School Discipline Laws & Regulations by State & Category

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Statesort descending Statute
Texas

LAWS

§ 129A.001. Definition.

In this chapter, "cyberbullying" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.0832(a), Education Code.

§ 129A.002. Injunctive relief.

(a) A recipient of cyberbullying behavior who is younger than 18 years of age at the time the cyberbullying occurs or a parent of or person standing in parental relation to the recipient may seek injunctive relief under this chapter against the individual who was cyberbullying the recipient or, if the individual is younger than 18 years of age, against a parent of or person standing in parental relation to the individual.

(b) A court may issue a temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or permanent injunction appropriate under the circumstances to prevent any further cyberbullying, including an order or injunction:

(1) Enjoining a defendant from engaging in cyberbullying; or

(2) Compelling a defendant who is a parent of or person standing in parental relation to an individual who is younger than 18 years of age to take reasonable actions to cause the individual to cease engaging in cyberbullying.

(c) A plaintiff in an action for injunctive relief brought under this section is entitled to a temporary restraining order on showing that the plaintiff is likely to succeed in establishing that the individual was cyberbullying the recipient. The plaintiff is not required to plead or prove that, before notice can be served and a hearing can be held, immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage is likely to result from past or future cyberbullying by the individual against the recipient.

(d) A plaintiff is entitled to a temporary or permanent injunction under this section on showing that the individual was cyberbullying the recipient.

(e) A court granting a temporary restraining order or temporary injunction under this section may, on motion of either party or sua sponte, order the preservation of any relevant electronic communication. The temporary restraining order or temporary injunction is not required to:

(1) Define the injury or state why it is irreparable;

(2) State why the order was granted without notice; or

(3) Include an order setting the cause for trial on the merits with respect to the ultimate relief requested.

§ 129A.003. Promulgation of forms.

(a) The supreme court shall, as the court finds appropriate, promulgate forms for use as an application for initial injunctive relief by individuals representing themselves in suits involving cyberbullying and instructions for the proper use of each form or set of forms.

(b) The forms and instructions:

(1) Must be written in language that is easily understood by the general public;

(2) Shall be made readily available to the general public in the manner prescribed by the supreme court; and

(3) Must be translated into the Spanish language.

(c) The Spanish language translation of a form must:

(1) State:

(A) That the Spanish language translated form is to be used solely for the purpose of assisting in understanding the form and may not be submitted to the court; and

(B) That the English language version of the form must be submitted to the court; or

(2) Be incorporated into the English language version of the form in a manner that is understandable to both the court and members of the general public.

(d) Each form and its instructions must clearly and conspicuously state that the form is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

(e) The attorney general and the clerk of a court shall inform members of the general public of the availability of a form promulgated by the supreme court under this section as appropriate and make the form available free of charge.

(f) A court shall accept a form promulgated by the supreme court under this section unless the form has been completed in a manner that causes a substantive defect that cannot be cured.

§ 129A.004. Inapplicability.

(a) An action filed under this chapter may not be joined with an action filed under Title 1, 4, or 5, Family Code.

(b) Chapter 27 does not apply to an action under this chapter.

§ 129A.005. Certain conduct excepted.

This chapter does not apply to a claim brought against an interactive computer service, as defined by 47 U.S.C. Section 230, for cyberbullying.

§ 25.0342. Transfer of students who are victims of or have engaged in bullying.

(a) In this section, "bullying" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.0832.

(b) On the request of a parent or other person with authority to act on behalf of a student who is a victim of bullying, the board of trustees of a school district or the board's designee shall transfer the victim to:

(1) Another classroom at the campus to which the victim was assigned at the time the bullying occurred; or

(2) A campus in the school district other than the campus to which the victim was assigned at the time the bullying occurred.

(b-1) The board of trustees of a school district may transfer the student who engaged in bullying to:

(1) Another classroom at the campus to which the victim was assigned at the time the bullying occurred; or

(2) A campus in the district other than the campus to which the victim was assigned at the time the bullying occurred, in consultation with a parent or other person with authority to act on behalf of the student who engaged in bullying.

(b-2) Section 37.004 applies to a transfer under Subsection (b-1) of a student with a disability who receives special education services.

(c) The board of trustees or the board's designee shall verify that a student has been a victim of bullying before transferring the student under this section.

(d) The board of trustees or the board's designee may consider past student behavior when identifying a bully.

(e) The determination by the board of trustees or the board's designee is final and may not be appealed.

(f) A school district is not required to provide transportation to a student who transfers to another campus under Subsection (b)(2).

(g) Section 25.034 does not apply to a transfer under this section.

§ 37.0052. Placement or expulsion of students who have engaged in certain bullying behavior.

(a) In this section:

(1) "Bullying" has the meaning assigned by Section 37.0832.

(2) "Intimate visual material" has the meaning assigned by Section 98B.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(b) A student may be removed from class and placed in a disciplinary alternative education program as provided by Section 37.008 or expelled if the student:

(1) Engages in bullying that encourages a student to commit or attempt to commit suicide;

(2) Incites violence against a student through group bullying; or

(3) Releases or threatens to release intimate visual material of a minor or a student who is 18 years of age or older without the student's consent.

(c) Nothing in this section exempts a school from reporting a finding of intimate visual material of a minor.

§ 37.083. Discipline management programs; Sexual harassment policies.

(a) Each school district shall adopt and implement a discipline management program to be included in the district improvement plan under Section 11.252. The program must provide for prevention of and education concerning unwanted physical or verbal aggression and sexual harassment in school, on school grounds, and in school vehicles.

(b) Each school district may develop and implement a sexual harassment policy to be included in the district improvement plan under Section 11.252

§ 37.0832. Bullying prevention policies and procedures.

(a) In this section:

(1) "Bullying":

(A) Means a single significant act or a pattern of acts by one or more students directed at another student that exploits an imbalance of power and involves engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that satisfies the applicability requirements provided by Subsection (a-1), and that:

(i) Has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or of damage to the student's property;

(ii) Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student;

(iii) Materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school; or

(iv) Infringes on the rights of the victim at school; and

(B) Includes cyberbullying.

(2) "Cyberbullying" means bullying that is done through the use of any electronic communication device, including through the use of a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a camera, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, a social media application, an Internet website, or any other Internet-based communication tool.

(a-1) This section applies to:

(1) Bullying that occurs on or is delivered to school property or to the site of a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property;

(2) Bullying that occurs on a publicly or privately owned school bus or vehicle being used for transportation of students to or from school or a school-sponsored or school-related activity; and

(3) Cyberbullying that occurs off school property or outside of a school-sponsored or school-related activity if the cyberbullying:

(A) Interferes with a student's educational opportunities; or

(B) Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.

(b) Repealed by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 522 (S.B. 179), Sec. 15, eff. September 1, 2017.

(c) The board of trustees of each school district shall adopt a policy, including any necessary procedures, concerning bullying that:

(1) Prohibits the bullying of a student;

(2) Prohibits retaliation against any person, including a victim, a witness, or another person, who in good faith provides information concerning an incident of bullying;

(3) Establishes a procedure for providing notice of an incident of bullying to:

(A) A parent or guardian of the alleged victim on or before the third business day after the date the incident is reported; and

(B) A parent or guardian of the alleged bully within a reasonable amount of time after the incident;

(4) Establishes the actions a student should take to obtain assistance and intervention in response to bullying;

(5) Sets out the available counseling options for a student who is a victim of or a witness to bullying or who engages in bullying;

(6) Establishes procedures for reporting an incident of bullying, including procedures for a student to anonymously report an incident of bullying, investigating a reported incident of bullying, and determining whether the reported incident of bullying occurred;

(7) Prohibits the imposition of a disciplinary measure on a student who, after an investigation, is found to be a victim of bullying, on the basis of that student's use of reasonable self-defense in response to the bullying; and

(8) Requires that discipline for bullying of a student with disabilities comply with applicable requirements under federal law, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1400 et seq.).

(d) The policy and any necessary procedures adopted under Subsection (c) must be included:

(1) Annually, in the student and employee school district handbooks; and

(2) In the district improvement plan under Section 11.252.

(e) The procedure for reporting bullying established under Subsection (c) must be posted on the district's Internet website to the extent practicable.

(f) Each school district may establish a district-wide policy to assist in the prevention and mediation of bullying incidents between students that:

(1) Interfere with a student's educational opportunities; or

(2) Substantially disrupt the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.

§ 37.152. Personal hazing offense.

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) engages in hazing;

(2) Solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid another in engaging in hazing;

(3) Recklessly permits hazing to occur; or

(4) Has firsthand knowledge of the planning of a specific hazing incident involving a student in an educational institution, or has firsthand knowledge that a specific hazing incident has occurred, and knowingly fails to report that knowledge in writing to the dean of students or other appropriate official of the institution.

(b) The offense of failing to report is a Class B misdemeanor.

(c) Any other offense under this section that does not cause serious bodily injury to another is a Class B misdemeanor.

(d) Any other offense under this section that causes serious bodily injury to another is a Class A misdemeanor.

(e) Any other offense under this section that causes the death of another is a state jail felony.

(f) Except if an offense causes the death of a student, in sentencing a person convicted of an offense under this section, the court may require the person to perform community service, subject to the same conditions imposed on a person placed on community supervision under Chapter 42A, Code of Criminal Procedure, for an appropriate period of time in lieu of confinement in county jail or in lieu of a part of the time the person is sentenced to confinement in county jail.

§ 37.153. Organization hazing offense.

(a) An organization commits an offense if the organization condones or encourages hazing or if an officer or any combination of members, pledges, or alumni of the organization commits or assists in the commission of hazing.

(b) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by:

(1) A fine of not less than $ 5,000 nor more than $ 10,000; or

(2) If the court finds that the offense caused personal injury, property damage, or other loss, a fine of not less than $ 5,000 nor more than double the amount lost or expenses incurred because of the injury, damage, or loss.

§ 37.154. Consent not a defense.

It is not a defense to prosecution of an offense under this subchapter that the person against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity.

§ 37.155. Immunity from prosecution available.

In the prosecution of an offense under this subchapter, the court may grant immunity from prosecution for the offense to each person who is subpoenaed to testify for the prosecution and who does testify for the prosecution. Any person reporting a specific hazing incident involving a student in an educational institution to the dean of students or other appropriate official of the institution is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of the report. Immunity extends to participation in any judicial proceeding resulting from the report. A person reporting in bad faith or with malice is not protected by this section.

§ 37.156. Offenses in addition to other penal provisions.

This subchapter does not affect or repeal any penal law of this state. This subchapter does not limit or affect the right of an educational institution to enforce its own penalties against hazing.

§ 37.157. Reporting by medical authorities.

A doctor or other medical practitioner who treats a student who may have been subjected to hazing activities:

(1) May report the suspected hazing activities to police or other law enforcement officials; and

(2) Is immune from civil or other liability that might otherwise be imposed or incurred as a result of the report, unless the report is made in bad faith or with malice.

§ 37.217. Community education relating to Internet safety.

(a) The center, in cooperation with the attorney general, shall develop a program that provides instruction concerning Internet safety, including instruction relating to:

(3) The prevention, detection, and reporting of bullying or threats occurring over the Internet.

§ 42.07. Harassment.

(a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass another, the person:

(1) Initiates communication and in the course of the communication makes a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene;

(2) Threatens, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the threat, to inflict bodily injury on the person or to commit a felony against the person, a member of the person's family or household, or the person's property;

(3) Conveys, in a manner reasonably likely to alarm the person receiving the report, a false report, which is known by the conveyor to be false, that another person has suffered death or serious bodily injury;

(4) causes the telephone of another to ring repeatedly or makes repeated telephone communications anonymously or in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another;

(5) Makes a telephone call and intentionally fails to hang up or disengage the connection;

(6) Knowingly permits a telephone under the person's control to be used by another to commit an offense under this section; or

(7) Sends repeated electronic communications in a manner reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass, or offend another.

(b) In this section:

(1) "Electronic communication" means a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system. The term includes:

(A) A communication initiated through the use of electronic mail, instant message, network call, a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a camera, text message, a social media platform or application, an Internet website, any other Internet-based communication tool, or facsimile machine; and

(B) A communication made to a pager.

(2) "Family" and "household" have the meaning assigned by Chapter 71, Family Code.

(3) "Obscene" means containing a patently offensive description of or a solicitation to commit an ultimate sex act, including sexual intercourse, masturbation, cunnilingus, fellatio, or anilingus, or a description of an excretory function.

(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if:

(1) The actor has previously been convicted under this section; or

(2) The offense was committed under Subsection (a)(7) and:

(A) The offense was committed against a child under 18 years of age with the intent that the child:

(i) Commit suicide; or

(ii) Engage in conduct causing serious bodily injury to the child; or

(B) The actor has previously violated a temporary restraining order or injunction issued under Chapter 129A, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.