2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 22 - Public Schools
Article 35 - Safe Schools for All Students
Section 22-35-3 - Bullying prevention policies; adoption and enforcement.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 22-35-3 (2019)

A. By January 1, 2020, each local school board shall adopt and enforce policies to:

(1) prevent bullying:

(a) on its property, including electronic communication on or with the use of its property;

(b) at sponsored functions; and

(c) on its to-and-from-school transportation or any school-sponsored transportation; and

(2) prohibit electronic communication directed at a student, that is published with the intent that it be seen by or disclosed to that student and that substantially interferes with the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by the public school.

B. Each local school board shall control the content of its policy; provided that the policy includes:

(1) the definitions as set forth in the Safe Schools for All Students Act;

(2) a statement prohibiting bullying;

(3) a statement prohibiting retaliation against persons who report or witness incidents of bullying;

(4) a list of consequences, including progressive discipline approaches that can result from an identified incident of bullying that are designed to:

(a) appropriately correct the bullying behavior;

(b) prevent another occurrence of bullying or retaliation;

(c) protect the target of the bullying;

(d) be flexible so that, in application, the consequences can be unique to the individual incident and varied in method and severity based on: 1) the nature of the incident; 2) the developmental age of the student who is bullying; and 3) any history of problem behavior from the student who is bullying; and

(e) for cyberbullying incidents, use the least restrictive means necessary to address the interference with the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by the school;

(5) a procedure for reporting bullying or retaliation for reporting an act of bullying, including:

(a) a flexible reporting system that allows for reporting orally and in the student's preferred language;

(b) a method for reporting bullying anonymously; provided that no formal disciplinary measures shall be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report; and

(c) a method for parents to file written reports of suspected bullying; and

(6) a procedure for prompt investigation of reports of violations of the policy and of complaints of bullying or retaliation, including:

(a) designation of a school administrator to investigate or supervise the investigation of all reports of bullying and to ensure that such investigation is completed promptly after the receipt of any report made under the Safe Schools for All Students Act;

(b) a procedure for notification of the parents of the student alleged to have committed an act of bullying and the parents of the students targeted by the alleged act; provided that if the administrator believes, in the administrator's professional capacity, that notifying the parents would endanger the health or well-being of a student, the administrator may delay such notification as appropriate;

(c) a benchmark that school employees who witness acts of bullying or receive reports of bullying notify the designated administrator not later than two days after the school employee witnesses or receives a report of bullying;

(d) an appeal process for a student accused of bullying or a student who is the target of bullying who is not satisfied with the outcome of the initial investigation; and

(e) development of a student safety support plan for students who are targets of bullying that addresses safety measures the school will take to protect targeted students against further acts of bullying.

C. Each local school board shall include bullying prevention policies and procedures for reporting bullying in student handbooks using developmentally and culturally appropriate language. Policies shall be produced and disseminated in appropriate languages for any school district in which a substantial portion of the student population speaks a language other than English at home.

D. Each public school shall document reports and investigations of bullying and shall maintain those records for no less than four years.

E. Each local school board shall establish procedures for public schools to report aggregate incidents of bullying and incidents of harassment under any applicable federal or state law, along with responses to these incidents, and report this information annually to the department.

History: Laws 2019, ch. 181, § 3.

ANNOTATIONS

Effective dates. — Laws 2019, ch. 181, § 7 made Laws 2019, ch. 181 effective July 1, 2019.

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