The Safe Schools for All Students Act, passed during the 2019 New Mexico Legislature, repealed and replaced § 22-2-21 NMSA 1978 and created § 22-35 NMSA. New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) 6.12.7 was amended in response to this new law. By January 1 ,2020 each school board or governing body shall adopt bullying prevention policies that reflect these changes.
- “Bullying” means any severe, pervasive, or persistent act or conduct that targets a student, whether physically, electronically, or verbally, and that:
(1) may be based on a student’s actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, spousal affiliation, physical or cognitive disability, or any other distinguishing characteristic; or an association with a person, or group with any person, with one or more of the actual or perceived distinguishing characteristics; and
(2) can be reasonably predicted to:
(a) place a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student’s person or property;
(b) cause a substantial detrimental effect on a student’s physical or mental health;
(c) substantially interfere with a student’s academic performance, attendance, or participation in extracurricular activities; or
(d) substantially interfere with a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school or school-affiliated entity.
- “Cyberbullying” means any bullying that takes place through electronic communication.
- “Electronic communication” means a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including a telephone, cellular phone, computer, electronic tablet, pager or video or audio recording device.
SB 381, signed April 10, 2015: AN ACT RELATING TO CHILDREN; ENACTING THE CARLOS VIGIL MEMORIAL ACT; CREATING THE CARLOS VIGIL MEMORIAL BOARD TO AWARD GRANTS TO PROGRAMS AND SERVICES TO ERADICATE BULLYING STATEWIDE; CREATING THE ERADICATE BULLYING FUND; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
NM Stat § 22-2-21 (2013) – Bullying and cyberbullying prevention programs.
A.department shall establish guidelines for bullying prevention policies to be promulgated by local school boards.Every local school board shall promulgate a bullying prevention policy by August 2011.Every public school shall implement a bullying prevention program by August 2012.
- Every local school board shall promulgate a specific cyberbullying prevention policy by August 2013. Cyberbullying prevention policies shall require that:
(1) all licensed school employees complete training on how to recognize signs that a person is being cyberbullied;
(2) any licensed school employee who has information about or a reasonable suspicion that a person is being cyberbullied report the matter immediately to the school principal or the local superintendent or both;
(3) any school administrator or local superintendent who receives a report of cyberbullying take immediate steps to ensure prompt investigation of the report; and
(4) school administrators take prompt disciplinary action in response to cyberbullying confirmed through investigation. Disciplinary action taken pursuant to this subsection must be by the least restrictive means necessary to address a hostile environment on the school campus resulting from the confirmed cyberbullying and may include counseling, mediation and appropriate disciplinary action that is consistent with the legal rights of the involved students.
- Each local school board shall make any necessary revisions to its disciplinary policies to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section.
- As used in this section, “cyberbullying” means electronic communication that:
(1) targets a specific student;
(2) is published with the intention that the communication be seen by or disclosed to the targeted student;
(3) is in fact seen by or disclosed to the targeted student; and
(4) creates or is certain to create a hostile environment on the school campus that is so severe or pervasive as to substantially interfere with the targeted student’s educational benefits, opportunities or performance.
History: Laws 2011, ch. 50, § 1; 2013, ch. 178, § 1.
NMAC 6.12.7; Statutory regulation which has the force of law; http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmac/parts/title06/06.012.0007.htm
Here is a useful document summarizing school discipline laws in New Mexico (updated March 20, 2015): https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/sites/default/files/discipline-compendium/New%20Mexico%20School%20Discipline%20Laws%20and%20Regulations.pdf
Criminal electronic harassment (does not expressly include electronic forms): http://jec.unm.edu/education/online-training/stalking-tutorial/stalking-harassment-statutes/ss30-3a-2