North Carolina

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North Carolina Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Which North Carolina laws and regulations cover bullying?

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

North Carolina anti-bullying laws include the following definitions of bullying or harassing behavior:

"Bullying or harassing behavior" is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic, or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus, and that:

    (1) Places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property; or

    (2) Creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits. For purposes of this section, “hostile environment” means that the victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is bullying or harassing behavior.

Bullying or harassing behavior includes, but is not limited to, acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 115C-407.15 (2009)

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

Yes. North Carolina 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?

North Carolina school districts must adopt a policy prohibiting bullying or harassing behavior. School district policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Statements prohibiting bullying or harassing behavior;
  • Definitions of bullying or harassing behavior that are no less inclusive than the definition in state law;
  • Descriptions of the types of behavior expected for each student and school employee;
  • Disciplinary consequences and remedial actions for a person who commits an act of bullying or harassment;
  • Procedures for reporting and investigations;
  • Statements prohibiting reprisal or retaliation against anyone who reports an act of bullying or harassment, and consequences for reprisal or retaliation; and,
  • Statements regarding how the policy will be publicized within the district.

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

Yes. North Carolina anti-bullying laws prohibit bullying or harassing behavior that includes, but is not limited to, acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.

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

Yes. North Carolina school districts must develop and implement methods and strategies for promoting school environments that are free of bullying or harassing behavior.

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

Yes. North Carolina school districts must incorporate information regarding the local policy against bullying or harassing behavior into each school’s employee training program and must provide training on the local policy to school employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students.

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

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

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

No. North Carolina anti-bullying laws do not create expectations for parent involvement in addressing bullying.

For More Information

Visit the Public Schools of North Carolina “Bullying Prevention 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