Kentucky’s Bullying Statutes • KRS 158.154 • KRS 158.155 • KRS 158.156
KRS 158.154 • When the principal has a reasonable belief that an act has occurred on school property or at a school-sponsored function involving assault resulting in serious physical injury, a sexual offense, kidnapping, assault involving the use of a weapon, possession of a controlled substance in violation of the law, or damage to the property, the principal shall immediately report the act to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. • “School property” means any public school building, bus, public school campus, grounds, recreational area, or athletic field, in the charge of the principal.
KRS 158.155 • KRS 158.155 – Reporting of specified incidents of student conduct An administrator, teacher, or other employee of a public or private school shall promptly make a report to the local police department, sheriff, or the Department of Kentucky State Police, by telephone or otherwise, if:
KRS 158.155 continued • The person knows or has reasonable cause to believe that conduct has occurred on the school premises or within one thousand (1,000) feet of school premises, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored or sanctioned event, which constitutes: • A misdemeanor or violation offense under the laws of this Commonwealth and relates to: • Carrying, possession, or use of a deadly weapon; or • Use, possession, or sale of controlled substances; or • Any felony offense under the laws of this Commonwealth
KRS 158.155 continued • Administrators, teachers, supervisors, or other employees of a public/private school who receive information from a student or other person of conduct that a student has been adjudicated guilty or expelled from school attendance in this state or another for homicide, assault, or an offense in violation of state law or school regulations relating to weapons, alcohol, or drugs shall provide to the receiving school a sworn statement or affirmation
KRS 158.155 continued • Neither the husband-wife privilege nor any professional-client privilege shall be a ground for refusing to make a report as required under this statute or for excluding evidence in a judicial proceeding of the making of a report and of the conduct giving rise to the making of a report. • However, the attorney-client privilege and clergy-penitent privilege can be grounds for refusing to make a report or for excluding evidence as to the report and the underlying conduct
KRS 158.155 continued • No requirement to self-incriminate • Any person making a report under this statute in good faith is immune from any civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed from making the report and/or participating in any judicial proceeding that resulted from the report
Kentucky’s Bullying Statutes • KRS 158.156 – Reporting of commission of felony KRS Chapter 508 offense against a student – Investigation – Immunity from liability for reporting – Privileges no bar to reporting.
KRS 158.156 Any school employee or local board of education who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a school student has been the victim of a violation of any, felony offense specified in KRS Chapter 508 committed by another student while on school premises, on school-sponsored transportation, or at a school-sponsored event shall immediately cause an oral or written report to be made to the principal of the school attended by the victim.
KRS 158.156Principal Duties Following Report • Notify the parents, legal guardians, or other persons exercising custodial control or supervision of the student • File a written report with the local school board, local law enforcement, the Department of State Police , or the county attorney within forty-eight (48) hours of the original report
KRS 158.156Principal’s Duties cont’d • Written report should contain the following: • Names/addresses of the student and his/her parents, legal guardians, or other persons exercising custodial control or supervision • Student’s age • Nature and extent of the violation • Name/address of the student allegedly responsible for the violation; and • Any other information that the principal making the report believes may be helpful
KRS 158.156 continued • The agency receiving the report shall investigate the matter referred to it and the school board and school personnel shall participate in the investigation at the request of the agency • Immunity for those reporting in good faith from any civil or criminal liability • Husband/Wife and professional/client privileges cannot be grounds for refusal to report, excluding attorney/client and religious privileges
How will the Bullying Statutes affect our members? • FAILURE TO REPORT COULD RESULT IN SOME CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR OUR MEMBERS • Every school employee now has a duty to report instances of criminal conduct that they have first hand knowledge of or have a reasonable belief that it occurred. • Our members cannot rely on the principal making reports to the appropriate authorities to satisfy their obligation to personally report
Summary • If a member knows about or has a reasonable belief that criminal conduct has occurred on school grounds and/or against a student, the school employee must report to: • The local police department, sheriff, the State Police, and/or the county attorney • The school principal, and • The Cabinet for Families and Children (KRS 620.030 – Duty to report dependency, neglect, or abuse)
If a school employee is unsure about a particular incident, it is better to err on the side of caution and report appropriately.