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Substitute House Bill No. 5563

Public Act No. 06-115

AN ACT CONCERNING BULLYING POLICIES IN SCHOOLS AND NOTICES SENT TO PARENTS OR LEGAL GUARDIANS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 10-222d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2006):

Each local and regional board of education shall develop a policy, for use on and after February 1, 2003, to address the existence of bullying in its schools. Such policy shall: (1) Enable students to anonymously report acts of bullying to teachers and school administrators and require students to be notified annually of the process by which they may make such reports, (2) enable the parents or guardians of students to file written reports of suspected bullying, (3) require teachers and other school staff who witness acts of bullying or receive student reports of bullying to notify school administrators, (4) require school administrators to investigate any written reports filed pursuant to subdivision (2) of this section and to review any anonymous reports, (5) include an intervention strategy for school staff to deal with bullying, (6) provide for the inclusion of language in student codes of conduct concerning bullying, (7) require the parents or guardians of students who commit any verified acts of bullying and the parents or guardians of students against whom such acts were directed to be notified, [and] (8) require each school to maintain a list of the number of verified acts of bullying in such school and make such list available for public inspection, and (9) direct the development of case-by-case interventions for addressing repeated incidents of bullying against a single individual or recurrently perpetrated bullying incidents by the same individual that may include both counseling and discipline. The notification required pursuant to subdivision (7) of this section shall include a description of the response of school staff to such acts and any consequences that may result from the commission of further acts of bullying. For purposes of this section, "bullying" means any overt acts by a student or a group of students directed against another student with the intent to ridicule, harass, humiliate or intimidate the other student while on school grounds, [or] at a school-sponsored activity or on a school bus, which acts are repeated against the same student over time. Such policies may include provisions addressing bullying outside of the school setting if it has a direct and negative impact on a student's academic performance or safety in school.

Sec. 2. Section 10-15b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2006):

(a) Either parent or legal guardian of a minor student shall, upon written request to a local or regional board of education and within a reasonable time, be entitled to knowledge of and access to all educational, medical, or similar records maintained in such student's cumulative record, except that no parent or legal guardian shall be entitled to information considered privileged under section 10-154a.

(b) The parent or legal guardian with whom the student does not primarily reside shall be provided with all school notices that are provided to the parent or legal guardian with whom the student primarily resides. Such notices shall be mailed to the parent or legal guardian requesting them at the same time they are provided to the parent or legal guardian with whom the child primarily resides. Such requests shall be effective for as long as the child remains in the school the child is attending at the time of the request.

[(b)] (c) If any private or public school is served with a subpoena issued by competent authority directing the production of school or student records in connection with any proceedings in any court, the school upon which such subpoena is served may deliver such record or at its option a copy thereof to the clerk of such court. Such clerk shall give a receipt for the same, shall be responsible for the safekeeping thereof, shall not permit the same to be removed from the premises of the court and shall notify the school to call for the same when it is no longer needed for use in court. Any such record or copy so delivered to such clerk shall be sealed in an envelope which shall indicate the name of the school or student, the name of the attorney subpoenaing the same and the title of the case referred to in the subpoena. No such record or copy shall be open to inspection by any person except upon the order of a judge of the court concerned, and any such record or copy shall at all times be subject to the order of such judge. Any and all parts of any such record or copy, if not otherwise inadmissible, shall be admitted in evidence without any preliminary testimony, if there is attached thereto the certification in affidavit form of the person in charge of such records indicating that such record or copy is the original record or a copy thereof, made in the regular course of the business of the school, and that it was the regular course of such business to make such record at the time of the transactions, occurrences or events recorded therein or within a reasonable time thereafter. A subpoena directing production of such school or student records shall be served not less than eighteen hours before the time for production, provided such subpoena shall be valid if served less than eighteen hours before the time of production if written notice of intent to serve such subpoena has been delivered to the person in charge of such records not less than eighteen hours nor more than two weeks before such time for production.

Approved June 2, 2006