Michigan School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Bullying, Harassment, or Hazing

Discipline Compendium

Michigan School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Bullying, Harassment, or Hazing

Category: Discipline Addressing Specific Code of Conduct Violations
Subcategory: Bullying, Harassment, or Hazing
State: Michigan

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LAWS

380.1310b. Policy prohibiting bullying; adoption and implementation; public hearing; submission of policy to department; contents of policy; annual report of incidents of bullying; form and procedure; school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or parent or guardian reporting act of bullying to school official; modified policy; definitions; section to be known as "Matt Epling Safe School Law.".

(1) The board of a school district or intermediate school district or board of directors of a public school academy shall adopt and implement a policy prohibiting bullying at school, as defined in this section.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), before adopting the policy required under subsection (1) or any modification to the policy, the board or board of directors shall hold at least 1 public hearing on the proposed policy or modification. This public hearing may be held as part of a regular board meeting. Subject to subsection (3), not later than 30 days after adopting or modifying the policy under subsection (1), the board or board of directors shall submit a copy of its policy to the department.

(3) If, as of March 31, 2015, a school district, intermediate school district, or public school academy has already adopted and implemented an existing policy prohibiting bullying at school and that policy is in compliance with subsections (1) and (5), the board of the school district or intermediate school district or board of directors of the public school academy is not required to adopt and implement a modified policy under subsection (1). However, this subsection applies to a school district, intermediate school district, or public school academy described in this subsection only if the board or board of directors submits a copy of its policy to the department not later than May 31, 2015.

(4) Not later than 1 year after the deadline under subsection (2) for districts and public school academies to submit copies of their modified policies to the department, the department shall submit a report to the senate and house standing committees on education summarizing the status of the implementation of the modifications to policies required under 2014 PA 478.

(5) A policy adopted pursuant to subsection (1) shall include at least all of the following:

(a) A statement prohibiting bullying of a pupil. Not later than October 1, 2015, this statement shall be modified as necessary to comply with 2014 PA 478 including, but not limited to, the inclusion of cyberbullying as a form of bullying.

(b) A statement prohibiting retaliation or false accusation against a target of bullying, a witness, or another person with reliable information about an act of bullying.

(c) A provision indicating that all pupils are protected under the policy and that bullying is equally prohibited without regard to its subject matter or motivating animus.

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

(e) A statement describing how the policy is to be publicized.

(f) A procedure for providing notification to the parent or legal guardian of a victim of bullying and the parent or legal guardian of a perpetrator of the bullying.

(g) A procedure for reporting an act of bullying.

(h) A procedure for prompt investigation of a report of violation of the policy or a related complaint, identifying either the principal or the principal's designee as the person responsible for the investigation.

(i) A procedure for each public school to document any prohibited incident that is reported and a procedure to report all verified incidents of bullying and the resulting consequences, including discipline and referrals, to the board of the school district or intermediate school district or board of directors of the public school academy on an annual basis.

(j) An assurance of confidentiality for an individual who reports an act of bullying and procedures to safeguard that confidentiality.

(6) The legislature encourages a board or board of directors to include all of the following in the policy required under this section:

(a) Provisions to form bullying prevention task forces, programs, teen courts, and other initiatives involving school staff, pupils, school clubs or other student groups, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement, community members, and other stakeholders.

(b) A requirement for annual training for administrators, school employees, and volunteers who have significant contact with pupils on preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying.

(c) A requirement for educational programs for pupils and parents on preventing, identifying, responding to, and reporting incidents of bullying and cyberbullying.

(d) Provisions for considering the use of restorative practices in the correction of bullying behavior, as described in section 1310c.

(7) The department shall establish a form and procedure for school districts and public school academies to report incidents of bullying to the department on an annual basis and shall make this information readily available to the public. A school district or public school academy shall report incidents of bullying to the department according to the form and procedures established by the department. The department shall ensure that the information collected and made available under this subsection does not include personally identifiable information about any individual who reports or is involved in a specific incident of bullying.

(8) A school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or parent or guardian who promptly reports in good faith an act of bullying to the appropriate school official designated in the school district's or public school academy's policy and who makes this report in compliance with the procedures set forth in the policy is immune from a cause of action for damages arising out of the reporting itself or any failure to remedy the reported incident. However, this immunity does not apply to a school official who is designated under subsection (5)(d), or who is responsible for remedying the bullying, when acting in that capacity.

(9) If the board of a school district or intermediate school district or board of directors of a public school academy amends or otherwise modifies its policy required under this subsection at any time after a copy of the policy was initially submitted to the department under subsection (2) or (3), the board or board of directors shall submit a copy of the modified policy to the department not later than 30 days after adopting the modification.

(10) As used in this section:

(a) "At school" means in a classroom, elsewhere on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, or at a school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises. "At school" includes conduct using a telecommunications access device or telecommunications service provider that occurs off school premises if the telecommunications access device or the telecommunications service provider is owned by or under the control of the school district or public school academy.

(b) "Bullying" means any written, verbal, or physical act, or any electronic communication, including, but not limited to, cyberbullying, that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm 1 or more pupils either directly or indirectly by doing any of the following:

(i) Substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of 1 or more pupils.

(ii) Adversely affecting the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school district's or public school's educational programs or activities by placing the pupil in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing substantial emotional distress.

(iii) Having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a pupil's physical or mental health.

(iv) Causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

(c) "Cyberbullying" means any electronic communication that is intended or that a reasonable person would know is likely to harm 1 or more pupils either directly or indirectly by doing any of the following:

(i) Substantially interfering with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of 1 or more pupils.

(ii) Adversely affecting the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school district's or public school's educational programs or activities by placing the pupil in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing substantial emotional distress.

(iii) Having an actual and substantial detrimental effect on a pupil's physical or mental health.

(iv) Causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

(d) "Restorative practices" means that term as defined in section 1310c.

(e) "Telecommunications access device" and "telecommunications service provider" mean those terms as defined in section 219a of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.219a.

(11) This section shall be known as "The Matt Epling Safe School Law".

380.1310c. Restorative practices as alternative or in addition to suspension or expulsion; definitions.

(1) A school board or its designee shall consider using restorative practices as an alternative or in addition to suspension or expulsion under this act. If a school board or its designee suspends or expels a pupil under this act, the school board or its designee shall consider using restorative practices in addition to suspension or expulsion. If a school board or its designee decides not to suspend or expel a pupil for a disciplinary issue, the school board or its designee shall consider using restorative practices to address the disciplinary issue.

(2) Restorative practices may include victim-offender conferences that are initiated by the victim; that are approved by the victim's parent or legal guardian or, if the victim is at least age 15, by the victim; that are attended voluntarily by the victim, a victim advocate, the offender, members or the school community, and supporters of the victim and the offender; and that provide an opportunity for the offender to accept responsibility for the harm caused to those affected by the misconduct and to participate in setting consequences to repair the harm. The attendees, known as a restorative practices team, may require the pupil to do 1 or more of the following: apologize; participate in community service, restoration, or counseling; or pay restitution. The selected consequences shall be incorporated into an agreement that sets time limits for completion of the consequences and is signed by all participants. Restorative practices should be the first consideration to remediate offenses such as interpersonal conflicts, bullying, verbal and physical conflicts, theft, damage to property, class disruption, and harassment and cyberbullying.

388.1631a. Allocations to eligible districts and eligible public school academies; proficiencies; funding eligibility; early literacy and numeracy; multi-tiered system of supports; weighted foundation per-pupil payment for economically disadvantaged pupils; school breakfast program; primary health care services; hearing and vision screenings; report; audit; implementation of schoolwide reform in schools with at-risk pupils; research-based professional development; instructional or behavioral coaches; prorated payments; dissolved district; anti-bullying or crisis intervention program; assignment of Pathways to Potential Success coaches; definitions.

(17) A district or public school academy that receives funds under this section may use funds received under this section to provide an anti-bullying or crisis intervention program.

750.411t. Hazing prohibited; violation; penalty; exceptions; certain defenses barred; definitions; section title.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (4), a person who attends, is employed by, or is a volunteer of an educational institution shall not engage in or participate in the hazing of an individual.

(2) A person who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a crime punishable as follows:

(a) If the violation results in physical injury, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(b) If the violation results in serious impairment of a body function, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $2,500.00, or both.

(c) If the violation results in death, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both.

(3) A criminal penalty provided for under this section may be imposed in addition to any penalty that may be imposed for any other criminal offense arising from the same conduct.

(4) This section does not apply to an individual who is the subject of the hazing, regardless of whether the individual voluntarily allowed himself or herself to be hazed.

(5) This section does not apply to an activity that is normal and customary in an athletic, physical education, military training, or similar program sanctioned by the educational institution.

(6) It is not a defense to a prosecution for a crime under this section that the individual against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing.

(7) As used in this section:

(a) "Educational institution" means a public or private school that is a middle school, junior high school, high school, vocational school, college, or university located in this state.

(b) "Hazing" means an intentional, knowing, or reckless act by a person acting alone or acting with others that is directed against an individual and that the person knew or should have known endangers the physical health or safety of the individual, and that is done for the purpose of pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, participating in, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization. Subject to subsection (5), hazing includes any of the following that is done for such a purpose:

(i) Physical brutality, such as whipping, beating, striking, branding, electronic shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or similar activity.

(ii) Physical activity, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to the elements, confinement in a small space, or calisthenics, that subjects the other person to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual.

(iii) Activity involving consumption of a food, liquid, alcoholic beverage, liquor, drug, or other substance that subjects the individual to an unreasonable risk of harm or that adversely affects the physical health or safety of the individual.

(iv) Activity that induces, causes, or requires an individual to perform a duty or task that involves the commission of a crime or an act of hazing.

(c) "Organization" means a fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, cooperative, club, service group, social group, athletic team, or similar group whose members are primarily students at an educational institution.

(d) "Pledge" means an individual who has been accepted by, is considering an offer of membership from, or is in the process of qualifying for membership in any organization.

(e) "Pledging" means any action or activity related to becoming a member of an organization.

(f) "Serious impairment of a body function" means that term as defined in section 479a.

(8) This section shall be known and may be cited as "Garret's law".

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

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