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

Discipline Compendium

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

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

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LAWS

339.250. Duty of student to comply with rules; policies on discipline, suspension, expulsion, threats of violence or harm, firearms and physical force; student handbook or code of conduct; enforcement of policies.

(2) Each district school board shall adopt written policies for the discipline, suspension or expulsion of any refractory student. The policies:

(a) May allow discipline, suspension or expulsion for conduct that includes, but is not limited to:

(F) Use of threats, intimidation, harassment or coercion against a student or a school employee.

339.329. Statewide tip line to report information concerning threats or potential threats to student safety; rules.

(1) As used in this section:

(a) "Cyberbullying" and "harassment, intimidation or bullying" have the meanings given those terms in ORS 339.351.

(f) "Threat to student safety" includes, but is not limited to, a threat or instance of:

(A) Harassment, intimidation or bullying or cyberbullying;

(2) The Department of State Police shall establish a statewide tip line for students and other members of the public to use to confidentially report information concerning threats to student safety or potential threats to student safety.

339.341. Statewide School Safety and Prevention System; rules.

(1) As used in this section:

(a) "Cyberbullying" has the meaning given that term in ORS 339.351.

(b) "Harassment, intimidation or bullying" has the meaning given that term in ORS 339.351.

(2) The Department of Education shall establish and maintain the Statewide School Safety and Prevention System.

(3) The system required under this section shall consist of the following:

(a) Assistance to school districts and education service districts in decreasing acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying and acts of cyberbullying through the implementation of effective prevention programs that:

(A) Incorporate evidenced-based, multitiered practices; and

(B) Support resiliency building and trauma-informed care practices.

(4) The system required under this section shall be supported by school safety and prevention specialists who:

(a) Serve regions of this state;

(b) Are cross-trained in safety assessments and in the prevention of youth suicide, of acts of bullying, intimidation or harassment and of acts of cyberbullying; and

(c) Provide or facilitate training, the development of programs and plans, the coordination of local teams and the provision of ongoing consultation to regional partners, school districts and education service districts.

(5) The State Board of Education, in consultation with the Oregon Health Authority and other representatives of school districts, education service districts, school employees, human services, mental health professionals and law enforcement agencies, shall adopt rules related to the system required under this section.

339.351. Definitions for ORS 339.351 to 339.364.

As used in ORS 339.351 to 339.364:

(1) "Cyberbullying" means the use of any electronic communication device to harass, intimidate or bully.

(2) "Harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any act that:

(a) Substantially interferes with a student's educational benefits, opportunities or performance;

(b) Takes place on or immediately adjacent to school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided transportation or at any official school bus stop;

(c) Has the effect of:

(A) Physically harming a student or damaging a student's property;

(B) Knowingly placing a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student or damage to the student's property; or

(C) Creating a hostile educational environment, including interfering with the psychological well-being of a student; and

(d) May be based on, but not be limited to, the protected class status of a person.

(3) "Protected class" means a group of persons distinguished, or perceived to be distinguished, by race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, familial status, source of income or disability.

339.353. Findings.

(1) The Legislative Assembly finds that:

(a) A safe and civil environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards.

(b) Harassment, intimidation or bullying and cyberbullying, like other disruptive or violent behavior, are conduct that disrupts a student's ability to learn and a school's ability to educate its students in a safe environment.

(c) Students learn by example.

(2) The Legislative Assembly commends school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying and refusing to tolerate cyberbullying.

339.356. District policy required.

(1) Each school district shall adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying and prohibiting cyberbullying. School districts shall develop the policy after consultation with parents, guardians, school employees, volunteers, students, administrators and community representatives.

(2) School districts must include in the policy:

(a) A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying and prohibiting cyberbullying.

(b) Definitions of "harassment," "intimidation" or "bullying" and of "cyberbullying" that are consistent with ORS 339.351.

(c) Definitions of "protected class" that are consistent with ORS 174.100 and 339.351.

(d) A statement of the scope of the policy, including a notice that the policy applies to behavior at school-sponsored activities, on school-provided transportation and at any official school bus stop.

(e) A description of the type of behavior expected from each student.

(f) A procedure that is uniform throughout the school district for reporting an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying. A procedure established under this paragraph shall:

(A) Identify by job title the school officials responsible for receiving such a report at a school.

(B) Require a school employee to report an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying to a person identified under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

(C) Require the school official identified under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph to notify the parents or guardians of a student who was subjected to an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying and the parents or guardians of a student who may have conducted an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying. Notification must occur with involvement and consideration of the needs and concerns of the student who was subjected to an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying. For the purposes of this subparagraph:

(i) Notification is not required under this subparagraph if the school official reasonably believes notification could endanger the student who was subjected to an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying or if all of the following occur:

                                (I) The student who was subjected to an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying requests that notification not be provided to the student’s parents or guardians;

                                (II) The school official determines that notification is not in the best interest of the student who was subjected to an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying; and

                                (III) The school official informs the student that federal law may require the student’s parents or guardians to have access to the student’s education record, including any requests made as provided by this sub-subparagraph.

                (ii) If the school official does not make the determination described in sub-subparagraph (i)(II) of this subparagraph, the school official must inform the student of that determination prior to providing notification.

(iii) When notification is provided under this subparagraph, the notification must occur:

                                (I) Within a reasonable period of time; or

                                (II) Promptly, for acts that caused physical harm to the student

(D) Identify any remedial action that may be imposed on a school employee for failure to make a report as required by subparagraph (B) of this paragraph.

(E) Allow a student or volunteer to report an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying voluntarily and anonymously to a person identified under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph .Nothing in this subparagraph may be construed to permit remedial action solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

(g) A procedure that is uniform throughout the school district for prompt investigation of a report of an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying. A procedure established under this paragraph shall identify by job title the school officials responsible for investigating such a report.

(h) A procedure by which a person may request a school district to review the actions of a school in responding to a report of an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying or investigating such a report.

(i) A statement of the manner in which a school and a school district will respond after an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying is reported, investigated and confirmed.

(j) A statement of the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have committed an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying.

(k) A statement prohibiting reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying and stating the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in such reprisal or retaliation.

(L) A statement of the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely accused another of having committed an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying as a means of reprisal or retaliation, as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying or as a means of cyberbullying.

(m) A statement of how the policy is to be publicized within the district. At a minimum, a school district shall make the policy:

(A) Annually available to parents, guardians, school employees and students in a student or employee handbook; and

(B) Readily available to parents, guardians, school employees, volunteers, students, administrators and community representatives at each school office or at the school district office and, if available, on the website for a school or the school district.

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

(3) A school district that does not comply with the requirements of this section is considered nonstandard under ORS 327.103.

339.362. Retaliation against victims and witnesses prohibited; school employee immunity.

(1) A school employee, student or volunteer may not engage in reprisal or retaliation against a victim of, witness to or person with reliable information about an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying.

(2)(a) A school employee who witnesses or has reliable information that a student has been subjected to an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying must report the act to the appropriate school official designated by the school district's policy.

(b) A student or volunteer who witnesses or has reliable information that a student has been subjected to an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying is encouraged to report the act to the appropriate school official designated by the school district's policy.

(3) A school employee who promptly reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying or an act of cyberbullying to the appropriate school official in compliance with the procedures set forth in the school district's policy is immune from a cause of action for damages arising from any failure to remedy the reported act.

339.364. Victim may seek redress under other laws.

ORS 339.351 to 339.364 may not be interpreted to prevent a victim of harassment, intimidation or bullying or a victim of cyberbullying from seeking redress under any other available law, whether civil or criminal. ORS 339.351 to 339.364 do not create any statutory cause of action.

REGULATIONS

581-022-2310. Equal Education Opportunities.

(1) Each district school board shall adopt written policies, and the school district shall implement in each school, programs which assure equity, opportunity and access for all students as provided in OAR 581-021-0045 and 581-021-0046.

(2) Each district school board shall adopt a policy in accordance with ORS 339.356 prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying and prohibiting cyberbullying. School districts are encouraged to develop the policy after consultation with parents and guardians, school employees, volunteers, students, administrators and community representatives.

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