The 2008 Legislature amended the anti-bullying statute and effective July 1, 2008, requires school districts to:
1) adopt and implement a plan to address cyberbullying, and
2) adopt policies prohibiting bullying on school property, in school vehicles, or at school-sponsored activities, and
3) adopt and implement a plan to address bullying, which must include provisions for training and education of staff and students.
4) upon request of a school district, the state board shall assist in the development of a grade appropriate curriculum for character development programs.
Shown below are the provisions of the anti-bullying legislation:
Section 1. K.S.A. 2007 Supp. 72-8256 is hereby amended to read as follows: 72-8256. (a) As used in this section:
(1) “Bullying” means: (A) Any intentional gesture or any intentional written, verbal, electronic or physical act or threat that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for a student or staff member that a reasonable person, under the circumstances, knows or should know will have the effect of:
i. Harming a student or staff member, whether physically or mentally;
ii. Damaging a student’s or staff member’s property:
iii. Placing a student or staff member in reasonable fear of harm to the student or staff member; or
iv. Placing a student or staff member in reasonable fear of damage to the student’s or staff member’s property; or
(B) cyberbullying, or
(C) any form of intimidation or harassment prohibited by the board of education of the school district in policies concerning bullying adopted pursuant to this section or subsection (e)of K.S.A. 72-8205, and amendments thereto.
(2) “Cyberbullying” means bullying by use of any electronic communication device through means including, but not limited to, e-mail, instant messaging, text messages, blogs, mobile phones, pagers, online games and websites.
(3) “School vehicle” means any school bus, school van, other school vehicle and private vehicle used to transport students or staff members to and from school or any school-sponsored activity or event.
(b) The board of education of each school district shall adopt a policy to prohibit bullying on school property, in a school vehicle or at a school-sponsored activity or event.
(c) The board of education of each school district shall adopt and implement a plan to address bullying or while utilizing on school property, in a school vehicle or at a school sponsored activity or event. Such a plan shall include provisions for the training and education for staff members and students.
(d) The board of education of each school district may adopt additional policies relating to bullying pursuant to subsection (e) of K.S.A. 72-8205, and amendments thereto.