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 Mississippi laws and regulations cover bullying?
- Mississippi Code §37-11-20. Intimidation, threatening or coercion of students for purpose of interfering with attendance of classes
- Mississippi Code §37-11-54. State Board of Education to develop list of conflict resolution and peer mediation materials, models, and curricula from evidence-based practices and positive behavioral intervention supports
- Mississippi Code §37-11-67. Bullying or harassing behavior in public schools prohibited
- Mississippi Code §37-11-69. Anti-bullying personnel and discipline policies and code of student conduct
- Code of Mississippi Rules 07-000-003. Policy
- Code of Mississippi Rules 07-000-192. Mississippi School Safety Manual
How are bullying and cyberbullying defined in Mississippi anti-bullying laws and regulations?
Mississippi 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, or any act reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus, and that:
(a) 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
(b) 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.
Miss. Code Ann. § 37-11-67 (2017)
Do Mississippi anti-bullying laws and regulations cover cyberbullying that occurs off-campus?
No. Mississippi anti-bullying laws do not cover off-campus conduct.
What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior?
Mississippi school districts must include a prohibition against bullying or harassment behavior in their discipline policy and code of student conduct. School district policies and codes of conduct must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:
- Statements prohibiting bullying of a student;
- Statements prohibiting retaliation against any person who provides information concerning an incident of bullying;
- Procedures for notifying the parent or guardian of the victim and the parent or guardian of the bully within a reasonable amount of time after the incident;
- Statements regarding the actions a student should take to obtain assistance and intervention in response to bullying;
- Procedures for reporting and investigations, including a requirement that procedures for reporting bullying be posted on the district’s Internet website;
- Information on counseling options for a student who is a victim of or witness to bullying or who engages in bullying; and
- Prohibitions against disciplinary measures for students who use reasonable self-defense in response to bullying.
Do Mississippi anti-bullying laws and regulations include protections for specific groups?
No. Mississippi anti-bullying laws prohibit bullying that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic; however, there are no specific groups listed under Mississippi anti-bullying laws or regulations.
Mississippi 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 Mississippi anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies?
Yes. Mississippi school districts must incorporate evidence-based practices and positive behavioral intervention supports into individual school district policies and codes of conduct.
Do Mississippi anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to respond to bullying incidents?
No. Mississippi anti-bullying laws do not require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to respond to bullying incidents.
Do Mississippi anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying?
Yes. Mississippi school district policies must set out the available counseling options for a student who is a victim of or a witness to bullying or who engages in bullying.
Do Mississippi anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to address bullying behavior?
Yes. Mississippi school district policies must include a procedure for notifying the parent or guardian of the victim and the parent or guardian of the bully following a bullying incident.
For More Information
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).