Components of State Anti-Bullying Laws and Regulations
|District policy requirement
|Reporting and investigations
|Communication of policy
|Safeguards and supports
|Review and update of local policies
Which Indiana laws and regulations cover bullying?
- Indiana Code Annotated §5-2-10.1-2. Purpose and composition of fund; grant priorities and amounts
- Indiana Code Annotated §5-2-10.1-11. School safety specialist training and certification program
- Indiana Code Annotated §5-2-10.1-12. Safe school committees; school plans; copies of school floor plans to law enforcement agency and fire department
- Indiana Code Annotated §20-19-3-11.5. Cyberbullying resources
- Indiana Code Annotated §20-26-5-32. Involvement of parents with discipline plan; department’s model discipline plan
- Indiana Code Annotated §20-26-5-34.2. Bullying prevention; training for employees and volunteers
- Indiana Code Annotated §20-30-5-5.5. Bullying prevention; student instruction
- Indiana Code Annotated §20-33-8-0.2 “Bullying”
- Indiana Code Annotated §20-33-8-13.5. Discipline rules prohibiting bullying
- Indiana Code Annotated §20-33-9-12. Relief of obligation to report
- Indiana Code Annotated §20-34-6-1. School corporation reports; department
- Indiana Code Annotated §20-34-6-2. Notice of reporting requirements; audits
- Indiana Code Annotate §20-40-20-6. Uses of money in the fund; distributions to a charter school
How are bullying and cyberbullying defined in Indiana anti-bullying laws and regulations?
Indiana anti-bullying laws include the following definition of bullying:
“Bullying” means overt, unwanted, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications or images transmitted in any manner (including digitally or electronically), physical acts committed, aggression, or any other behaviors, that are committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the targeted student and create for the targeted student an objectively hostile school environment that:
(1) places the targeted student in reasonable fear of harm to the targeted student’s person or property;
(2) has a substantially detrimental effect on the targeted student’s physical or mental health;
(3) has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s academic performance; or
(4) has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, and privileges provided by the school.
Ind. Code Ann. § 20-33-8-0.2 (2013)
Do Indiana anti-bullying laws and regulations cover cyberbullying that occurs off-campus?
Yes. Indiana anti-bullying laws cover off-campus conduct whenever:
(1) the individual committing the bullying behavior and any of the intended targets of the bullying behavior are students attending a school within a school corporation; and
(2) disciplinary action is reasonably necessary to avoid substantial interference with school discipline or prevent an unreasonable threat to the rights of others to a safe and peaceful learning environment.
What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior?
Indiana school districts must establish written discipline rules that prohibit bullying. School discipline rules must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:
- Statements prohibiting bullying;
- Provisions concerning education, parental involvement, and intervention;
- Procedures for reporting and investigations, including timetables for reporting of bullying incidents to the parents of both the targeted student and the bully and timetables for reporting to school counselors, school administrators, the superintendent, and law enforcement;
- Discipline provisions for teachers, school staff, or school administrators who fail to initiate or conduct and investigation;
- Discipline procedures for false reporting;
- Procedures outlining the use of follow-up services that includes support services for the victim and bullying education for the bully;
- Disciplinary consequences for violation of the policy; and
- Requirements regarding how the policy will be publicized within the district.
Indiana anti-bullying laws require the department to periodically review each policy to ensure the policy’s compliance with state law. Indiana school districts must submit a report to the department each year documenting the number of reported bullying incidents involving a student of the school corporation by category.
Do Indiana anti-bullying laws and regulations include protections for specific groups?
No. There are no specific groups listed under Indiana anti-bullying laws or regulations.
Indiana schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination based on certain personal characteristics. Find out when bullying may be a civil rights violation.
Do Indiana anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies?
Yes. Indiana public schools must provide age appropriate, research-based instruction focusing on bullying prevention for all students in grades 1 through 12.
Do Indiana anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to respond to bullying incidents?
Yes. Indiana school districts must provide training to the school corporation’s employees and volunteers who have direct, ongoing contact with students concerning the school’s bullying prevention and reporting policy.
Do Indiana anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying?
Yes. Indiana school discipline rules prohibiting bullying must include a detailed procedure outlining the use of follow-up services that include support services for the victim and bullying education for the bully.
Do Indiana anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to address bullying behavior?
Yes. The governing body of each school corporation shall work with parents to develop and periodically review an evidence-based plan for improving student behavior and discipline in the school corporation after receiving a model plan developed by the department. The model plan developed by the department must include policies to address instances of bullying and cyberbullying on school property of a school corporation. School discipline rules must also include timetables for reporting of bullying incidents to the parents of both the targeted student and the bully.
For More Information
Visit the Indiana Department of Education webpage for more information.