Bullying undermines the safe learning environment that students need to achieve their full potential. The RI Statewide Bullying Policy [PDF, 168KB] was promulgated pursuant to the authority set forth in §16-21-34 of the General Laws of Rhode Island. Known as the Safe School Act, the statute recognizes that the bullying of a student creates a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the student's health and negatively affect learning. The purpose of the Policy is to ensure a consistent and unified statewide approach to prohibiting bullying at school. Review our summary and frequently asked questions of the new RI Statewide Bullying Policy [PDF, 182KB]. Additional information on bullying is available at stopbullying.gov.
For data on bullying and school safety, see Bullying & School Violence.
A safe school environment, free of bullying, teen dating violence and sexual violence, is possible when all members of a community work together to affect change at many levels. The purpose of the following document, A Guide to Preventing Bullying, Teen Dating Violence, and Sexual Violence in Rhode Island Schools [PDF, 994 KB], is to help districts develop, in every school, a response and prevention strategy that engages and empowers administration, faculty, students and parents to take action against abuse.
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School health education, health services, and school environment are guided by the RI Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs [PDF, 419KB].
These regulations apply to all public and non-public schools. These regulations are jointly promulgated by the Departments of Education and Health, and are periodically updated to align with new statutes, best practices, and emerging issues.
Health Education is required for all students in grades 1-12 according to RI General Laws. Students should receive an average of 100 minutes per week of health and physical education. This does not include recess, free play, or after-school activities. Specific requirements for health education are outlined in Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs.
The health services that are provided in RI schools are guided by the RI Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs. Required health services include screenings, records review, acute care, chronic disease management, and health risk prevention.
Policies and protocols must be in place to ensure food protection, sanitation, safe water supply, healthy air quality, good lighting, safe playgrounds, and emergency evacuation, among other issues that relate to healthy school buildings. Sections 21 through 42 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs
outline all of the requirements for building and maintaining a healthy school.