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Synopsis: 2001 Oregon Laws, H.B. 3403 Requires school districts to adopt policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying no later than January 1, 2004. Encourages including in the policy incident reporting and investigation procedures and a statement of consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who harasses, intimidates, or bullies. Encourages formation of task forces and training at the school district level. Prohibits engaging in retaliation against a victim of, witness to, or person with reliable information about, an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. Encourages reporting of incidents and provides immunity to school employees who promptly report incidents in compliance with the policies adopted under the measure.

1997 Oregon Laws, H.B. 3544  Requires the State Department of Education to establish a two-year pilot program to address problems associated with disruptive students in schools, including counseling and social work services, and parent counseling/training classes.  Defines ďserious offenseĒ as a violation of a school district rule related to alcohol or drugs, arson, assault, firearms, extortion, harassment, intimidation or menacing, knives, reckless endangering, sexual harassment, theft, vandalism, or weapons.         (Comment: Does this above law include the VICTIM of the bully too?  Oregon could get an A+ rating if this addition were added to their Bullying Prevention law.)

 OREGON

A

Chapter 617 Oregon Laws 2001
AN ACT
HB 3403
Relating to students.
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:

SECTION 1. The Legislative Assembly finds that:

(1) A safe and civil environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards.

(2) Harassment, intimidation or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behavior, is conduct that disrupts a studentís ability to learn and a schoolís ability to educate its students in a safe environment.

(3) Students learn by example. The legislature commends school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying.

SECTION 2. As used in sections 1 to 7 of this 2001 Act, "harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any act that substantially interferes with a studentís educational benefits, opportunities or performance, that takes place on or immediately adjacent to school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation or at any official school bus stop, and that has the effect of:

(1) Physically harming a student or damaging a studentís property;

(2) Knowingly placing a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student or damage to the studentís property; or

(3) Creating a hostile educational environment.

SECTION 3. (1) Each school district shall adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying. School districts are encouraged to develop the policy after consultation with parents and guardians, school employees, volunteers, students, administrators and community representatives.

(2) School districts are encouraged to include in the policy:

(a) A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying;

(b) A definition of harassment, intimidation or bullying that is consistent with section 2 of this 2001 Act;

(c) A description of the type of behavior expected from each student;

(d) A statement of the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying;

(e) A procedure for reporting an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying, including a provision that permits a person to report an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying anonymously. Nothing in this paragraph may be construed to permit formal disciplinary action solely on the basis of an anonymous report;

(f) A procedure for prompt investigation of a report of an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying;

(g) A statement of the manner in which a school district will respond after an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying is reported, investigated and confirmed;

(h) A statement of the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have committed an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying;

(i) A statement prohibiting reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying and stating the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in such reprisal or retaliation;

(j) A statement of the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely accused another of having committed an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying as a means of reprisal or retaliation or as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying;

(k) A statement of how the policy is to be publicized within the district, including a notice that the policy applies to behavior at school-sponsored activities; and

(L) The identification by job title of school officials responsible for ensuring that policy is implemented.

SECTION 4. Each school district shall adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying and transmit a copy of the policy to the Superintendent of Public Instruction by January 1, 2004.

SECTION 5. (1) A school employee, student or volunteer may not engage in reprisal or retaliation against a victim of, witness to or person with reliable information about an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.

(2) A school employee, student or volunteer who witnesses or has reliable information that a student has been subjected to an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying is encouraged to report the act to the appropriate school official designated by the school districtís policy.

(3) A school employee who promptly reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying to the appropriate school official in compliance with the procedures set forth in the school districtís policy is immune from a cause of action for damages arising from any failure to remedy the reported act.

SECTION 6. School districts are encouraged to form harassment, intimidation or bullying prevention task forces, programs, and other initiatives involving school employees, students, administrators, volunteers, parents, guardians, law enforcement and community representatives.

SECTION 7. Sections 1 to 7 of this 2001 Act may not be interpreted to prevent a victim of harassment, intimidation or bullying from seeking redress under any other available law, whether civil or criminal. Sections 1 to 7 of this 2001 Act do not create any statutory cause of action.

Approved by the Governor June 26, 2001

Filed in the office of Secretary of State June 26, 2001

Effective date January 1, 2002

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