Does Massachusetts have a law to protect public school students from bullying?
Yes. In May 2010, Massachusetts implemented one of the strongest anti-bullying laws (Chapter 92 of the Acts of 2010. See http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2010/Chapter92) in the country. It has strict requirements that schools must follow to protect students from a wide variety of bullying, be it physical, verbal, or online. Many of these requirements apply to all schools, whether public, private, or charter. Some of the key provisions of the law include:
- Every school, with the exception of some private schools, must have in place a comprehensive anti-bullying policy;
- A student’s parents or guardians must be notified if the school learns that they have been bullied;
- Teachers and other school staff must receive training on how to handle bullying, and are required to report bullying to the administration;
- Each school must teach students about bullying.
For detailed information about this law, see GLAD’s publication, Massachusetts Students: What To Do If You’re Being Bullied.