On Monday, May 3, 2010, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a landmark anti-bullying bill for Massachusetts. Provisions of this new law include requirements for schools to create and implement bullying prevention plans which must include:
  • Descriptions of and statements prohibiting bullying;
  • Clear procedures for school staff to report bullying or retaliation;
  • Provision for anonymous reports;
  • Clear procedures for promptly responding to and investigating reports of bullying or retaliation;
  • Range of disciplinary sanctions for perpetrators of bullying or retaliation;
  • Clear procedures to address the victim's need for safety;
  • Strategies for protecting students who report bullying;
  • Procedures for notifying parents or guardians of both victims and perpetrators;
  • Procedures for reporting criminal activity to law enforcement;
  • Disciplinary provisions for knowingly false reports of bullying;
  • Strategies for counseling perpetrators and victims; and
  • Provision for ongoing professional development to build skills of all members of school staff.

The new law includes tough restrictions on young people's, not just students, use of any technology to bully another person and the new law includes a prominent role for the Attorney General's Office, along with the Department of Early and Secondary Education, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and other agencies to develop the model plan and to identify the resources in order to create a school climate in which every student feels safe - in and out of school.

The law also gives responsibility to the Attorney General's Office to chair a multi-agency Commission which will conduct a review of related-Massachusetts laws to determine if any additional laws need to be amended to address bullying and/or cyberbullying.