New Hampshire

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New Hampshire Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

What are the New Hampshire state laws that cover bullying?

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

New Hampshire anti-bullying laws include the following definitions of bullying and cyberbullying:

“Bullying” means a single significant incident or a pattern of incidents involving a written, verbal, or electronic communication, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another pupil which:

    (1)   Physically harms a pupil or damages the pupil’s property;

    (2)   Causes emotional distress to a pupil;

    (3)   Interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities;

    (4)   Creates a hostile educational environment; or

    (5)   Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school.

“Bullying” shall include actions motivated by an imbalance of power based on a pupil’s actual or perceived personal characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs, or motivated by the pupil’s association with another person and based on the other person’s characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs.

“Cyberbullying” means conduct defined in paragraph I of this section undertaken through the use of electronic devices.

RSA 193-F:3 (2010)

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

Yes. New Hampshire anti-bullying laws cover off-campus conduct if the conduct interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operations of the school or school sponsored activity or event.

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

New Hampshire school districts are required to adopt a written policy prohibiting bullying and cyberbullying. 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 bullying or cyberbullying of a pupil;
  • Statements prohibiting retaliation or false accusations;
  • Requirements that all students are protected regardless of their status under the law;
  • Statements of disciplinary consequences or interventions for students who commit acts of bullying and cyberbullying;
  • Statements of how the policy will be publicized within the district;
  • Procedures for reporting and investigations;
  • Requirements to develop a response to substantiated issues including offering assistance to the victim or perpetrator and a procedure for communicating with parents about the school’s remedies and assistance; and
  • Identification of a school official responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented.

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

Yes. New Hampshire anti-bullying laws define bullying as actions motivated by an imbalance of power based on a pupil’s actual or perceived personal characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs, or motivated by the pupil’s associated with another person and based on the other person’s characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs. The laws states that bullying has historically included actions that are motivated by actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ancestry or ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical, mental, emotional, or learning disability, gender, gender identify and expression, obesity, or other distinguishing personal characteristics.

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

Yes. New Hampshire school districts are required to provide educational programs for pupils and parents in preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying or cyberbullying.

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

Yes. New Hampshire school districts must provide annual training for school employees, regular school volunteers, or employees under contract with a school or district who have significant contact with pupils for the purpose of preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying or cyberbullying.

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

Yes. New Hampshire school district policies must include a requirement that the principal or designee develop a response to remediate any substantiated incident of bullying or cyberbullying, including to offer assistance to the victim or perpetrator.

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

Yes. New Hampshire school districts are encouraged to develop policies in consultation with pupils, parents, administrators, school staff, school volunteers, community representatives, and local law enforcement agencies. School district policies must also include a procedure for notification to the parent or parents or guardian of a victim of bullying or cyberbullying and the parent or parents or guardian of the perpetrator of the bullying or cyberbullying. School districts must also provide education programs for parents in preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying or cyberbullying.

For More Information

Visit the New Hampshire Department of Education “Bullying and Cyberbullying Resources” 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 22, 2017