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Bullying and Hazing

bullying.jpgThis week Utah's kids will be returning to school. Some parents might be worried about school bullies or that their children could be coerced into participating in hazing activities. Bullying and hazing are prohibited by any student or school employee by Utah Code ยง53-11a-101 et seq, which was enacted in 2008.

The law requires each school district to adopt a bullying and hazing policy. These policies include possible consequences of bullying, procedures for protecting victims of bullying, and procedures for investigating and reporting incidents to law enforcement. These policies are to be placed in student and employee handbooks. Several schools and school districts have placed their policies online. See, for example, the Sunrise Elementary School policy (in the Cache County School District) and the Nebo School District policy.

Even though school boards have created the policies for preventing and managing bullying incidents, some parents choose to resolve bullying issues through a court action. A 2009 Deseret News article described the parents of a Albion Middle School student suing their child's bully and seeking monetary compensation.

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