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  3. New Mexico Anti Bullying Laws & Policies

New Mexico Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Components of State Anti-Bullying Laws and Regulations

Component Included
Prohibiting statement Yes
Definition Yes
Scope Yes
Protected groups Yes
District policy requirement Yes
Reporting and investigations Yes
Consequences Yes
Communication of policy Yes
Safeguards and supports Yes
Review and update of local policies Yes
Prevention education Yes
Staff training Yes
Parent engagement Yes

Which New Mexico state laws and regulations cover bullying?

How are bullying and cyberbullying defined in New Mexico anti-bullying laws and regulations?

New Mexico anti-bullying laws and regulations include the following definition of bullying:

“Bullying” means any severe, pervasive or persistent act or conduct that targets a student, whether physically, electronically or verbally, and that:

    (1) may be based on a student’s actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, spousal affiliation, physical or cognitive disability or any other distinguishing characteristic; or on an association with a person, or group with any person, with one or more of the actual or perceived distinguishing characteristics; and

    (2) can be reasonably predicted to:

         (a) place a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student’s person or property;

         (b) cause a substantial detrimental effect on a student’s physical or mental health;

          (c) substantially interfere with a student’s academic performance or attendance; or

         (d) substantially interfere with a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by an agency, educational institution or grantee.

“Cyberbullying” means any bullying that takes place through electronic communication.

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 22-35-2 (2019)

Do New Mexico anti-bullying laws and regulations cover cyberbullying that occurs off-campus?

Yes. New Mexico anti-bullying laws prohibit electronic communication directed at a student, that is published with the intent that it be seen by or disclosed to that student and that substantially interferes with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by the public school.

What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior?

New Mexico school districts must adopt policies to prevent bullying. District policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Definitions of prohibited behavior that conform to definitions in state law;
  • Statements prohibiting bullying and retaliation against persons who report or witness incidents of bullying;
  • Discipline consequences that are designed to appropriately correct the behavior, prevent another occurrence, and protect the target of bullying;
  • Procedures for reporting and investigations, including designation of a school administrator to lead an investigation, and timelines for reporting;
  • Procedures for the notification of the parents of the student alleged to have committed any act of bullying and the parents of the students targeted by the alleged act;
  • An appeals process for a student accused of bullying or a student who is the target of bullying who is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation; and
  • Procedures for developing a student safety support plan for students who are the target of bullying.

New Mexico school boards must include prevention policies in student handbooks and must produce and disseminate policies in languages spoken by families at home. New Mexico school boards must also establish procedures for schools to report aggregate incidents of bullying and harassment and to report information annually to the Department of Education.

Do New Mexico anti-bullying laws and regulations include protections for specific groups?

Yes. New Mexico anti-bullying laws prohibit bullying that may be based on a student’s actual or perceived race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, spousal affiliation, physical or cognitive disability, or any other distinguishing characteristic; or on an association with a person, or group with any person, with one or more of the actual or perceived distinguishing characteristics.

New Mexico schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination based on certain personal characteristics. Find out when bullying may be a civil rights violation.

Do New Mexico anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies?

Yes. New Mexico public schools must establish an annual bullying prevention program for students that is included in New Mexico’s health education content standards with benchmarks and performance standards.

Do New Mexico anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to respond to bullying incidents?

Yes. New Mexico public schools must provide annual training on bullying prevention to all employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students and must incorporate information on the bullying prevention policy into new employee training.

Do New Mexico anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying?

Yes. New Mexico public schools must adopt policies that include a procedure for the investigation of bullying complaints, including the development of a student safety support plan for students who are targets of bullying that addresses safety measures the school will take to protect targeted students against further acts of bullying.

Do New Mexico anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to address bullying behavior?

Yes. New Mexico anti-bullying laws require districts to adopt a procedure for notification of the parents of the student alleged to have committed an act of bullying and the parents of the students targeted by the alleged act.

For More Information

Visit the New Mexico Public Education Department’s “Bullying Prevention” webpage and/or view the New Mexico state model policy framework addressing bullying.

The key component framework used in the analysis of state laws is based on the review of legislation presented in the “Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies – December 2011” (U.S. Department of Education).

Date Last Reviewed