North Carolina “Anti Bullying Bill”
Understanding the School Violence Prevention Act
On July 30, 2009, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue signed the School Violence Prevention Act (also known as the “anti-bullying bill”). The new law requires K-12 public schools in the state to adopt strong, consistent policies to protect all students from bullying and harassment.
Who does the law affect?
The School Violence Prevention Act affects all students, faculty and staff at K-12 public schools in North Carolina. Those in schools that already have strong antibullying policies may not see much of a change if their policies already fit into the new guidelines.
When did the law take effect?
North Carolina School districts’ comprehensive anti-bullying policies should have been in place by December 31, 2009.
How will the new law be implemented?
Notice of the local policy will be printed in any school publication that lists comprehensive rules, procedures, and standards of conduct and in any student and school employee handbook. Information regarding the local policy against bullying or harassing behavior will also be incorporated into schools’ employee training programs. More information on implementation is available in the “Implementation of the Law” section.
Definition of bullying or harassing behavior
"Bullying or harassing behavior" is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic, or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus, and that:
i. Places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property; or
ii. Creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits.
List of characteristics
Bullying or harassing behavior includes, but is not limited to, acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.
Source: ACLU of North Carolina