In Florida, “bullying” means: systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students.
It may involve:
- Social exclusion
- Physical violence
- Sexual, religious, or racial harassment
- Public humiliation
- Destruction of property
In 2008, the Florida Department of Education required each school district to create a policy prohibiting bulling. Each school district creates its own policy based on the FDOE guide.
(a) During any education program or activity conducted by a public K-12 educational institution;
(b) During any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity or on a school bus of a public K-12 educational institution; or
(c) Through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network of a public K-12 educational institution.
“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:
- Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits
- Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.