Pennsylvania

Breadcrumb

Pennsylvania Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Key Components

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

Bullying.

Do these laws cover cyberbullying?

Yes.

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

There are no specific groups listed under Pennsylvania anti-bullying laws or regulations.

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 Pennsylvania state policy guidance is available at the Pennsylvania Department of Education website .

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

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

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

What are the Pennsylvania laws and regulations that cover bullying?

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

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

Bullying” shall mean an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, or a series of acts:

    (1)   directed at another student or students;

    (2)   which occurs in a school setting;

    (3)   that is severe, persistent or pervasive; and

    (4)   that has the effect of doing any of the following:

        (i)   substantially interfering with a student’s education;

        (ii)  creating a threatening environment; or

        (iii) substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school; and

“school setting” shall mean in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.

24 P.S. § 13-1303.1-A (2008)

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

Yes. Pennsylvania anti-bullying laws cover off-campus conduct. Pennsylvania anti-bullying laws state that a school entity shall not be prohibited from defining bullying in such a way as to encompass acts that occur outside a school setting if those acts meet the requirements contained in the bullying definition in state law.

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

Pennsylvania school districts must adopt a policy or amend its existing policy related to bullying and must incorporate the policy in the school entity’s code of conduct. School district policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Definitions of bullying;
  • Disciplinary consequences for violation of the policy;
  • Designation of an appropriate school staff person to receive reports of incidents of alleged bullying; and,
  • Requirements regarding how the policy will be publicized within the district.

Pennsylvania anti-bullying laws require school districts to review bullying policies every three (3) years and annually provide the office with a copy of the policy, including information related to the development and implementation of any bullying prevention, intervention and education programs. Pennsylvania anti-bullying laws also require districts to report to the Office of Safe Schools all incidents that qualify as bullying under the school district’s adopted definition of the term and that meet requirements for state reporting.

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

No. There are no specific groups listed under Pennsylvania anti-bullying laws or regulations.

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

Yes. Pennsylvania school district policies may provide for prevention, intervention and education programs. Pennsylvania anti-bullying also direct the state Office for Safe Schools to make targeted grants to school entities to fund the development and implementation of research-based violence prevention programs that address risk factors to reduce incidents of problem behaviors among students including, but not limited to, bullying.

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

Yes. Pennsylvania anti-bullying laws require school entities to provide employees with mandatory training on school safety and security including training addressing suicide and bullying awareness.

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

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

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

Yes. Pennsylvania anti-bullying laws do not create expectations for parent involvement in addressing bullying.

For More Information

Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education “Bullying Prevention webpage and/or view the Pennsylvania state policy guidance 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 22, 2017