Below is the model bullying policy made available by the Pensylvania State Department of Education for school districts within Pensylvania 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 8, 2019

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This state does not appear to have a model policy, but state statute does require certain policy provisions. The statutory requirements are outlined below.

(a) No later than January 1, 2009, each school entity shall adopt a policy or amend its existing policy relating to bullying and incorporate the policy into the school entity’s code of student conduct required under 22 Pa. Code § 12.3(c) (relating to school rules).  The policy shall delineate disciplinary consequences for bullying and may provide for prevention, intervention and education programs, provided that no school entity shall be required to establish a new policy under this section if one currently exists and reasonably fulfills the requirements of this section.  The policy shall identify the appropriate school staff person to receive reports of incidents of alleged bullying.

(b) Each school entity shall make the policy available on its publicly accessible Internet website, if available, and in every classroom.  Each school entity shall post the policy at a prominent location within each school building where such notices are usually posted.  Each school entity shall ensure that the policy and procedures for reporting bullying incidents are reviewed with students within ninety (90) days after their adoption and thereafter at least once each school year.

(c) Each school entity shall review its policy every three (3) years and annually provide the office with a copy of its policy relating to bullying, including information related to the development and implementation of any bullying prevention, intervention and education programs.  The information required under this subsection shall be attached to or made part of the annual report required under section 1303-A(b).   1

(d) In its policy relating to bullying adopted or maintained under subsection (a), a school entity shall not be prohibited from defining bullying in such a way as to encompass acts that occur outside a school setting if those acts meet the requirements contained in subsection (e)(1), (3) and (4).  If a school entity reports acts of bullying to the office in accordance with section 1303-A(b), it shall report all incidents that qualify as bullying under the entity’s adopted definition of that term.

(e) For purposes of this article, “bullying” shall mean an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, or a series of acts:

(1) directed at another student or students;

(2) which occurs in a school setting;

(3) that is severe, persistent or pervasive;  and

(4) that has the effect of doing any of the following:

(i) substantially interfering with a student’s education;

(ii) creating a threatening environment;  or

(iii) substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school;  and

“school setting” shall mean in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.

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