State of South Dakota
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY, 2012
This bill has been extensively amended (hoghoused) and may no longer be consistent
with the original intention of the sponsor.
ENGROSSED NO. SB 130 - 3/2/2012
Introduced by: Senators Lederman, Adelstein, Gray, Schlekeway, and Sutton and
FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to require the school board of each school district to adopt
a policy prohibiting bullying.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. If a school district does not have a bullying policy, the school district shall follow
the model bullying policy in section 6 of this Act until such time as the school district adopts
its own bullying policy. Nothing in this Act supplants or preempts an existing school district
policy, except that no school district policy prohibiting bullying, whether it is existing or
adopted pursuant to this Act, may contain any protected classes of students.
Section 2. Bullying is a pattern of repeated conduct that causes physical hurt or
psychological distress on one or more students that may include threats, intimidation, stalking
as defined in chapter 22-19A, physical violence, theft, destruction of property, any threatening
use of data or computer software, written or verbal communication, or conduct directed against
a student that:
(1) Places a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or
her property; and either
(2) Substantially interferes with a student's educational performance; or
(3) Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school.
For the purposes of this Act, bullying also includes retaliation against a student for asserting
or alleging an act of bullying.
Section 3. Each school district policy developed pursuant to this Act shall contain the
(1) A statement prohibiting bullying and a definition of bullying that includes the
definition listed in section 2 of this Act;
(2) A description of the type of behavior expected from each student of the school
district, and the consequences for a student of the school district who commits an act
(3) A procedure for reporting an act of bullying, including provisions that permit a
person to anonymously report such an act, although formal disciplinary action may
not be based solely on an anonymous report; and
(4) A procedure for the prompt investigation and response to any report of bullying,
including a requirement that an investigation be conducted on any alleged incident
of bullying committed against a child while the child is aboard a school bus, at a
school bus stop, or at a school-sponsored event.
Section 4. Any school district employee, school volunteer, student, or parent who promptly
reports in good faith an act of bullying to the appropriate school district official as designated
in the school district's policy, and who makes the report in compliance with the provisions of
the school district's policy is immune from any cause of action for damages arising from failure
to remedy the reported incident. Moreover, the provisions of this Act do not create a cause of
action against any school district, school district employee, school volunteer, student, or parent
unless there has been substantial noncomplaince with the school district's policy resulting in
injury to a protected person.
Section 5. Neither the physical location nor the time of day of any incident involving the use
of computers or other electronic devices is a defense to any disciplinary action taken by a school
district for conduct determined to meet the definition of bullying in section 2 of this Act.
Section 6. The model bullying policy pursuant to this Act is as follows:
PROHIBITION OF HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, AND BULLYING
The School District is committed to maintaining a constructive, safe school climate that is
conducive to student learning and fostering an environment in which all students are treated
with respect and dignity.
Persistent bullying can severely inhibit a student's ability to learn and may have lasting
negative effects on a student's life. The bullying of students by students, staff, or third parties
is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.
Bullying consists of repeated physical, verbal, non-verbal, written, electronic, or any conduct
directed toward a student that is so pervasive, severe, and objectively offensive that it:
(1) Has the purpose of creating or resulting in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive
academic environment; or
(2) Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with a student's
academic performance which deprives the student access to educational
Any staff member observing or suspecting bullying toward another individual is required
to report the issue to his or her building supervisor.
This policy is in effect while students are on property within the jurisdiction of the School
Board; while students are in school-owned or school-operated vehicles; and while students are
attending or engaged in school-sponsored activities.
The District will act to investigate all complaints (formal or informal, verbal or written) of
bullying. A formal complaint may be submitted to the building principal. Any student engaging
in an act of bullying is subject to discipline pursuant to the District's student discipline
This policy may not be interpreted to prohibit civil exchange of opinions or debate protected
under the state or federal constitutions if the opinion expressed does not otherwise materially
or substantially disrupt the education process or intrude upon the rights of others.