
Key Components Present in Maryland State Laws and Regulations Present in Maryland Model Policy
Purpose YES YES
Scope YES YES
Prohibited Behavior YES YES
Enumerated Groups YES YES
DISTRICT POLICY REVIEW & DEVELOPMENT
Key Components Present in Maryland State Laws and Regulations Present in Maryland Model Policy
District Policy YES N/A
District Policy Review YES N/A
DISTRICT POLICY COMPONENTS
Key Components Present in Maryland State Laws and Regulations Present in Maryland Model Policy
Definitions YES N/A
Reporting YES YES
Investigations YES YES
Written Records YES YES
Consequences YES YES
Mental Health YES YES
ADDITIONAL COMPONENTS
Key Components Present in Maryland State Laws and Regulations Present in Maryland 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 Maryland state laws and regulations that cover bullying?

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

Maryland anti-bullying laws include the following definitions of bullying, harassment and intimidation:

"Bullying, harassment, or intimidation" means intentional conduct, including verbal, physical, or written conduct, or an intentional electronic communication, that:

    (i)  Creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student's educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student's physical or psychological well-being and is:

        1.  Motivated by an actual or a perceived personal characteristic including race, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, physical attribute, socioeconomic status, familial status, or physical or mental ability or disability; or

        2.  Threatening or seriously intimidating; and

    (ii)

        1.  Occurs on school property, at a school activity or event, or on a school bus; or

        2.  Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school.

Md. EDUCATION Code Ann. § 7-424 (2018)

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

Yes. Maryland 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?

Maryland county boards of education must adopt a policy prohibiting bullying, harassment, and intimidation that conforms to the state model policy. Local policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Statements prohibiting bullying, harassment, and intimidation in schools;
  • Statements prohibiting reprisal or retaliation against individuals who report acts of bullying, harassment, or intimidation;
  • Definitions of prohibited behavior that conform to definitions in state law;
  • Consequences and remedial actions for violations of policy;
  • Procedures for reporting and investigations, including designation of a contact person who is familiar with reporting and investigation procedures;
  • Information about the types of support services available to a student bully, victim, or any bystanders;
  • Information regarding the availability and use of the bullying, harassment, and intimidation reporting form;
  • Information regarding the availability and use of an anonymous two-way electronic tip program;
  • Requirements regarding how the policy will be publicized within the district.

Maryland anti-bullying laws require county boards to submit local policies to the State Superintendent and to update policies every five years based on updates to the state model policy. Maryland county boards must also report incidents of bullying, harassment or intimidation against students using a standard reporting form and submit confidential summaries of report forms to the State Board.

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

Yes. Maryland anti-bullying laws prohibit bullying, harassment, or intimidation that is motivated by an actual or a perceived personal characteristic including race, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, physical attribute, socioeconomic status, familial status, or physical or mental ability or disability.

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

Yes. Maryland anti-bullying laws require county boards of education to develop educational programs to prevent bullying, harassment, and intimidation in schools including an educational bullying, harassment and intimidation prevention program for students, staff, volunteers, and parents.

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

Yes. Maryland anti-bullying laws require county boards of education to develop educational programs to prevent bullying, harassment, and intimidation in schools including a teacher and administrator development program that trains teachers and administrators to implement the policy.

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

Yes. Maryland school district policies must include information about the types of support services available to a student bully, victim, or any bystanders.

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

Yes. Maryland anti-bullying laws require county boards of education to develop local policies in consultation with parents or guardians of students, school employees and administrators, school volunteers, students, and other members of the community.

For More Information

Visit the Maryland State Department of Education’s “Bullying Prevention” webpage and/or view the Maryland 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