Title 16

Chapter 21
Health and Safety of Pupils

R.I. Gen. Laws § 16-21-33

§ 16-21-33. Safe schools act.

(a) Definitions. As used in this chapter:

(1) “Bullying” means the use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof directed at a student that:

(i) Causes physical or emotional harm to the student or damage to the student’s property;

(ii) Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;

(iii) Creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or abusive educational environment for the student;

(iv) Infringes on the rights of the student to participate in school activities; or

(v) Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. The expression, physical act or gesture may include, but is not limited to, an incident or incidents that may be reasonably perceived as being motivated by characteristics such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or mental, physical, or sensory disability, intellectual ability or by any other distinguishing characteristic.

(2) “Cyber-bullying” means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, texting or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. For purposes of this section, cyber-bullying shall also include:

(i) The creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person;

(ii) The knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages; or

(iii) The distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of materials on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the creation, impersonation, or distribution results in any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v) of the definition of bullying herein.

(3) “At school” means on school premises, at any school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises, on a school-transportation vehicle, at an official school bus stop, using property or equipment provided by the school, or creates a material and substantial disruption of the education process or the orderly operation of the school.

History of Section.
P.L. 2011, ch. 162, § 3; P.L. 2011, ch. 178, § 3.