What are the Laws?
Education Code section 48900(r) defines the act of bullying to determine whether disciplinary action can be taken and to allow for special considerations related to school transfers.
Penal Code section 422.55 defines a hate crime as a criminal act committed against a person based on their actual or perceived disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.
The Safe Place to Learn Act (Education Code sections 234-234.5) prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. The Act requires all local educational agencies to adopt a policy that include specific components that are posted in schools -- components such as the manner in which a complaint of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying can be reported, the timeline to investigate and resolve complaints and an appeal process for any disagreement with the resolution of a complaint. Measures of discipline may be assigned for bullying as well as alternative means of correction shall be offered. Further, all school personnel and staff must take immediate steps to intervene when an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying is observed.
Education Code section 48900.5 provides that students found to have committed an act of bullying may be suspended on a first offense if the act also includes acts described under subdivisions (a)-(e) of section 48900 of the Education Code, or is determined by the principle that the student’s presence causes a danger to others. Any alternatives to suspension or expulsion must be age-appropriate and designed to address and correct specific misbehavior.