Legal Blog

Massachusetts has a lot of newer Anti-Bullying Laws and requirements that the school has to follow in order to protect students from bullying.  Bullying does not just include physical violence, but it can also include words and it applies to all schools; whether they are public, private or chartered.  Bullying means any kind of repeated hostility towards a student. It is broadly defined; including written, verbal, electronic or physical acts that can cause the student physical or emotional harm.  It also includes damage to property; place you in a reasonable fear of harm and substantially disrupting education. 


There is also Cyber Bullying, which is using the technology and assuming the identity on the internet; which can include, bullying anonymously or impersonating other people.  Every school needs to have with a couple of exceptions for private schools; an Anti-Bullying Policy that has to be posted on the school’s website and you can also request it from the school administrator.  It has to define the procedures about notification and what the school needs to do to investigate and things of that nature. 


Again, the parents or guardians of the student that has been bullied must be notified if the school learns that they have been bullied.  In addition, the teacher’s and other school staff have to receive training on how to handle bullying and are required to report the bullying to administration if they see it occur.  If the student is bullied in front of a staff member, at school or on the bus there is a legal obligation to report that.  The principal or whoever is the head of the school has a legal obligation to report and take the disciplinary actions.

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