With summer winding down and the start of a new school year upon many Utah families, we thought it would be appropriate to review what is prohibited as far as Utah school harassment policies are concerned.
Utah Law on Harassment and Bullying
The law states that no student or school employee may engage in harassing or bullying another school employee or student in the following circumstances:
• On school property
• At a school related or sponsored event
• On a school bus
• At a school bus stop or
• While the individual is traveling to or from any of the above-mentioned locations or events
Hazing and Cyber-bullying are Prohibited
Hazing and cyber-bullying by a school employee or student are prohibited under all circumstances. Additionally, if someone makes an accusation of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment or hazing, he had better be telling the truth and he cannot be retaliated against by another individual. Both retaliation and lying are prohibited.
Someone who is bullied, cyber-bullied, harassed or hazed does have the option of seeking criminal or civil actions under Utah law.
Bullying means that someone commits an act, fully aware that such act:
• Endangers the physical health of another person
• Involves physical brutality
• Involves consuming some type of substance
• Physically obstructs a person’s ability to move
• Is done with the intent to engender fear in the person
Cyber-bullying involves some type of device that allows the bully to hurt, threaten or embarrass an individual with reckless disregard.
Harassment includes repeated disparaging or demeaning communications to a person that contribute to a hostile learning or work environment.
Hazing can include the same things as bullying, except that hazing usually occurs in situations where a person is being initiated into a club or group.
If your child has been accused of bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment or hazing, it’s important to immediately contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney. Kids deserve to have someone on their side who can speak for them and protect them from incriminating themselves. Talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney today.