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Massachusetts Law About Bullying and Cyberbullying

Massachusetts Laws

Massachusetts Regulations

Other Web Sources

Massachusetts Students: What to Do If You're Being Bullied, GLAD, May 2010: "If you are being bullied and your school is not protecting you, your school is not following the law." Despite the title, this publication doesn't provide "what to do" advice, but does provide a great summary of the law's key points.

Bullying, UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools. An extensive list of links to resources on bullying for teachers, parents, law enforcement, and anyone else interested in the topic. Great resource!

Bullying and Cyberbullying, Mass. Attorney General. Suggests "Advise your child that cyberbullying may be a criminal offense. Electronically-communicated threats and willfully and maliciously directing electronic communications at a specific person that seriously alarm that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress are crimes."

Cyberbullying Can Have Deadly Consequences, Atty. Millie Anne Cavanaugh. Briefly discusses civil and criminal legal options for victims and their families.

Direct From the Field: A Guide to Bullying Prevention, Mass. Dept. of Public Health. This 123-page publication has been provided to every school districts in Massachusetts. The guide is intended to help schools develop bullying-prevention programs.

Eyes on Bullying Toolkit, Education Development Center, Newton, MA. A 43-page Toolkit "designed especially for caregivers and parents of preschool and school-age children and youth to use in child care programs, afterschool and youth programs, and camps." Their website also provides a wealth of information on bullying (and cyber-bullying), as well as free "Teleseminars" and podcasts.

Model Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan under M.G.L. c. 71, ยง 37O, Mass. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education. "We recommend that districts and schools use this model plan as a blueprint for developing their own plans that align with their individual school climate initiatives and needs." Model plan is in both PDF and Word formats.

Student Reports of Bullying: Results From the 2001 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, US Dept. of Education, 2005. Statistical analysis of bullying in US schools.

Students' Rights in Massachusetts, GLAD, July 2, 2012. Questions & Answers on discrimination in public schools on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Organizations

Anti-Defamation League of New England. Offer cyber-bullying workshops for faculty and parents and they can develop a workshop for a student assembly. There is a negotiable fee. Emma Sellers 617-406-6334

ICAC Task Force. "Created to help State and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative response to offenders who use the Internet, online communication systems, or other computer technology to sexually exploit children. The program is currently composed of 59 regional Task Force agencies and is funded by the United States Department of Justice, Office Of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention." See also: Massachusetts ICAC Task Force.

Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State College "has comprehensive and free education, online, print, and research resources. We offer programs around the state (at no cost to schools who request them) and conduct research on bullying and cyberbullying. There are free downloads and comprehensive lists of other resources."

Print Sources

Bullying and Social Aggression, by Steve Breakstone and Michael Drieblatt. Lorman Education Services, 2007.

"Columbine Fallout: The Long-Term Effects on Free Expression Take Hold in Public Schools, by Robert D. Richards and Clay Calvert, 83 B.U. Law Rev. 1089, 2003. Also available online to library card holders through Hein Online.

"Fighting Back Against 'Bullying' in the Workplace," by Noah Schaffer, Mass. Lawyers Weekly, January 8, 2007. (2007 WLNR 1250779)

School Law Guide: Legal Compliance Made Simple, NBI, 2007.

School Law in Massachusetts, by Rhoda E. Schneider, MCLE loose-leaf. Includes a sample anti-harassment policy for schools.