KBS Reference Desk: Bullying Policies and Reporting SB 2050

Q:        Did the Legislature take any action relevant to cyberbullying and the increasing prevalence of social media in students’ lives? 

 A:        Yes. SB2050 amends Texas Education Code section 37.0832 to require a school district’s board to adopt a policy, including any necessary procedures, for prevention and mediation of bullying incidents, including cyberbullying, between students. Previously, the statute made adoption of a policy for bullying prevention and mediation optional.

Statistics are rising that indicate students who experience bullying are at increased risk of depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, dropping out of school and suicide. As a result, the 87th Legislature amended Texas Education Code section 37.0832 to require a school district board of trustees to adopt a policy for prevention and mediation of bullying incidents, including cyberbullying, between students when the bullying interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or substantially disrupts orderly operations of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.

Prior to this latest bill, the statute made adoption of a policy for bullying prevention and mediation optional. SB2050 also amends Texas Education Code section 48.009 by adding a subsection that requires Commissioner rules mandating each school district to annually report through Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS), the number of reported incidents of bullying that have occurred at each campus. The school district’s policy under Section 37.0832 must comply with minimum standards to be adopted by the Texas Education Agency. These standards, among other things, will require that each campus establish a committee to address bullying by focusing on prevention efforts and health and wellness initiatives and require students at each grade level to meet periodically for instruction on building relationships and preventing bullying, including cyberbullying.

SB2050 takes effect September 1, 2021. While TASB Update 118 is not expected until after initiation of the 2021-2022 school year, your district is wise to begin dialogue concerning preventive measures and to immediately institute mediation practices for all bullying incidents.

For specific questions or additional information regarding bullying policies and reports, please consult with your local school law attorney.

Related Posts

Recent Articles

KBS Reference Desk: Interstate Travel Liability and Travel Forms Best Practices
January 21, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Updated Stay at Home Periods
January 14, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: On Call Employees Over Holidays
December 17, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Holiday Decorations
December 10, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Removal of Library Books
December 3, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Attendance Waivers
November 19, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: HB 103 Texas Active Shooter Alert
November 12, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Remote Learning and ADA-Funding
November 5, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: CBD Oil
October 29, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Temporary Custodians of Record – TPIA
October 22, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Dyslexia Handbook Update
October 15, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Peace Officer Legislation
October 8, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: HB 1525 PTO Donations
October 1, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: State Certifications Update – SB 13 & SB 19
September 24, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Accelerated and Supplemental Instruction HB 4545
September 17, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Active Threat Excercises
September 10, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: HB 1927 Firearms
September 3, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Remote Participation in Board Meetings
August 27, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Waiving Minimum Attendance Requirements for Seriously Ill Students
August 20, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Inquiring About Vaccine Status
August 13, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Temporary Suspension of TPIA due to Catastrophe
August 6, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Standard for Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
July 30, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Homeschoolers and UIL
July 16, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: TOMA Suspension Extension
July 9, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Revision to Resignation without Penalty Deadline
July 2, 2021