Anti-bullying Laws

Massachusetts anti-bullying law has two major requirements for students with disabilities: 


·         School wide response to prevent bullying of students with disabilities

·         IEPs to develop individual student’s ability to avoid and respond to bullying

(Important: Students can be vulnerable as targets and aggressors because of unique needs resulting form their disabilities)


Definition of Bullying:

Verbal, written, or electronic expression or physical act

·         Repeated use

·         Includes cyber bullying


·         Causes physical or emotional harm or property damage

·         Places target in reasonable fear of harm to self or property -- (child’s fear)

·         Creates a hostile environment at school for the target

·         Infringes on the rights of the target at school (OR)

·         Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school (MLG ch. 71 sec 370(a)(b)


Bullying is Prohibited:

·          At school, immediately next to school, school bus, bus stop, school-sponsored or related activities, or through district technology

·          Any location, or program, activity, or technology if the bullying:

                        --creates hostile environment at school for target

                        --infringes on rights of target at school


Retaliation is Prohibited:

·         Retaliation is prohibited against someone who reports, witnesses, or provides information in an investigation of bullying




 Massachusetts Website on Bullying Prevention and Intervention -Special Education Laws