South Carolina

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South Carolina Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

What are the South Carolina laws and regulations that cover bullying?

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

South Carolina anti-bullying laws include the following definition of bullying:

“Harassment, intimidation, or bullying” means a gesture, an electronic communication, or a written, verbal, physical, or sexual act that is reasonably perceived to have the effect of:

    (a) harming a student physically or emotionally or damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of personal harm or property damage; or

    (b) insulting or demeaning a student or group of students causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

S.C. Code Ann. § 59-63-120 (2006)

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

No. South Carolina anti-bullying laws do not cover off-campus conduct.

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

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

  • Statements prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying of a student;
  • Definitions of prohibited behavior that are no less inclusive than definitions in state law;
  • Descriptions of appropriate student behavior;
  • Consequences and remedial actions for persons committing acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying and for persons engaging in reprisal or retaliation;
  • Procedures for reporting and investigations, including designation of appropriate school personnel responsible for taking reports and investigating complaints;
  • Statements prohibiting reprisal or retaliation;
  • Processes for discussing the district’s harassment, and intimidation, or bullying policy with students; and
  • Statements of how the policy will be publicized within the district.

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

No. There are no specific groups listed under South Carolina 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 South Carolina anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies?

Yes. South Carolina anti-bullying laws encourage districts to establish bullying prevention programs and other initiatives involving school staff, students, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement, and community members.

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

Yes. South Carolina anti-bullying laws require districts to incorporate information on district harassment, intimidation, or bullying policies into employee training programs and provide training to school volunteers who have significant contact with students. South Carolina anti-bullying laws also require the State Board of Education to develop teacher preparation standards on the identification and prevention of bullying.

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

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

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

Yes. South Carolina school districts must involve parents and guardians, school employees, volunteers, students, administrators, and community representatives in the process of creating harassment, intimidation, and bullying policies.

For More Information

Visit the South Carolina Department of Education “Bullying webpage and/or view the South Carolina 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