Wyoming Safe School Climate Act W.S. 21-4-311 through 21-4-315

The following statute was pulled from the State of Wyoming web site on October 9, 2015 and is current as of that date. For the most current version, please reference the State of Wyoming Legistlature site http://legisweb.state.wy.us/NXT/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm.

21-4-311. Safe school climate act; short title.

This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Safe School Climate Act”.

21-4-312. Definitions.

(a) As used in this act:

(i) “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any intentional gesture, any intentional electronic communication or any intentional written, verbal or physical act initiated, occurring or received at school that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of:

(A) Harming a student physically or emotionally, damaging a student’s property or placing a student in reasonable fear of personal harm or property damage;

(B) Insulting or demeaning a student or group of students causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school; or

(C) Creating an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for a student or group of students through sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive behavior.

(ii) “School” includes a classroom or other location on school premises, a school bus or other school-related vehicle, a school bus stop, an activity or event sponsored by a school, whether or not it is held on school premises, and any other program or function where the school is responsible for the child;

(iii) “This act” means W.S. 21-4-311 through 21-4-315.

21-4-313. Prohibition against harassment, intimidation or bullying; reporting to school officials.

(a) No person shall engage in:

(i) Harassment, intimidation or bullying; or

(ii) Reprisal or retaliation against a victim, witness or person who reports information about an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.

21-4-314. School district implementation; state policies, training and technical assistance.

(a) Not later than December 31, 2009, each school district shall adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying at school. The school district shall involve parents and guardians, school employees, volunteers, students, administrators and community representatives in the process of creating the policy. Policies created under this section shall be continuously reviewed and may be revised as necessary.

(b) The policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying shall include, without limitation:

(i) A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation or bullying of a student;

(ii) A definition of “harassment, intimidation or bullying” which includes at minimum the definition as provided in W.S. 21-4-312(a)(i);

(iii) Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for persons committing acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying or engaging in reprisal or retaliation;

(iv) Procedures for reporting and documenting acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying, including a provision for reporting anonymously. However, formal disciplinary action shall not be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report. The procedures shall identify the appropriate school personnel responsible for receiving a report and investigating a complaint;

(v) Procedures for prompt investigation of reports or complaints of serious violations;

(vi) A statement that prohibits reprisal or retaliation against a person who reports or makes a complaint of harassment, intimidation or bullying;

(vii) A strategy for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation or bullying, and from retaliation following a report;

(viii) Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who is found to have made a false accusation, report or complaint;

(ix) A process for discussing the district’s harassment, intimidation or bullying policy with students; and

(x) A statement of how the policy is to be publicized, including notice that the policy applies to participation in functions sponsored by the school.

(c) To assist local school districts in developing a policy under subsection (b) of this section, the department of education shall not later than September 1, 2009, develop model policies applicable to grades kindergarten through twelve (12) and teacher preparation program standards on the identification and prevention of bullying. In addition, the department shall provide necessary training programs and technical assistance to districts in carrying out this act.

(d) Each local school board shall include the policy adopted by a school district pursuant to this section in a publication of the comprehensive rules, procedures and standards of conduct for schools of a school district and in each school’s student’s handbook.

(e) Information regarding the school district’s policy against harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be incorporated into each district’s professional development programs and shall be provided to volunteers and other noncertified employees of the district who have significant contact with students.

(f) School districts may establish bullying prevention programs or other initiatives and may involve school staff, students, administrators, volunteers, parents, law enforcement and community members.

21-4-315. Applicability; no civil liability created; immunity.

This article shall not be interpreted to prevent a victim from seeking redress pursuant to any other applicable civil or criminal law. This article does not create or alter any civil cause of action for monetary damages against any person or school district nor shall it constitute grounds for any claim or motion raised by either the state or defendant in any proceedings, except that the defense of immunity shall be retained and may be asserted in any action arising under this act.