arkansas

2015: AR Code § 5-71-217 (2015) :

(a) As used in this section:

(1) “Communication” means the electronic communication of information of a person’s choosing between or among points specified by the person without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received;

(2) “Electronic means” means any textual, visual, written, or oral communication of any kind made through the use of a computer online service, Internet service, telephone, or any other means of electronic communication, including without limitation to a local bulletin board service, an Internet chat room, electronic mail, a social networking site, or an online messaging service; and

(3) “School employee” means a person who is employed full time or part time at a school that serves students in any of the grades kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12), including without limitation a:

(A) Public school operated by a school district;

(B) Public school operated by a state agency or institution of higher education;

(C) Public charter school; or

(D) Private school.

(b) A person commits the offense of cyberbullying if:

(1) He or she transmits, sends, or posts a communication by electronic means with the purpose to frighten, coerce, intimidate, threaten, abuse, or harass another person; and

(2) The transmission was in furtherance of severe, repeated, or hostile behavior toward the other person.

(c) The offense of cyberbullying may be prosecuted in the county where the defendant was located when he or she transmitted, sent, or posted a communication by electronic means, in the county where the communication by electronic means was received by the person, or in the county where the person targeted by the electronic communications resides.

(d) (1) Cyberbullying is a Class B misdemeanor.

(2) Cyberbullying is a Class A misdemeanor if the victim is a school employee.

July 2011: Cyberbullying crime law took effect: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2011/2011R/Acts/Act905.pdf. Cyberbullying is a Class B misdemeanor.

Reference to off-campus behaviors:  Policies must prohibit bullying: “(B) (i) By an electronic act that results in the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment.” “(ii) This section shall apply to an electronic act whether or not the electronic act originated on school property or with school equipment, if the electronic act is directed specifically at students or school personnel and maliciously intended for the purpose of disrupting school, and has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose.”

Ark. Code Ann. §6-18-514; http://law.justia.com/codes/arkansas/2012/title-6/subtitle-2/chapter-18/subchapter-5/section-6-18-514

  1. B. 1072, 2007 Code §6-18-514(a) Anti-bullying Policies; now Act 115

http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2007/R/Acts/Act115.pdf (defines bullying and cyberbullying for school policies)

Policies must state the consequences for engaging in the prohibited conduct, which may vary depending on the age or grade of the student involved.

Act 681 of 2003 (House Bill 2274) – AN ACT TO REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ADOPT ANTI-BULLYING POLICIES; TO REQUIRE THE POLICIES TO BE FILED WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. (http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2003/R/Acts/Act681.pdf)

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS:

SECTION 1.  (a)  The school board of directors in every school district shall adopt policies to prevent pupil harassment, also known as “bullying”.

(b)  The policies shall:

(1)  Clearly define conduct that constitutes bullying;

(2)  Prohibit bullying while on school property, at school sponsored activities, and on school buses;

(3)  State the consequences for engaging in the prohibited conduct, which may vary depending on the age or grade of the student involved;

(4)  Require that a school employee who has witnessed, or has reliable information that, a pupil has been a victim of bullying, as defined by the district, shall report the incident to the principal of the school;

(5)  Require that notice of what constitutes bullying, that bullying is prohibited, and the consequences of engaging in bullying be conspicuously posted in every classroom, cafeteria, restroom, gymnasium, auditorium, and school bus in the district; and

(6)  Require copies of the notice of what constitutes bullying, that bullying is prohibited, and the consequences of engaging in bullying be provided to parents, students, school volunteers, and employees.  The policies shall require that full copies of the policy must be made available upon request.

(c)  A school employee who has reported violations under the school district’s policy shall be immune from any tort liability which may arise from the failure to remedy the reported incident.

(d)  The local school board may provide opportunities for school employees to participate in programs or other activities designed to develop the knowledge and skills to prevent and respond to acts covered by this policy.

(e)(1)  The school district shall file with the Department of Education a copy of the policies adopted in compliance with this section.

(2)  The State Board of Education shall review the policies provided by the school districts and may recommend changes or improvements to the districts if the board determines the policies need improvement.