Breadcrumb

Puerto Rico Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Which Puerto Rico laws and regulations cover bullying?

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

Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws and regulations include the following definitions of harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying:

Harassment and bullying are defined as any action carried out intentionally, by means of a gesture, whether verbal, written, or physical that has the effect of frightening students and that interferes with their education, their academic opportunities, and their performance in the classroom. The acts of harassing and bullying shall also include communication through electronic means (cyberbullying), which include, but shall not be limited to text messages, emails, photos, images, and posts in social media through electronic devices such as telephones, mobile phones, computers, tablets, and pagers.

3 L.P.R.A. § 144g-1 (2012)

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

No. Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws do not cover off-campus conduct.

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

Puerto Rico school districts are required to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment and bullying. School district policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Definitions of harassment and bullying;
  • Prohibition of harassment and bullying acts;
  • Descriptions of prohibited behavior;
  • Procedures for reporting and investigations;
  • Disciplinary consequences for students who violate the policy; and
  • Statements regarding how the policy must be publicized within schools.

Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws require the secretary of education to report incidents involving harassment or bullying to the legislature.

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

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

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

Yes. Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws require districts to provide public school employees and students with opportunities to participate in programs, activities and training workshops to educate them about public policy regarding harassment and bullying.

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

Yes. Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws require districts to provide public school employees and students with opportunities to participate in programs, activities and training workshops to educate them about public policy regarding harassment and bullying.

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

Yes. Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws require social workers and school counselors to provide counseling to victims of the conduct as well as to the bullies.

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

Yes. Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws require Puerto Rico school boards to implement the public policy on harassment and bullying in coordination with the student’s parent associations.

For More Information

Visit the Puerto Rico Department of Education’s “Interdisciplinary Services for School Coexistence (SICE) Program” website and/or view the Puerto Rico 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 22, 2017