New Law Establishes Preemptive Solution to School Bullying

Lozano Smith Client News Brief
September 2014
Number 70

Governor Brown recently signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1993 which requires the California Department of Education to develop an online training module to assist all school staff, school administrators, parents, pupils, and community members in increasing their knowledge of bullying and cyberbullying. The law becomes effective January 1, 2015, however no time frame is specified for the California Department of Education to complete the training module.

AB 1993 specifies that the bulling prevention training should include, but not be limited to, identifying an act of bullying or cyberbullying, and implementing strategies to address bullying and cyberbullying. For example, the training may cover restorative justice and "upstander" behavior. An upstander is defined as "someone who recognizes the bully-victim situation and acts in a responsible and helpful manner to the situation."

AB 1993 adds section 32283.5 to the Education Code, which supplements existing law that requires the Department of Justice and the California Department of Education to assist school districts and county offices in developing their respective school safety and crisis response plans, and provide training in the prevention of bullying. These workshops by the Department of Justice and the California Department of Education have not been developed due to a lack of funding.

In addition, school administrators were recently provided additional tools for supporting students who have been victims of or witnesses to bullying. Beginning January 1, 2015, a superintendent or principal may refer bullying victims and witnesses to various school support services. (See 2014 Lozano Smith Client News Brief No. 56.)

If you have any questions on the laws regarding bullying, please contact one of our eight offices located statewide. You can also visit our website, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or download our Client News Brief App.
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As the information contained herein is necessarily general, its application to a particular set of facts and circumstances may vary. For this reason, this News Brief does not constitute legal advice. We recommend that you consult with your counsel prior to acting on the information contained herein.