In 2012, the state enacted LD 1237, An Act to Prohibit Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools.

The first paragraph of the law states that the Department of Education must “create [a] procedure by which school administrative units report substantiated incidents of bullying and cyberbullying to the department on at least an annual basis. These reports may not contain personally identifying information about students or other involved persons, but must delineate the specific nature of the incidents, the consequences and the actions taken.”

According to the law, bullying may be motivated by: a student’s “actual or perceived race; color; religion; national origin; ancestry or ethnicity; sexual orientation; socioeconomic status; age; physical, mental, emotional or learning disability; gender; gender identity and expression; physical appearance; weight; family status; or other distinguishing personal characteristics or may be based on association with another person identified with such a characteristic.”

The law requires that each school’s policy prohibit bullying on school grounds, at school-sponsored or school-related activities, and while students are transported to or from school or school-sponsored events.

While the law outlines examples of “alternative discipline” that may result from bullying — such as meeting with the student and student’s parents, “reflective activities,” counseling, in-school detention or suspension, etc. — it does not dictate to school departments how such instances should be handled.

Schools must provide “a procedure to remediate any substantiated incident of bullying to counter the negative impact of bullying and reduce the risk of future bullying incidents,” and communicate to the parent of the victim what measures are taken to ensure the student’s future safety.