Bullying and Harassment

Florida’s Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act

Bullying has become a systemic problem nationwide. The Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act is a memorial to Jeffrey Johnston.

Under the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act, each school district must adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution. The law requires that each school district’s policy be in substantial conformity with the Department of Education’s model policy.

Read more about the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act (1006.147, Florida Statutes) here

Definitions

Florida’s Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act defines bullying and harassment as follows:                 

(a) “Bullying” means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students and may involve:

  1. Teasing
  2. Social exclusion
  3. Threat
  4. Intimidation
  5. Stalking
  6. Physical violence
  7. Theft
  8. Sexual, religious, or racial harassment
  9. Public humiliation, or
  10. Destruction of property

(b) “Harassment” means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:

  1. Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
  2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or
  3. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.

(c) Definitions in s. 815.03 and the definition in s. 784.048(1)(d) relating to stalking are applicable to this section.

(d) The definitions of “bullying” and “harassment” include:

  1. Retaliation against a student or school employee by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying or harassment. Reporting an act of bullying or harassment that is not made in good faith is considered retaliation.
  2. Perpetuation of conduct listed in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause physical harm to a student or school employee by:
    1. Incitement or coercion;
    2. Accessing or knowingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the district school system; or
    3. Acting in a manner that has an effect substantially similar to the effect of bullying or harassment.