HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

657

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO BULLYING.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Section 302A-101, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding three new definitions to be appropriately inserted and to read as follows:

""Bullying" means any intentional verbal, physical, written, or electronically transmitted act or conduct that:

(1) Is done by a public school student, a public school volunteer or employee, or a department volunteer or employee to insult, taunt, or challenge another public school student, public school volunteer or employee, or department volunteer or employee;

(2) Is severe, pervasive, or persistent, as determined by a reasonable person under the circumstances; and

(3) Has any of the following effects, as determined by a reasonable person under the circumstances:

(A) Places the recipient in reasonable fear of:

(i) Substantial harm to the recipient's emotional, psychological, or physical well-being;

(ii) Substantial damage to the recipient's property;

(iii) Substantial harm to the emotional, psychological, or physical well-being of a person other than the recipient; or

(iv) Substantial damage to the property of a person other than the recipient;

(B) Incites, solicits, or coerces an individual or group of individuals to cause or place the recipient in reasonable fear of:

(i) Substantial harm to the recipient's emotional, psychological, or physical well-being;

(ii) Substantial damage to the recipient's property;

(iii) Substantial harm to the emotional, psychological, or physical well-being of a person other than the recipient; or

(iv) Substantial damage to the property of a person other than the recipient; or

(C) Creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the recipient.

"Electronically transmitted act or conduct" means an act or conduct that involves the transmission of electronic data, including but not limited to words, drawings, pictures, video, or audio files, through a computer, computer network system, other network system, cellular phone, or other similar electronic device that has the capability of sending and receiving data.

"Harassment" means the act of bullying, annoying, or alarming a public school student, a public school volunteer or employee, or a department volunteer or employee by engaging in conduct that includes but is not limited to:

(1) Striking, shoving, kicking, or otherwise touching a person in an offensive manner or subjecting such person to offensive physical contact;

(2) Insulting, taunting, or challenging another person in a manner likely to provoke a violent response;

(3) Making verbal or non-verbal expressions that cause another person to feel uncomfortable, pressured, threatened, or in danger:

(A) Because of reasons that include but are not limited to the person's race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, including gender identity and expression, religion, disability, or sexual orientation;

(B) That creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment, or interferes with the education of a student; or

(C) Otherwise adversely affects the educational opportunity of a student or students;

(4) Name calling, making rude gestures, insults, or teasing which causes another person to feel humiliated, intimidated, threatened, or embarrassed;

(5) Making a telephone call without purpose of legitimate communication;

(6) Making repeated communications anonymously, at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language on campus or other department of education premises, on department of education transportation, or during a department of education sponsored activity or event on or off school property;

(7) Causing fear to prevent another person from gaining legitimate access to or use of school buildings, facilities, services, or grounds including restroom facilities; or

(8) Physically harming, physically restraining, threatening, or stalking another person."

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Part    . bullying PREVENTION AND RESPONSE action plan

302A-   Bullying prevention and response action plan. (a) The board shall develop a bullying prevention and response action plan to inform public school students, public school employees and volunteers, and department employees and volunteers of policies and procedures for:

(1) Prevention of and education regarding bullying, harassment, and retaliation in the department and in public schools;

(2) Reporting bullying and harassment to the department, board, or law enforcement agencies, as appropriate;

(3) Reporting bullying or harassment to the parents of the public school students who committed or were affected by bullying or harassment;

(4) Investigation of alleged bullying or harassment by the department if the alleged bullying or harassment occurred in a public school or by the board if the alleged bullying or harassment occurred in the department;

(5) Preservation and documentation of evidence of bullying and harassment in the department or public schools;

(6) Mediation, non-punitive response, or other alternative dispute resolution for conduct occurring between public school students, employees, or volunteers of equal power; provided that no public school student, employee, or volunteer shall be required to accept mediation, non-punitive response, or other alternative dispute resolution in lieu of reporting to law enforcement agencies if the act or conduct may reasonably constitute bullying or harassment;

(7) Referral, if appropriate, of public school students, public school employees or volunteers, or department employees or volunteers to outside resources or counseling services to remedy any mental health, social, or family challenges that arise from harassment or bullying; and

(8) An appeal process for any party not satisfied with the outcome of the department or board's investigation or response.

(b) The board shall establish requirements for the department to report to the board on the department's compliance with any department administrative rules or applicable statutes governing bullying and harassment and shall monitor the department's compliance.

(c) The board shall review and update the bullying prevention and response plan every twenty-four months to reflect electronic and technological changes and incorporate best practices in bullying prevention, education, investigation, reporting, and resolution.

302A-   Annual reporting requirements. The board, or the department as the board's designee, shall submit an annual report on the bullying prevention and response action plan, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session of the legislature, beginning with the regular session of 2020. The report shall redact any names or other identifying information that would identify any individual involved in an alleged incidence of bullying or harassment. For each alleged incident of bullying or harassment, the report shall include:

(1) A brief description of each act or conduct included in the incident;

(2) The date or date range that the incident occurred;

(3) The date the incident was reported to the department or board;

(4) The status of the investigation by the department or board into the incident, as of the date of the report;

(5) The disposition of the investigation, as of the date of the report;

(6) The number of days elapsed between the date the incident was reported to the department or board and the implementation of its response, if any;

(7) Identification of the public school associated with the incident;

(8) The disposition of any incident that was not identified as resolved in the prior annual report to the legislature; and

(9) Any other information the board or department deems pertinent; provided that in no case shall the report include any name, identifying number, or other identifying information of any individual involved in an incident of alleged bullying or harassment that will identify the affected parties.

SECTION 3. Act 214, Session Laws of Hawaii 2011, is repealed.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Public Schools; Bullying; Cyberbullying; Action Plan

 

Description:

Requires the Department of Education to establish a Bullying Prevention and Response Action Plan. Requires the Board of Education or Department of Education to submit an annual report to the Legislature on the Action Plan and reported incidents of alleged bullying and harassment.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.