Some call it bullying. But in the bullying laws in Alabama, the term is more appropriately known as “harassment.” Like most states in the United States, Alabama bullying laws form a strong campaign against bullying pioneered by none other than its Governor, Bob Riley. The law applies to physical harassment as well as cyberbullying. Alabama’s law on bullying can be defined as Student Harassment Prevention Act (Alabama Code Section 16-28B-1).
Some Key Components of the Anti Bullying Laws in Alabama:
Prohibited Behavior, Complaints, School Plans and Programs
- All students are safeguarded from being subject of harassment, intimidation, violence, and even threats of violence on school property including school buses and school-sponsored functions by other students.
- No student should be engaged in false accusation, reprisal and retaliation against other students who have reliable information about any act of harassment, violence, and threats of violence.
- Any victim, whether student, guardian or parents of the victims may file a complaint outlining the details of harassment using the form from the local board. He should submit the form to the official that receives complaints at the school property.
- Schools are encouraged to form organized plans/programs to report and address harassment, violence and incidents of threats of violence. Such programs may include peer mediation teams.
Duties of Schools
- Implement practices that promote harassment-free environment.
- Develop practices that prevent intimidation, violence, and threats of violence.
- Incorporate the sensitivity of harassment issues to character education curricula awareness.
- Report statistics of actual violence, threats of violence, and harassment to the local board.
Implementation of Standards and Policies
This section encourages the school council to cooperate with community services in information dissemination to the students about the effects of harassment especially suicidal tendencies. Student personnel are encouraged to coordinate with community suicide prevention services.
Bullying Laws in Alabama – Model Policy:
- Prohibition of harassment, violence and threats of violence.
- Definition of terms.
- Description of behaviors that students should have.
- Procedure for reporting.
- Procedure for investigation.
- School response procedure.
- Prohibition of retaliation to students who hold necessary harassment information.
- Publicizing local board policy.
Healthy Workplace Bill in Alabama
Currently, the bullying laws in Alabama do not incorporate the Healthy Workplace Bill – a petition to be signed by 100 signatories. No State Coordinator is also present to take care of the case. There were only 5 people who signed for the petition. The State of Alabama needs 95 signatures more for the bill to be passed.