Bullying laws in California and how to get help for students

Bullying may seem inescapable but there are laws in place that define and help protect victims.

The ways in which people bully has evolved throughout the years (mostly because of the internet and other factors) but the concept seems to stay the same. What exactly is bullying?

Many of you have your own interpretation as to what entails bullying and it possibly falls under how California law defines it.

California law defines bullying as "any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act,"

This just means physical, verbal and now in the electronic age cyber-bullying all fall within the bullying statute.

Also, law states that one or more acts committed by one person or a group directed towards others with these effects falls under bullying:

  • Places someone in fear or harm of the person and their property.
  • Causes someone to experience substantial effect on their physical or mental health.
  • Causes someone to experience "substantial interference" with academic performance.
  • Causes someone to experience "substantial interference" their ability to participate and contribute to school activities provided by the school.

In case you were wondering there are certain categories under California's anti-bullying laws which include disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, religion, sexual orientation and association with a person or group with one of more of these actual or perceived characteristics and race or ethnicity.

The universal questions people tend to have are what do you do if you notice your child, another child or a school friend at school dealing with these issues? Where can you find help?

School districts in Sacramento County do have bullying prevention information available that explain to students, parents and family members ways to address the issues. Also, most of those school district websites have resources in place and ways to report bullying behavior, with visitors having the capability to make online reports too.

If your child or another victim of bullying attends one of the Sacramento County School Districts below, here's links to their bullying prevention websites:

San Juan Unified School District

Sacramento City Unified School District

Elk Grove Unified School District

Natomas Unified School District

Folsom Cordova Unified School District

Twin Rivers Unified School District

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