Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz
Massachusetts Second Suffolk District
Senate Passes Anti-bullying Legislation

On March 11, 2010, Senator Chang-Diaz, along with her Senate colleagues, voted in favor of anti-bullying legislation that will prohibit physical, verbal and written acts that threaten or cause harm to another student, including Internet “cyber-bullying.” The anti-bullying bill requires all school districts, charter schools and non-public schools to develop prevention and intervention plans by December 31, 2010 that include procedures for investigating bullying incidents, notifying parents and determining appropriate disciplinary actions.

The bill requires school principals to notify local law enforcement of bullying incidents if there is reason to believe criminal charges may be pursued. It also allows Individualized Education Programs for children with special needs to include provisions that will help them handle and respond to incidents of bullying. The bullying ban extends to all school facilities, school-sponsored functions, school buses and bus stops.