Publication of this Special Update is in response to enactment of H.B. 4163 (Public Act 241 of 2011), known as “Matt’s Safe School Law”. The bill was signed by Governor Snyder on December 6, 2011, with an immediate effective date. This legislation calls for the Board of each school district or intermediate school district to adopt and implement a policy prohibiting bullying at school not later than June 6, 2012.
If the district has already adopted and implemented such a policy that meets the requirements of the law, the Board may submit a copy of the policy to the Michigan Department of Education within 60 days of December 6, 2011.
The bill requires the school district’s policy to include at least all of the following:
- A statement prohibiting bullying of a student;
- A statement prohibiting retaliation or false accusation against a target of bullying, a witness, or another person with reliable information about an act of bullying;
- A provision indicating that all students are protected under the policy, and that bullying is equally prohibited without regard to its subject matter or motivating animus;
- The identification, by job title, of school officials responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented;
- A statement describing how the policy is to be publicized;
- A procedure for providing notification to the parent or legal guardian of a victim of bullying, and to the parent or legal guardian of a perpetrator of the bullying;
- A procedure for prompt investigation of a report of a violation of the policy or a related complaint, identifying either the principal or the principal’s designee as the person responsible for the investigation; and
- A procedure for each public school to document any prohibited incident that was reported, and a procedure to report all verified incidents of bullying and the resulting consequences, including discipline and referrals, to the Board of the school district on an annual basis.