State and federal statutes address bullying and related issues. Districts should consult with their legal counsel for interpretation of these statutes and development and administration of local policies.
Schools have an obligation to protect students from third party harm as may occur in a bullying situation. When students have not received the benefit of this protection, a school may have to respond to litigation based on one or more of the following factors.
the behaviors affected learning or deprived someone of access to learning
the school knew or should have known of the harmful behaviors
the school acted with deliberate indifference
the school failed to follow district policy
The Nebraska Legislature passed legislation (LB205) in February 2008 requiring schools to adopt a bullying policy.
The Nebraska Board of Education – Anti-Bullying Policy was approved February, 2003, and supports the development of positive behaviors by providing physically safe and emotionally secure environments for all students and staff. The State Board policy statement is accompanied by the Nebraska Department of Education Implementation Plan.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Title IV-A, Section 4114 (d) (7) requires schools receiving federal funds to establish a plan for keeping schools safe and drug free. These plans must include five elements:
appropriate and effective discipline policies;
student codes of conduct; and
a crisis management plan for responding to violent or traumatic incidents on school grounds.
No Child Left Behind provides a mechanism for students to leave chronically dangerous schools. For more information on school safety, go to the U.S.Department of Education Fact Sheet, or the U.S. Dept. of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (Title IV-A) website.
Federal and Nebraska state statutes, laws and rules address anti-social or unacceptable behaviors and provide guidance and/or regulations for schools
Sexual Harassment Sexual Harassment: Federal Title IX
Sexual Harassment Sexual Harassment Guidance (OCR)
Student Discipline – Nebraska Student Discipline Act
Student Conduct – Nebraska Student Conduct Statute §79-267
School Safety Plans – Nebraska Rule 10