Rights as defined in Wikipedia, are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. Source: Wikipedia (Note: Wikipedia provides additional context about the definition of rights and the controversy surrounding the meaning.)
Students in every state have rights in a bullying situation. However, every state addresses bullying differently. Some states have specific laws, while others have policy or legislation that outlines student rights in a bullying situation.
It is important for you to know
Some laws and policies specifically outline that the students who:
It is your right to be safe at school
Every student should feel safe at school; if you do not, seek help from your parents or another adult, such as your teacher, an administrator, or a person you trust at school. Remember to:
To learn more about your state’s law check out the interactive map on the StopBullying.gov website.
State laws might include the following:
Students may have additional protections under federal law when the bullying is based on:
When the bullying is about someone’s race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability – at the federal level – this is called harassment.
Some state and local laws may provide additional protections on other bases, including bullying that happens because of real or perceived sexual orientation.
School districts generally have bullying prevention policies. The policies varies from school to school and from state to state. These are often printed in the school handbook or posted on the school website. The policies can include, but are not limited to the following:
As a student, you have a strong voice in influencing peers, educators, and administrators within your school. You also can persuade lawmakers to explore changes in laws to protect students. Bullying is an issue that directly affects students and school culture. When you lead the cause, you show you care about other students and your school—and you become a powerful voice for change.