2017 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 6 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Part 45 - Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying and Cyber-Bullying.
§ 49-6-4503. Adoption of policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying by the school district.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 49-6-4503 (2017)
  • (a) Each school district shall adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying. School districts are encouraged to develop the policy after consultation with parents and guardians, school employees, volunteers, students, administrators and community representatives.
  • (b) School districts shall include in the policies:
    • (1) A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying;
    • (2) A definition of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying;
    • (3) A description of the type of behavior expected from each student;
    • (4) A statement of the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who commits an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying;
    • (5) A procedure for reporting an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying, including a provision that permits a person to report an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying anonymously. Nothing in this section may be construed to permit formal disciplinary action solely on the basis of an anonymous report;
    • (6) A procedure for the prompt and immediate investigation when an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying is reported to the principal, the principal's designee, teacher, or school counselor. The principal or the principal's designee shall initiate the investigation within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of the report, unless the need for more time is appropriately documented, and the principal or the principal's designee shall initiate an appropriate intervention within twenty (20) calendar days of receipt of the report, unless the need for more time is appropriately documented;
    • (7) A statement of the manner in which a school district shall respond after an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying is reported, investigated and confirmed;
    • (8) A statement of the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have committed an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying;
    • (9) A statement prohibiting reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying and stating the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in such reprisal or retaliation;
    • (10) A statement of the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely accused another of having committed an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying as a means of reprisal or retaliation or as a means of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying;
    • (11) A statement of how the policy is to be publicized within the district, including a notice that the policy applies to behavior at school-sponsored activities;
    • (12) The identification by job title of school officials responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented;
    • (13) A procedure for discouraging and reporting conduct aimed at defining a student in a sexual manner or conduct impugning the character of a student based on allegations of sexual promiscuity; and
    • (14) A procedure for a referral for appropriate counseling and support services for students involved in an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying, when deemed necessary by the principal. The counseling and support services may be conducted by school counseling personnel who are appropriately trained, such as psychologists, social workers, school counselors, or any other personnel or resources available.
  • (c)
    • (1) Each LEA shall, at the beginning of each school year, provide teachers and school counselors a copy of the policy along with information on the policy's implementation, bullying prevention and strategies to address bullying and harassment when it happens. In addition, each LEA shall provide training to teachers and counselors regarding the policy and appropriate procedures relative to implementation of the policy. The department of education shall provide guidelines for such training and provide recommendations of appropriate, available and free bullying and harassment prevention resources.
    • (2) Each LEA shall also:
      • (A) At the beginning of the school year, make available to students and parents information relative to bullying prevention programs to promote awareness of the harmful effects of bullying and to permit discussion with respect to prevention policies and strategies;
      • (B) Beginning August 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, complete and submit a report to the department of education. The report shall be in a format provided by the department and shall include:
        • (i) The number of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying cases brought to the attention of school officials during the preceding year;
        • (ii) The number of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying cases where the investigation supported a finding that bullying had taken place;
        • (iii) The number of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying case investigations not initiated within forty-eight (48) hours of the receipt of the report and the reason the investigation was not initiated within forty-eight (48) hours;
        • (iv) The number of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying cases where an appropriate intervention was not initiated within twenty (20) calendar days of receipt of the report and the reason the intervention took longer than twenty (20) calendar days to initiate; and
        • (v) The type of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying identified and manner in which the harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying cases were resolved, including any disciplinary action against the student who was harassing, intimidating, bullying, or cyber-bullying.
    • (3) The department shall annually submit a report to the education administration and planning committee of the house of representatives, the education instruction and programs committee of the house of representatives, and the education committee of the senate updating membership on the number of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying cases reported statewide, the number of LEAs implementing this part, the status of any investigations, including disciplinary actions against students, and any other information relating to the subjects of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying as will be helpful to the committees in establishing policy in this area.
  • (d)
    • (1) The principal of a middle school, junior high school, or high school, or the principal's designee, shall investigate harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying when a student reports to any principal, teacher or guidance counselor that physical harm or a threat of physical harm to such student's person or property has occurred.
    • (2) The principal, or the principal's designee, shall immediately inform the parent or legal guardian of a student involved in an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying. The principal or the principal's designee shall inform the parents or legal guardians of the students of the availability of counseling and support services that may be necessary.
    • (3) Following any investigation required by this part, the principal or such principal's designee shall report the findings, along with any disciplinary action taken, to the director of schools and the chair of the local board of education.
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