Bullying or Other Aggressive Behaviors

Connecticut Bully Law as updated July 2011
"Bullying" means:
  • The repeated use by one or more students of a written, oral or electronic communication, such as cyberbullying, directed at or referring to another student attending school in the same school district, or
  • A physical act or gesture by one or more students repeatedly directed at another student attending school in the same school district, that:
    • Causes physical or emotional harm to such student or damage to such student's property
    • Places such student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property
    • Creates a hostile environment at school for such student
    • Infringes on the rights of such student at school
    • Substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
Bullying shall include, but not be limited to, a written, oral or electronic communication or physical act or gesture based on any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, or mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics.

The law requires schools to intervene on behalf of students who are bullied. The Madison Board of Education has adopted policies and regulations to address bullying and other behaviors that jeopardize the health, safety and welfare of individuals in the school community. The Code of Conduct Section of the Madison Public Schools Student Handbook lists specific behaviors and their consequences in detail and is available online, or through the schools' or the central office.

There are many other types of aggressive behaviors that do not fall under the legal definition of bullying, but nonetheless require action and intervention. Sexual harassment, fighting, and assault are examples of aggressive behaviors that are treated differently under the law. And there are many less severe types of aggressive behaviors that are not bullying, but cause distress, are unacceptable, and for which you should seek intervention. Bullying and other aggressive behaviors occur not only in the schools, but at other places in our community.