Are there any laws protecting gay and transgender students from bullying in New Hampshire?
Yes. On July 1, 2010, the New Hampshire General Court enacted a revision to the Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention Act (see HB 1523 at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2010/HB1523.html) that specifically recognized that pupils who are LGBT or perceived to be LGBT are one of the groups that have historically been targeted for bullying. New Hampshire now has one of the strongest anti-bullying laws in the country.
The 2010 law requires that each school district and charter school adopt a written policy prohibiting bullying and cyberbullying that includes:
- a procedure for reporting the bullying;
- a procedure for notifying the parents or guardian of a victim within 48 hours of the incident report that can be waived if the school feels that doing so is in the best interests of the victim or perpetrator;
- a procedure for investigating the incident in a timely manner, and, for any substantiated incident of bullying, the school must create a remediation plan that may include appropriate disciplinary action against the perpetrator, steps to reduce future incidents or retaliation and, if appropriate, offer assistance to the victim or perpetrator. The remediation plan must also be communicated to the parents or guardians of all the students involved in the incident;
- a plan for communicating, training and educating students, staff and parents about the anti-bullying policy.