Below is the model bullying policy made available by the Hawaii State Department of Education for school districts within Hawaii  to use when crafting their own bullying and cyberbullying policies. Each state’s policies vary when it comes to how they: define bullying, harassment, threats, intimidation, and violence; expect reporting and investigating to be carried out, specify response strategies, define penalties, and prescribe certain types of prevention programs and practices.

We recommend that you review and consider updating your own bullying policy on an annual basis with input from educators, administrators, counselors, mental health professionals, parents, and students themselves. That will optimize the likelihood that the policy you implement achieves its goals.

Last Updated: August 8th, 2019.

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Hawaii is one of the few states with not many specifications for a model policy. Instead, their statutes outline that bullying is a Class B offense, and the procedures for reporting such incidents.

Hawaii Statutory Requirements


[§302A-1002]  Reporting of crime-related incidents.  The board shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to:

(1)  Require a report to appropriate authorities from a teacher, official, or other employee of the department who knows or has reason to believe that an act has been committed or will be committed, which:

(A)  Occurred or will occur on school property during school hours or during activities supervised by the school; and

(B)  Involves crimes relating to arson, assault, burglary, disorderly conduct, dangerous weapons, dangerous drugs, harmful drugs, extortion, firearms, gambling, harassment, intoxicating drugs, marijuana or marijuana concentrate, murder, attempted murder, sexual offenses, rendering a false alarm, criminal property damage, robbery, terroristic threatening, theft, or trespass;

(2)  Establish procedures for disposing of any incident reported; and

(3)  Impose, in addition to any other powers or authority the department may have to discipline school officials, appropriate disciplinary action for failure to report these incidents, including probation, suspension, demotion, and discharge of school officials. [L 1996, c 89, pt of §2]


Bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment; compliance reports to board.  L 2011, c 214.


  • 8-19-2Definitions. As used in this chapter:

“Abusive language” means verbal messages that use words in an inappropriate way and may include but is not limited to swearing, name-calling, or profanity.

“Assault” means intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently causing serious bodily injury or bodily injury to another person with or without a dangerous instrument.

“Bullying” means any written, verbal, graphic, or physical act that a student or group of students exhibits toward other particular student(s) and the behavior causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s); and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s).

“Burglary” means entering or remaining without school authorization in a building that is either owned or operated by the department of education with intent to commit an offense against a person, or against school property or other property located at the school.

“Class cutting” means an unauthorized absence of a student from class.

“Complex area superintendent” means the chief administrative officer of a complex area and the school complexes therein.

“Contraband” means a property, other than which is unlawful to produce or possess, which, as defined by local school rules, is prohibited on school premises has in the past lead to bodily injury or disruption of school operations.

“Controlled substance” means a drug or substance as defined in I through V in chapter 329, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

“Correction and conference with student” means a student meets with an administrator, their teacher(s), and/or parent and receives instruction on demonstrating appropriate behavior.

“Crisis removal” means the immediate exclusion of a student from school in an emergency, because the conduct of the student presents a clear, immediate threat to the physical safety of self or others, or the student is so extremely disruptive as to make the immediate removal of the student necessary to preserve the right of other students to pursue their education free from undue disruption.

“Cyberbullying” means electronically transmitted acts, i.e., Internet, cell phone, personal digital assistance (PDA), or wireless hand-held device that a student has exhibited toward another student or employee of the department which causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s) or school personnel and is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment:

(1) On campus, or other department of education premises, on department of education transportation, or during a department of education sponsored activity or event on or off school property;

(2) Through a department of education data system without department of education authorized communication; or

(3) Through an off campus computer network that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student or school personnel, or both.

In evaluating whether conduct constitutes harassment, intimidation or bullying, special attention should be paid to the words chosen or the actions, taken, whether the conduct occurred in front of others or was communicated to others, how the perpetrator interacted with the victim, and the motivation, either admitted or appropriately inferred. Electronic transmissions include but are not limited to the use of data, computer software that is accessed through a computer, a computer network system, other computerized systems, cellular phones or other similar electronic devices that display e-mail, text messaging, blogs, photos, drawings, video clips, on-line community websites, or faxes, or a combination of the foregoing.

“Dangerous instrument, or ‘substance’” means any explosive device, instrument, material, or chemical, whether animate or inanimate, which in the manner it is used or is intended to be used is known to be capable of producing death or bodily injury. Examples of such items include but are not limited to knives, pipe bomb devices, fireworks, pepper spray, mace, martial arts devices such as sticks and throwing stars; and inanimate objects such as pipes, sticks, or baseball bats swung at a person in a menacing manner so as to cause or threaten bodily injury.

“Dangerous weapon” means an instrument whose sole design and purpose is to inflict bodily injury or death. Examples of such instruments include but are not limited to a dirk, dagger, butterfly knife, switchblade knife, blackjack, slug shot, billy, metal knuckles, or other weapons that inflict bodily injury or death.

“Department” means the department of education.

“Detention” means detaining a student on school campus during non-instructional hours to require the student to carry out in-school educational or other activities as may be prescribed by school officials as a form of disciplinary action for student misconduct.

“Disciplinary transfer” means the removal of a student from the school the student is attending as a result of a violation of section 8-19-6. Disciplinary transfer does not include cases involving the revocation of geographic exceptions under chapter 13 of title 8 under circumstances in which the purpose for granting the geographic exception is no longer valid.

“Dismissal” means the removal of a student from Hawaii public schools for the remainder of the school year or for a period of not less than one calendar year for firearm violations.

“Disorderly conduct” means the following actions or activities on campus or other department of education premises, on department of education transportation, or during a department of education sponsored activity or event on or off school property:

(1) Engaging in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior such as yelling or screaming, or both;

(2) Making unreasonable noise as to cause disruption of normal school operations;

(3) Making any offensively coarse utterance, gesture, or display, or addressing abusive language to any person present, which is likely to provoke a violent response;

(4) Creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which is not performed under any authorized license or permit;

(5) Impeding or obstructing any person in a public school for the purpose of begging or soliciting alms or other forms of aid; or

(6) Inappropriate physical contact including but is not limited to consensual sex or consensual touching of body parts, or both.

“Drug paraphernalia” means any equipment, products, or materials of any kind, or combination thereof which is used, intended for use, or designed for use, in planting, harvesting, producing, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of this chapter. It includes, but is not limited to:

(1) Kits, devices, equipment, separation gins, balance scales, blenders, bowls, containers, spoons, capsules, balloons, envelopes, other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in preparing, processing, mixing, storing, or concealing controlled substances;

(2) Hypodermic syringes, needles, and other objects used, intended for use, or designed for use by injecting the controlled substances into the human body;

(3) Objects used, intended for use, or designed for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana, cocaine, hashish, or hashish oil, or forms of methamphetamine, or anabolic steroids into the human body, such as:

(A) Metal, wooden, glass, acrylic, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipes, water pipes, smoking and carburetion masks, roach clips; meaning objects used to hold burning materials such as marijuana cigarettes, that have become too small or too short to be held in the hand;

(B) Miniature cocaine spoons, and cocaine vials, bongs, ice pipes, or chillers; and

(C) Any and all other drug paraphernalia as described and defined pursuant to section 329-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

“Educational worker” means any administrator, specialist, counselor, teacher, or employee of the department of education, or a person who is a volunteer in a school program, activity, or function that is sponsored or approved by the department of education, or a person hired by the department of education on a contractual basis and engaged in carrying out an educational function.

“Extortion” means an act committed by a person who:

(1) Obtains, or exerts control over, the property or services of another with intent to deprive that person of the property or services by threatening by word or conduct to:

(A) Cause bodily injury in the future to the person threatened or to any other person;

(B) Cause damage to property;

(C) Subject the person threatened or any other person to physical confinement or restraint;

(D) Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or to impair the person’s credit or business repute;

(E) Reveal any information sought to be concealed by the person threatened or any other person;

(F) Testify provide information, or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense;

(G) Take or withhold action as a public servant, or cause a public servant to take or withhold such action;

(H) Bring about or continue a strike, boycott, or other similar collective action, to obtain property which is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group which the student purports to represent; or

(I) Do any other act which would not in itself substantially benefit the person committing the act but which is calculated to substantially harm some person with respect to that person’s health, safety, education, business, calling, career, financial condition, reputation, or personal relationship;

(2) Compels or induces another person to engage in conduct from which that person has a legal right to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which that person has a legal right to engage by threatening by word or conduct to do any of the actions set forth in paragraph (A) through (I) of this definition; or

(3) Makes or finances any extension of credit, or collects any extension of credit by extortionate means.

“Fighting” means instigating or provoking physical contact involving anger or hostility. Fighting includes but is not limited to:

(1) Engaging in mutual physical contact involving anger or hostility;

(2) Teasing, harassing, threatening, or intimidating others resulting in physical contact involving anger or hostility;

(3) Retaliating physically for teasing, harassing, threatening, or intimidating behavior; verbally inciting; or

(4) Physically supporting a fight by one’s presence and encouragement.

“Firearm” means:

(1) Any weapon including but is not limited to a starter gun, shotgun, air guns which includes BB guns, pellet guns, paintball guns, or cross bow or any other instrument which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile;

(2) The frame or receiver of any such weapon;

(3) Any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or

(4) Any destructive device. The term “destructive device” means:

(A) Any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas:

(i) Bomb;

(ii) Grenade;

(iii) Rocket having a propellant charge;

(iv) Missile having an explosive or incendiary charge;

(v) Mine; or

(vi) Device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clause;

(B) Any type of weapon which will, or which may be readily converted to expel a projectile, including but is not limited to a weapon that expels a projectile by action of an explosive or other propellant; or

(C) Any combination or parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device described above, and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.

“Forgery” means:

(1) A student signing a name other than the student’s own name on a document or;

(2) The illegal production or reproduction of materials such as fundraising or sports event tickets.

“Gambling” means staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the person’s control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that the person or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. Gambling does not include bona fide business transactions valid under the law of contracts, including but is not limited to contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, and agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance, including but is not limited to contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life, health, or accident insurance.

“Harassment” means a student who is harassing, bullying, including cyberbullying, annoying, or alarming another person by engaging in the following conduct that includes but is not limited to:

(1) Striking, shoving, kicking, or otherwise touching a person in an offensive manner or subjecting such person to offensive physical contact;

(2) Insulting, taunting, or challenging another person in a manner likely to provoke a violent response;

(3) Making verbal or non-verbal expressions that causes others to feel uncomfortable, pressured, threatened, or in danger because of reasons that include but are not limited to the person’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, including gender identity and expression, religion, disability, or sexual orientation that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment, or interferes with the education of a student, or otherwise adversely affects the educational opportunity of a student or students;

(4) Name calling, making rude gestures, insulting, or teasing another person who feels humiliated, intimidated, threatened, or embarrassed;

(5) Making a telephone call without purpose of legitimate communication;

(6) Making repeated communications anonymously, or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language on campus or, other department of education premises, on department of education transportation, or during a department of education sponsored activity or event on or off school property;

(7) Causing fear as to prevent others from gaining legitimate access to or use of school buildings, facilities, services, or grounds such as, but is not limited to, restroom facilities; or

(8) Physically harming, physically restraining, threatening, or stalking, or a combination of the foregoing.

  • 8-19-5Disciplinary actions; authority.(a) Suspensions exceeding ten school days or suspensions that will result in the student being suspended more than a total of ten school days in any single semester, disciplinary transfers, dismissals, and extension of crisis removals shall be approved by complex area superintendent.

(b) Crisis removals and suspensions of ten school days or less may be approved by the principal or designee.

(c) In determining disciplinary actions, the principal or designee shall consider the intention of the offender, the nature and severity of the offense, the impact of the offense on others including whether the action was committed by an individual or a group of individuals such as a gang, the age of the offender, and if the offender was a repeat offender. [Eff 9/1/82; ren §8-19-4, 5/23/86; am and comp 7/19/93; comp 5/19/97; comp 2/22/01; am and comp 9/10/09] (Auth: HRS §§302A-1112, 302A-1002) (Imp: HRS §§302A-1112, 302A-1002)

  • 8-19-6Prohibited student conduct; class offenses.(a) The following prohibited conduct applies to all students in the public school system, on campus, or other department of education premises, on department of education transportation, or during a department of education sponsored activity or event on or off school property.

(1) Class A offenses:

(A) Assault;

(B) Burglary;

(C) Dangerous instrument, or substance; possession or use of;

(D) Dangerous weapons; possession, or use of;

(E) Drug paraphernalia; possession, use, or sale of;

(F) Extortion;

(G) Fighting;

(H) Firearms; possession or use of;

(I) Homicide;

(J) Illicit drugs; possession, use, or sale of;

(K) Intoxicating substances; possession, use, or sale of;

(L) Property damage or vandalism;

(M) Robbery;

(N) Sexual offenses; or

(O) Terroristic threatening.

(2) Class B offenses:

(A) Bullying;

(B) Cyberbullying;

(C) Disorderly conduct;

(D) False alarm;

(E) Forgery;

(F) Gambling;

(G) Harassment;

(H) Hazing;

(I) Inappropriate or questionable uses, or both of internet materials or equipment, or both;

(J) Theft; or

(K) Trespassing.

(3) Class C offenses:

(A) Abusive language;

(B) Class cutting;

(C) Insubordination;

(D) Laser pen/laser pointer; possession or use of;

(E) Leaving campus without consent;

(F) Smoking or use of tobacco substances; or

(G) Truancy.

(4) Class D offenses:

(A) Contraband; possession or use of;

(B) Minor problem behaviors; or

(C) Other school rules.

(i) Any other conduct as may be prescribed and prohibited by school rules. Individual school rules shall be published or made available for inspection at the school office and shall inform students, school staff, and parents of the prohibited conduct under class A through D of this section.

(ii) No disciplinary action amounting to serious discipline shall be imposed for violation of any individual school rule as a class D offense.

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