Components of Anti-Bullying Laws and Regulations
|District policy requirement||Yes|
|Reporting and investigations||Yes|
|Communication of policy||Yes|
|Safeguards and supports||Yes|
|Review and update of local policies||No|
Which Puerto Rico laws and regulations cover bullying?
- 1 L.P.R.A. § 5271. Unity Day
- 3 L.P.R.A. § 148l. Evaluation of schools
- 3 L.P.R.A. § 9806d. Functions of the school council
- 3 L.P.R.A. § 9809f. Bullying
- 3 L.P.R.A. § 9811b. Third sector
- 18 L.P.R.A. § 3961. Title
- 18 L.P.R.A. § 3961a. Applicability
- 18 L.P.R.A. § 3961b. Definitions
- 18 L.P.R.A. § 3961c. Liaison officials; training programs and workshops
- 18 L.P.R.A. § 3961d. Lead agency
- 18 L.P.R.A. § 3961e. Protocol to manage cases
- 18 L.P.R.A. § 3961g. Protocol to manage cases – Agency in charge to oversee compliance
- 18 L.P.R.A. § 3961i. Statistics
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:
Bullying.— For a situation or disciplinary incident to be classified as bullying, the following elements must be present: (1) a continuous, repetitive, and intentional pattern of verbal, written, or physical acts by one or more students; (2) intended to cause harm or discomfort; and (3) where there is an imbalance of power whether real or perceived by the victim. Incidents of interpersonal violence or peer conflicts at the school where the aforementioned elements are not present shall not be classified as bullying.
Cyberbullying.— Bullying may also be carried out through electronic communications or messaging including, but not limited to, text messages, emails, photographs, images, and social media posts using electronic devices such as telephones, mobile phones, computers, and tablets, among others.
3 L.P.R.A. § 9809f (2018)
Do Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws and regulations cover cyberbullying that occurs off-campus?
Yes. Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws do cover off-campus conduct.
What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior?
Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws prohibit bullying, harassment, and intimidation. Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws set procedural requirements for schools that include, but are not limited to:
- Procedures for reporting and investigations, including requirements for written documentation;
- Requirements to notify local law enforcement authorities of any cases where the safety or wellbeing of the student or school community is threatened;
- Requirements for school staff to resolve incidents by repairing the damage caused by bullying incidents;
- Requirements to inform students about the prohibition against bullying; and
- Opportunities for public school employees and students to participate in training activities, programs, and workshops.
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. Specific groups are listed in the Puerto Rico departmental policy on bullying.
Puerto Rico 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 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 the Regional Superintendent, in conjunction with the School Principals and School Councils, to provide public school employees and students with an opportunity to participate in training programs, activities, and workshops designed and developed to acquire the knowledge and tools related to harassment and intimidation between students or school staff.
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 the Regional Superintendent, in conjunction with school principals and school councils, to provide public school employees and students with an opportunity to participate in training programs, activities, and workshops designed and developed to acquire the knowledge and tools related to harassment and intimidation between students or school staff.
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 advise students on harassment and intimidation and to provide counseling to both bullying victims and bullies.
Do Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to address bullying behavior?
Yes. Puerto Rico anti-bullying laws establish school councils with parent representation that are tasked with coordinating and conducting campaigns on bullying.
For More Information
Visit the Puerto Rico Department of Education website and/or view the Puerto Rico department 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).