Section 16-28B-3

Definitions.

The following terms have the following meanings:

(1) BULLYING. A continuous pattern of intentional behavior that takes place on or off of school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function including, but not limited to, cyberbullying or written, electronic, verbal, or physical acts that are reasonably perceived as being motivated by any characteristic of a student, or by the association of a student with an individual who has a particular characteristic, if the characteristic falls into one of the categories of personal characteristics contained in the model policy adopted by the department or by a local board, and implemented at each school. To constitute bullying, a pattern of behavior may do any of the following:

a. Place a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property.

b. Have the effect of substantially interfering with the educational performance, opportunities, or benefits of a student.

c. Have the effect of substantially disrupting or interfering with the orderly operation of the school, whether the conduct occurs on or off school property, online, or electronically.

d. Have the effect of creating a hostile environment in the school, on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function.

e. Have the effect of being sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.

(2) DEPARTMENT. The State Department of Education.

(3) HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT. The perception by an affected student or victim that the conduct of another student constitutes a threat of violence or bullying and that the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person, under the circumstances, would agree that the conduct constitutes bullying, threat of assault, or assault.

(4) LOCAL BOARD. A city or county board of education.

(5) SCHOOL. Each public school, grades prekindergarten through 12, the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, the Alabama High School of Mathematics and Science, and the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

(6) SCHOOL SYSTEM. The schools under the jurisdiction of a local board.

(7) THREAT. A statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action to cause fear of harm. The intention may be communicated through an electronic, written, verbal, or physical act to cause fear, mental distress, or interference in the school environment. The intention may be expressly stated or implied and the person communicating the threat has the ability to carry out the threat.

(Act 2009-571, p. 1674, §3; Act 2018-472, §1.)