AN ACT

 

1Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
2act relating to the public school system, including certain
3provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
4schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
5laws relating thereto," in certification of teachers, further
6providing for program of continuing professional education;
7and, in safe schools, further providing for definitions, for
8reporting and for policy relating to bullying and providing
9for powers and duties of Department of Education.

10The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
11hereby enacts as follows:

12Section 1.  Section 1205.2 of the act of March 10, 1949
13(P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, is
14amended by adding a subsection to read:

15Section 1205.2.  Program of Continuing Professional
16Education.--* * *

17(a.1)  In addition to the continuing education program

1required under subsection (a), each professional educator shall
2complete at least four (4) hours of training on prevention of,
3and intervention in, harassment, bullying and cyberbullying as
4such terms are defined in section 1301-A or to complete the
5online training and examination programs established in section
61303.2-A(2) and (3).

7* * *

8Section 2.  The definition of "school property" in section
91301-A of the act, amended November 17, 2010 (P.L.996, No.104),
10is amended and the section is amended by adding definitions to
11read:

12Section 1301-A.  Definitions.--As used in this article,

13"Bullying" shall mean any written, verbal or physical act or
14conduct which may, but shall not be required to, be based on any
15actual or perceived characteristic, including, but not limited
16to, race; color; religion; national origin, ancestry or
17ethnicity; sexual orientation; physical, mental, emotional or
18learning disability; gender, gender identity or expression;
19financial status or physical appearance or based on an
20association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or
21more such characteristics, that has or can be reasonably
22predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

23(1)  placing a reasonable student in fear of physical harm to
24the student's person or property;

25(2)  causing a substantially detrimental effect on a
26reasonable student's physical or mental health; or

27(3)  substantially interfering with a reasonable student's
28ability to participate in or benefit from the services,
29activities or privileges provided by a school.

30* * *

1"Cyberbullying"  shall mean bullying that occurs through
2electronic communication.

3"Electronic communication" shall mean any form of
4communication through an electronic device, including, but not
5limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer or pager,
6which form of communication includes, but is not limited to, e-
7mail, instant messaging, text messaging, blogging, paging,
8online gaming and communication through an Internet website.

9"Harassment"  shall have the same meaning as defined in 18
10Pa.C.S. § 2709 (relating to harassment).

11* * *

12"School property" or "school setting" shall mean any public 
13school grounds, any school-sponsored activity [or], any 
14conveyance providing transportation to a school entity or 
15school-sponsored activity or event, or a designated school bus 
16stop.

17* * *

18Section 3.  Section 1303-A(b), (b.1), (c) and (e)(2) of the
19act, amended November 17, 2010 (P.L.996, No.104) and June 30,
202011 (P.L.112, No.24), are amended to read:

21Section 1303-A.  Reporting.--* * *

22(b)  [Each chief school administrator shall report to the 
23office by July 31 of each year all new] All incidents involving 
24acts of violence, possession of a weapon or possession, use or 
25sale of controlled substances as defined in the act of April 14, 
261972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as "The Controlled Substance, Drug, 
27Device and Cosmetic Act," or possession, use or sale of alcohol 
28or tobacco by any person on school property shall be reported to 
29the office through the safe schools online portal pursuant to 
30the procedure set forth in section 1303.2-A. [The incidents to 

1be reported to the office shall include all incidents involving 
2conduct that constitutes a criminal offense listed under 
3paragraphs (4.1) and (4.2). Reports on a form to be developed 
4and provided by the office shall include] Reports though the 
5acts of violence online interface within the safe schools online 
6portal required under section 1303.2-A shall include, at a 
7minimum, the following information:

8(1)  Age or grade of student.

9(2)  Name and address of school.

10(3)  Circumstances surrounding the incident, including, but 
11not limited to, type of weapon, controlled substance, alcohol or
12tobacco, the date, time and location of the incident, if a 
13person other than a student is involved in the incident and any 
14relationship to the school entity.

15(3.1)  Race of student.

16(3.2)  Whether the student has an Individualized Education
17Plan under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
18(Public Law 91-230, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.), and if so, the
19type of disability.

20(4)  Sanction imposed by the school.

21(4.1)  A list of criminal offenses which shall, at a minimum,
22include:

23(i)  The following offenses under 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to 
24crimes and offenses):

25Section 908 (relating to prohibited offensive weapons).

26Section 912 (relating to possession of weapon on school
27property).

28Chapter 25 (relating to criminal homicide).

29Section 2702 (relating to aggravated assault).

30Section 2709.1 (relating to stalking).

1Section 2901 (relating to kidnapping).

2Section 2902 (relating to unlawful restraint).

3Section 3121 (relating to rape).

4Section 3122.1 (relating to statutory sexual assault).

5Section 3123 (relating to involuntary deviate sexual
6intercourse).

7Section 3124.1 (relating to sexual assault).

8Section 3124.2 (relating to institutional sexual assault).

9Section 3125 (relating to aggravated indecent assault).

10Section 3126 (relating to indecent assault).

11Section 3301 (relating to arson and related offenses).

12Section 3307 (relating to institutional vandalism) when the
13penalty is a felony of the third degree.

14Section 3502 (relating to burglary).

15Section 3503(a) and (b)(1)(v) (relating to criminal
16trespass).

17Section 5501 (relating to riot).

18Section 6110.1 (relating to possession of firearm by minor).

19(ii)  The possession, use or sale of a controlled substance
20or drug paraphernalia as defined in "The Controlled Substance,
21Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act."

22(iii)  Attempts, solicitation or conspiracy to commit any of
23the offenses listed in subclauses (i) and (ii).

24(iv)  An offense for which registration is required under 42 
25Pa.C.S. § 9795.1 (relating to registration).

26(4.2)  The following offenses under 18 Pa.C.S., and any
27attempt, solicitation or conspiracy to commit any of these
28offenses:

29Section 2701 (relating to simple assault).

30Section 2705 (relating to recklessly endangering another

1person).

2Section 2706 (relating to terroristic threats).

3Section 2709 (relating to harassment).

4Section 3127 (relating to indecent exposure).

5Section 3307 (relating to institutional vandalism) when the
6penalty is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

7Section 3503(b)(1)(i), (ii), (iii) and (iv), (b.1) and (b.2)
8(relating to criminal trespass).

9Chapter 39 (relating to theft and related offenses).

10Section 5502 (relating to failure of disorderly persons to
11disperse upon official order).

12Section 5503 (relating to disorderly conduct).

13Section 6305 (relating to sale of tobacco).

14Section 6306.1 (relating to use of tobacco in schools
15prohibited).

16Section 6308 (relating to purchase, consumption, possession
17or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages).

18(4.3)  If the discipline infraction was a violation of the
19policy adopted under section 1303.1-A.

20(5)  Notification of law enforcement.

21(5.1)  Law enforcement response.

22(6)  Remedial programs involved.

23(7)  Parental involvement required.

24(8)  Arrests, convictions and adjudications, if known.

25(b.1)  [Prior to submitting the report required under 
26subsection (b), each chief school administrator] The chief 
27school administrator shall send an acts of violence online 
28report from the acts of violence online interface within the 
29safe schools online portal established pursuant to section 
301303.2-A to the police department that has jurisdiction over the 

1relevant school property on an annual basis. Each chief school 
2administrator and each police department having jurisdiction 
3over school property of the school entity shall [do all of the 
4following] have the following duties:

5(1)  [No later than thirty (30) days prior to the deadline 
6for submitting the report to the office required under 
7subsection (b), the] The chief school administrator shall submit 
8the report to the police department with jurisdiction over the 
9relevant school property. The police department shall review the 
10report and compare the data regarding criminal offenses and 
11notification of law enforcement to determine whether the report 
12accurately reflects police incident data.

13(2)  No later than [fifteen (15) days prior to the deadline 
14for the chief school administrator to submit the report required 
15under subsection (b)] twenty-one (21) days after receiving the 
16acts of violence report, the police department shall notify the 
17chief school administrator, in writing, whether the report 
18accurately reflects police incident data. Where the police 
19department determines that the report accurately reflects police 
20incident data, the chief of police shall sign the report. Where 
21the police department determines that the report does not 
22accurately reflect police incident data, the police department 
23shall indicate any discrepancies between the report and police 
24incident data.

25(3)  [Prior to submitting the report required under 
26subsection (b), the] The chief school administrator and the 
27police department shall attempt to resolve discrepancies between 
28the report and police incident data. Where a discrepancy remains 
29unresolved, the police department shall notify the chief school 
30administrator and the office in writing.

1(4)  Where a police department fails to take action as 
2required under paragraph (1), (2) or (3), the chief school 
3administrator [shall submit the report required under subsection 
4(b) and indicate that the police department failed to take 
5action as required under paragraph (2) or (3)] shall indicate 
6the police department's failure to take action by entering the 
7information in the acts of violence online interface within the 
8safe schools online portal pursuant to subsection (b).

9(c)  Each chief school administrator shall form an advisory 
10committee composed of relevant school staff, including, but not 
11limited to, principals, security personnel, school resource 
12officers, guidance counselors and special education 
13administrators, to assist in the development of a memorandum of 
14understanding pursuant to this section. In consultation with the 
15advisory committee, each chief school administrator shall enter 
16into a memorandum of understanding with police departments 
17having jurisdiction over school property of the school entity. 
18Each chief school administrator shall submit a copy of the 
19memorandum of understanding to the office by June 30, 2011, and 
20biennially update and re-execute a memorandum of understanding 
21with local law enforcement and file such memorandum with the 
22office on a biennial basis. The memorandum of understanding 
23shall be signed by the chief school administrator, the chief of 
24police of the police department with jurisdiction over the 
25relevant school property and principals of each school building 
26of the school entity. The memorandum of understanding shall 
27comply with the regulations promulgated by the State Board of 
28Education under section 1302.1-A and shall also include:

29(1)  The procedure for police department review of the annual
30report required under subsection (b)[prior to the chief school

1administrator filing the report required under subsection (b)
2with the office].

3(2)  A procedure for the resolution of school violence data 
4discrepancies in the report [prior to filing the report required 
5under subsection (b) with the office].

6(3)  Additional matters pertaining to crime prevention agreed
7to between the chief school administrator and the police
8department.

9* * *

10(e)  * * *

11(2)  In addition to any other disciplinary actions set forth 
12in the "Professional Educator Discipline Act," a chief school 
13administrator or principal of a school entity who intentionally 
14fails to [submit the report] enter thorough and accurate 
15information into the acts of violence online interface as 
16required under subsection (b) or enter into the memorandum of 
17understanding with the police department with jurisdiction over 
18the relevant school property, report an incident involving an 
19act of violence, possession of a weapon or an offense cited 
20under subsection (b)(4.1) that occurs on school property to a 
21police department or submit a copy of the memorandum of 
22understanding to the office as required under subsection (c) or 
23who intentionally falsifies a report submitted as required under 
24this section shall be subject to prosecution for violation of 18 
25Pa.C.S. § 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to 
26authorities). The following civil penalties may be imposed by 
27the Professional Standards and Practices Commission for 
28violations of this article:

29(i)  for a first violation, $2,500;

30(ii)  for a second violation, $3,500; or

1(iii)  for a third or subsequent violation, $5,000.

2Any penalty imposed under this paragraph shall be paid to the
3Department of Education and used for the support of the office.

4Section 4.  Section 1303.1-A of the act, added July 9, 2008
5(P.L.846, No.61), is amended to read:

6Section 1303.1-A.  Policy Relating to Bullying.--[(a)  No
7later than January 1, 2009, each school entity shall adopt a
8policy or amend its existing policy relating to bullying and
9incorporate the policy into the school entity's code of student
10conduct required under 22 Pa. Code § 12.3(c) (relating to school
11rules). The policy shall delineate disciplinary consequences for
12bullying and may provide for prevention, intervention and
13education programs, provided that no school entity shall be
14required to establish a new policy under this section if one
15currently exists and reasonably fulfills the requirements of
16this section. The policy shall identify the appropriate school
17staff person to receive reports of incidents of alleged
18bullying.

19(b)  Each school entity shall make the policy available on
20its publicly accessible Internet website, if available, and in
21every classroom. Each school entity shall post the policy at a
22prominent location within each school building where such
23notices are usually posted. Each school entity shall ensure that
24the policy and procedures for reporting bullying incidents are
25reviewed with students within ninety (90) days after their
26adoption and thereafter at least once each school year.

27(c)  Each school entity shall review its policy every three
28(3) years and annually provide the office with a copy of its
29policy relating to bullying, including information related to
30the development and implementation of any bullying prevention,

1intervention and education programs. The information required
2under this subsection shall be attached to or made part of the
3annual report required under section 1303-A(b).

4(d)  In its policy relating to bullying adopted or maintained
5under subsection (a), a school entity shall not be prohibited
6from defining bullying in such a way as to encompass acts that
7occur outside a school setting if those acts meet the
8requirements contained in subsection (e)(1), (3) and (4). If a
9school entity reports acts of bullying to the office in
10accordance with section 1303-A(b), it shall report all incidents
11that qualify as bullying under the entity's adopted definition
12of that term.

13(e)  For purposes of this article, "bullying" shall mean an
14intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, or a
15series of acts:

16(1)  directed at another student or students;

17(2)  which occurs in a school setting;

18(3)  that is severe, persistent or pervasive; and

19(4)  that has the effect of doing any of the following:

20(i)  substantially interfering with a student's education;

21(ii)  creating a threatening environment; or

22(iii)  substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the
23school; and

24"school setting" shall mean in the school, on school grounds,
25in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any activity
26sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.]

27(f)  No later than July 1, 2014, each school entity shall
28adopt the Department of Education's model policy related to
29bullying required under section 1303.2-A(4) or an alternative
30policy that includes at a minimum the requirements of section

11303.2-A(4) prohibiting harassment, bullying and cyberbullying.
2A school entity may comply with this subsection by amending its
3existing policy to include, at a minimum, the requirements of
4section 1303.2-A(4). The school entity shall involve students,
5parents, administrators, school staff, school volunteers and
6local law enforcement agencies in the process of adopting an
7alternative policy, if it chooses not to implement the
8Department of Education's model policy related to bullying.

9(g)  Each school building shall adopt and follow the bullying
10policy that has been established by the school entity where the
11school building is located.

12(h)  Each school entity shall incorporate its bullying policy
13into the school entity's code of student conduct required under
1422 Pa. Code § 12.3(c) (relating to school rules). The school
15entity's policy shall be implemented in a manner that is ongoing
16throughout the school year and integrated with each school
17entity's curriculum, discipline policies and other violence
18prevention efforts. Any discipline imposed under the policy must
19be consistent with Federal and State law.

20(i)  Students, school staff and volunteers shall engage in no
21harassment, bullying or cyber bullying that takes place:

22(1)  in a school setting; or

23(2)  through use of electronic communication, outside a
24school setting, that is directed at a student and is so severe,
25persistent or pervasive that it substantially interferes with a
26student's ability to participate in or benefit from the
27services, activities or privileges provided by a school.

28(j)  A school employe who promptly reports in good faith an
29act of harassment, bullying or cyberbullying to the appropriate
30school official designated in the school entity's policy

1established under this section and who makes the report in
2compliance with the procedures specified in the policy shall be
3immune from a cause of action for damages arising out of the
4reporting.

5(k)  Nothing in this section shall be construed:

6(1)  to prevent a victim of harassment, bullying or
7cyberbullying from seeking redress under any other available
8civil or criminal law; or

9(2)  to infringe upon the right of a school employe or
10student to engage in speech or expression protected by the
11Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of
12Pennsylvania.

13(l)  If any provision of this section or the application
14thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the
15invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of
16the section which can be given effect without the invalid
17provision or application and to this end the provisions of this
18section are declared severable.

19Section 5.  The act is amended by adding sections to read:

20Section 1303.2-A.  Powers and Duties of Department of
21Education.--The Department of Education shall have the following
22powers and duties:

23(1)  By November 1, 2013, establish, develop and maintain a
24secure Internet safe schools online portal which shall be
25accessible by the school employes in each school entity. The
26portal shall include:

27(i)  A bullying interface for school employes to enter and
28track bullying incidents and follow-up. At a minimum, the safe
29schools online bullying interface shall include areas to enter
30information related to:

1(A)  All complaints related to the specific incident of
2harassment, bullying or cyberbullying.

3(B)  Names of each party involved.

4(C)  Complete and accurate information regarding the
5investigation, including the name of the individual responsible
6for the investigation.

7(D)  Complete and accurate information regarding the
8resolution of the complaint.

9(ii)  An acts of violence interface to enter and track all
10incidents involving acts of violence, possession of a weapon or
11possession, use or sale of controlled substances as defined in
12section 2 of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known
13as "The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act," or
14possession, use or sale of alcohol or tobacco by any person on
15school property. At a minimum, the acts of violence interface
16shall include all information required under section 1303-A.

17(iii)  Automatic, periodic generation of appropriate bullying
18reports for the individuals listed below in the following
19intervals:

20(A)  Each school principal, monthly.

21(B)  Each chief school administrator, quarterly.

22(C)  The Secretary of Education, annually.

23(D)  The General Assembly, annually.

24(iv)  Automatic, periodic generation of appropriate acts of
25violence reports for the individuals listed below in the
26following intervals:

27(A)  Each school principal, monthly.

28(B)  Each chief school administrator, quarterly.

29(C)  The Secretary of Education, annually.

30(D)  The General Assembly, annually.

1(v)  Automatic e-mailing of bullying and acts of violence
2reports to the individuals and in the intervals specified in
3subparagraphs (iii) and (iv).

4(vi)  Automatic e-mailing of bullying incident deadline
5reminders to individuals responsible for the investigation.

6(vii)  The online training and examination programs
7established in paragraphs (2) and (3).

8(2)  By November 1, 2013, develop an online training program
9to fulfill the continuing education requirement on prevention
10of, and intervention in, harassment, bullying and cyberbullying
11established under section 1205.2(a.1).

12(3)  By November 1, 2013, develop an online examination
13program to fulfill the continuing education requirement on
14prevention of, and intervention in, harassment, bullying and
15cyberbullying established under section 1205.2(a.1).

16(4)  No later than January 1, 2014, develop and establish a
17model policy related to bullying. The policy shall contain, at a
18minimum, the following:

19(i)  A statement prohibiting harassment, bullying and
20cyberbullying of a student and explaining the scope of the
21prohibition, including a statement that the policy applies to
22school sponsored functions.

23(ii)  The definitions of "bullying," "cyberbullying" and
24"harassment" as stated in section 1301-A.

25(iii)  Consequences and appropriate remedial action,
26including positive behavior support as defined in 22 Pa. Code §
2714.133 (relating to positive behavior support), for a person who
28commits an act of harassment, bullying or cyberbullying.
29Disciplinary consequences for harassment, bullying and
30cyberbullying shall be unique to the individual incident and

1vary in severity based on the nature of the incident, the
2developmental age of the perpetrator and the perpetrator's
3history of problem behaviors.

4(iv)  A procedure for students, school employes and school
5administrators to report an act of harassment, bullying or
6cyberbullying. The procedure shall include the following:

7(A)  A person may report an act of harassment, bullying or
8cyberbullying anonymously, provided that no formal disciplinary
9action is taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

10(B)  All acts of harassment, bullying or cyberbullying shall
11be reported in writing to the chief school administrator and the
12principal or principal's designee and all information shall be
13entered into the safe schools online portal established under
14section 1303.2-A(4) within forty-eight (48) hours of when the
15school employe witnessed or received reliable information that a
16student had been subject to harassment, bullying or
17cyberbullying.

18(C)  The principal or principal's designee shall inform the
19parents or guardians of all students involved in the alleged
20incident promptly. Prior to notification of any parent, guardian
21or student regarding any incident of harassment, bullying or
22cyberbullying, the principal or principal's designee shall
23consider the age, health, well-being, safety and privacy of any
24student involved in the incident. The principal or principal's
25designee may discuss, as appropriate, the availability of
26counseling and other intervention or protective services.

27(v)  A procedure for prompt investigation of reports of
28violations and complaints, which procedure shall, at a minimum,
29provide that:

30(A)  The investigation shall be conducted by the principal or

1the principal's designee.

2(B)  The investigation shall be completed as soon as
3possible, but no later than twenty-one (21) days from the date
4the report is entered into the safe schools online portal.

5(C)  The results of any such investigation shall be reported
6to the principal, if not directly involved in the investigation,
7and chief school administrator. The principal or chief school
8administrator shall decide whether to provide intervention
9services, establish or enhance training programs to reduce
10harassment, bullying or cyberbullying and improve school
11climate, impose discipline, order counseling or take or
12recommend other appropriate action based on the findings of the
13investigation.

14(D)  The safe schools online portal shall be updated and
15finalized with complete and accurate information regarding the
16incident by the principal or designee in charge of the
17investigation within forty-eight (48) hours after the
18investigation has ended.

19(E)  Upon request, students who are parties to the
20investigation shall receive information about the investigation,
21subject to Federal and State law and regulation, including the
22nature of the investigation, whether the school entity found
23evidence of harassment, bullying or cyberbullying and whether
24discipline was imposed or services provided to address the
25incident of harassment, bullying or cyberbullying. This
26information shall be provided in writing within five (5) days of
27the request.

28(F)  Any party that is dissatisfied with the outcome of an
29investigation and subsequent action taken may appeal to the
30governing body of the school entity within thirty (30) days

1after the issuance of the written report.

2(vi)  A statement that prohibits retaliation against any
3person who reports an act of harassment, bullying or
4cyberbullying, including a witness or a person with reliable
5information about such an act, and the consequence and
6appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in
7retaliation.

8(vii)  A statement of the manner in which the policy is to be
9publicized. The statement shall include:

10(A)  A requirement that a link to the policy shall be
11prominently posted on the school entity's publicly accessible
12Internet website and that each school entity shall post the
13policy at a prominent location within each school building where
14such notices are usually posted or in each classroom.

15(B)  A requirement that the name, school telephone number,
16school address and school e-mail address of the principal or
17designee responsible for investigating harassment, bullying and
18cyberbullying shall be prominently listed on the school entity's
19publicly accessible Internet website.

20(C)  A requirement that the policy shall be distributed
21annually to students and their parents. The policy may be
22included in a student Code of Conduct and Family Educational
23Rights and Privacy Act statement under the Family Educational
24Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Pubic Law 90-247, 20 U.S.C. §
251232g).

26(D)  A statement that the school entity shall ensure that the
27policy and procedures for reporting bullying are reviewed with
28students within ninety (90) days after their adoption and
29thereafter at least once per school year.

30(viii)  A statement that the school entity shall review its

1policy every three (3) years and annually provide the Department
2of Education with a copy of its policy prohibiting harassment,
3bullying and cyberbullying if it uses an alternate policy
4instead of the Department of Education's model policy.

5(ix)  Provisions for the formation of bullying prevention
6task forces, programs, associated trainings and other
7initiatives involving school staff, pupils, administrators,
8volunteers, parents, law enforcement, community members and
9other stakeholders, as deemed appropriate by the school entity.

10(x)  Annual training for administrators, school employes and
11volunteers who have significant contact with students in
12preventing, identifying, responding to and reporting incidents
13of harassment, bullying or cyberbullying. School entities may
14incorporate training into existing annual training sessions or
15seminars related to other school matters.

16(5)  By January 1, 2014, compile and make available to all
17school entities a list of programs appropriate for the
18prevention of harassment, bullying or cyberbullying of students,
19including programs that are available to school entities for
20free or at reduced costs.

21(6)  Periodically review school entity policies, programs,
22activities and services to determine whether the school entities
23are complying with this section and section 1303.1-A.

24Section 6.  Any regulations of the Department of Education
25that are inconsistent with this act are hereby abrogated to the
26extent of the inconsistency.

27Section 7.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

 

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