Utah Department of Administrative Services Division of Administrative Rules

Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since September 1, 2014, please see the codification segue page.

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R277. Education, Administration.

Rule R277-613. LEA Bullying, Cyber-bullying, Hazing and Harassment Policies and Training.

As in effect on September 1, 2014

Table of Contents

R277-613-1. Definitions.

A. "Board" means the Utah State Board of Education.

B. "Bullying" means intentionally or knowingly committing an act that:

(1)(a) endangers the physical health or safety of a school employee or student;

(b) involves any brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or exposure to the elements;

(c) involves consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance;

(d) involves other physical activity that endangers the physical health and safety of a school employee or student; or

(e) involves physically obstructing a school employee's or student's freedom to move; and

(2) is done for the purpose of placing a school employee or student in fear of:

(a) physical harm to the school employee or student; or

(b) harm to property of the school employee or student.

(3) The conduct described in R277-613-1B constitutes bullying, regardless of whether the person against whom the conduct is committed directed, consented to, or acquiesced in, the conduct.

(4) Bullying is commonly understood as aggressive behavior that:

(a) is intended to cause distress and harm;

(b) exists in a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power and strength; and

(c) is repeated over time.

C. "Civil rights violations," for purposes of this rule, means bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing or harassing that is targeted at a federally protected class.

D. "Cyber-bullying" means using the Internet, a cell phone, or another device to send or post text, video, or an image with the intent or knowledge, or with reckless disregard, that the text, video, or image will hurt, embarrass, or threaten an individual, regardless of whether the individual directed, consented to, or acquiesced in the conduct, or voluntarily accessed the electronic communication.

E. "Federally protected class" means any group protected from discrimination under the following federal laws:

(1) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin;

(2) Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex;

(3) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability; and

(4) Other areas included under these acts prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

F. "Harassment" means repeatedly communicating to another individual, in an objectively demeaning or disparaging manner, statements that contribute to a hostile learning or work environment for the individual.

G. "Hazing" means intentionally or knowingly committing an act that:

(1)(a) endangers the physical health or safety of a school employee or student;

(b) involves any brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or exposure to the elements;

(c) involves consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance;

(d) involves other physical activity that endangers the physical health and safety of a school employee or student; or

(e) involves physically obstructing a school employee's or student's freedom to move; and

(f)(i) is done for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, holding office in, or as a condition for, membership or acceptance, or continued membership or acceptance, in any school or school sponsored team, organization, program, or event; or

(ii) if the person committing the act against a school employee or student knew that the school employee or student is a member of, or candidate for, membership with a school, or school sponsored team, organization, program, or event to which the person committing the act belongs to or participates in.

(2) The conduct described in R277-613-1G constitutes hazing, regardless of whether the person against whom the conduct is committed, directed, consented to, or acquiesced in, the conduct.

H. "LEA" means a local education agency, including local school boards/public school districts, charter schools, and, for purposes of this rule, the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

I. "Parent," for purposes of this rule, means a student's guardian consistent with Section 53A-11a- 203(1).

J. "Participant" means any student, employee or volunteer coach participating in a public school sponsored athletic program, both curricular and extracurricular, or extracurricular club or activity.

K. "Policy" means standards and procedures that include the provisions of Section 53A-11-901 and additional standards, procedures, and training adopted in an open meeting by an LEA board that define bullying, cyber- bullying, hazing and harassment, prohibit bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and harassment, require regular annual discussion and training designed to prevent bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and harassment among school employees and students and provide for enforcement through employment action or student discipline.

L. "Retaliate or retaliation" means an act or communication intended:

(1) as retribution against a person for reporting bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and harassment; or

(2) to improperly influence the investigation of, or the response to, a report of bullying, cyber- bullying, hazing and harassment.

R277-613-2. Authority and Purpose.

A. This rule is authorized by Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3 which vests general control and supervision of public education in the Board, Section 53A-1-401(3) which allows the Board to adopt rules in accordance with its responsibilities, and the responsibility of the Board to provide assistance with and ensure LEA compliance with Section 53A-11a-301.

B. The purpose of the rule is to require LEAs to implement bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and harassment policies district and school wide; to provide for regular and meaningful training of school employees and students; to provide for enforcement of the policies in schools, at the state level and in public school athletic programs; to require LEAs to notify parents of specific bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, harassment and suicide threat incidents; and to require LEAs to maintain documentation as required by law.

R277-613-3. Utah State Board of Education Responsibilities.

A. To the extent of resources available, the Board shall provide training opportunities or materials or both for employees of LEAs on bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and harassment.

B. The Board may interrupt disbursements of funds consistent with Section 53A-1-401(3) for failure of an LEA to comply with this rule.

R277-613-4. LEA Responsibility to Create Bullying Policies.

A. Each LEA shall implement an updated policy prohibiting bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, harassment and retaliation, and making a false report, consistent with Section 53A-11a-301.

B. Each LEA shall:

(1) post a copy of its policy on the LEA website; and

(2) provide a copy of the LEA policy or uniform resource locator (URL) to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction at the Utah State Office of Education.

C. The policy shall include parental notification of:

(1) a parent's student's threat to commit suicide; and

(2) an incident of bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, harassment or retaliation involving the parent's student.

(3) This part of the policy shall also include:

(a) timely parent notification;

(b) designation of the appropriate school employee(s) to provide parent notification;

(c) designation of the format in which notification shall be provided to parents and maintained by the LEA;

(d) directives for secure maintenance of the notification record as required under Section 53A-11a- 203(1);

(e) a retention period and destruction process for the notification; and

(f) an LEA definition of parent(s) consistent with Section 53A-11-203 and this rule.

D. The policy shall provide for student assessment of the prevalence of bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and harassment in LEAs and schools, specifically locations where students are unsafe and additional adult supervision may be required, such as playgrounds, hallways, and lunch areas.

E. The policy shall include required strong responsive action against retaliation, including assistance to harassed students and their parents in reporting subsequent problems and new incidents.

F. The policy shall provide that students, staff, and volunteers receive training on bullying, cyber- bullying, hazing and harassment from individuals qualified to provide such training. The LEA shall determine how often training shall be provided.

(1) The training should be specific to:

(a) overt aggression that may include physical fighting such as punching, shoving, kicking, and verbal threatening behavior, such as name calling, or both physical and verbal aggression or threatening behavior;

(b) relational aggression or indirect, covert, or social aggression, including rumor spreading, intimidation, enlisting a friend to assault a child, and social isolation;

(c) sexual aggression or acts of a sexual nature or with sexual overtones;

(d) cyber-bullying, including use of email, web pages, text messaging, instant messaging, three-way calling or messaging or any other electronic means for aggression inside or outside of school; and

(e) civil rights violations, appropriate reporting and investigative procedures. This includes bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and harassment based upon the students' actual or perceived identities and conformance or failure to conform with stereotypes.

(2) Training should also include awareness and intervention skills such as social skills training for students and staff, including aides, custodians, kitchen and lunchroom workers, secretaries, paraprofessionals, and coaches.

(3) Training on bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and harassment required of LEA policies under the rule should complement the suicide prevention program required for students under R277-620 and the suicide prevention training required for licensed educators consistent with Section 53A-1-603(9).

G. Policies shall also complement existing safe and drug free school policies and school discipline plans. Consistent with R277-609, the discipline plan shall provide direction for dealing with bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, harassment and disruptive students. This part of the plan shall:

(1) direct schools to determine the range of behaviors and establish the continuum of administrative procedures that may be used by school personnel to address the behavior of habitually disruptive students;

(2) provide for identification, by position(s), of individual(s) designated to issue notices of disruptive student and bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and harassment behavior;

(3) designate to whom notices shall be provided;

(4) provide for documentation of disruptive student behavior prior to referral of disruptive students to juvenile court;

(5) include strategies to provide for necessary adult supervision;

(6) be clearly written and consistently enforced;

(7) include administration, instruction and support staff, students, parents, community council and other community members in policy development, training and prevention implementation so as to create a community sense of participation, ownership, support and responsibility; and

(8) provide notice to employees that violation(s) of this rule may result in employment discipline or action.

R277-613-5. Training by LEAs Specific to Participants in Public School Athletic Programs and School Clubs.

A. Prior to any student, employee or volunteer coach participating in a public school sponsored athletic program, both curricular and extracurricular, or extracurricular club or activity, the student, employee or coach shall participate in bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing and harassment prevention training. This training shall be offered to new participants on an annual basis and to all participants at least once every three years.

B. LEAs may collaborate with the Utah High School Activities Association to develop and provide training.

C. Student athletes and extracurricular club members shall be informed of prohibited activities under this rule and notified of potential consequences for violation of the law and the rule.

D. Training curriculum outlines, training schedules, and participant lists or signatures shall be maintained by each LEA and provided to the Utah State Office of Education upon request.

R277-613-6. Professional Responsibilities of Employee and Volunteer Coaches.

A. All public school coaches shall act consistent with professional standards of R277-515 in all responsibilities and activities of their assignments.

B. Failure to act consistently with R277-515 toward students, colleagues and parents may result in discipline against an educator's license or termination of volunteer services.

KEY

bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, harassment

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

October 8, 2013

Notice of Continuation

August 2, 2013

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

Art X Sec 3; 53A-1-401(3); 53A-11a-301


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R277, please contact the promulgating agency (Education, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.