Hazing News

Montana may become the 45th state with a hazing law: KXLH report



Bullock expected to sign Montana school anti-bullying bill

Senate Bill 284 makes bullying illegal (CBS News photo)

BILLINGS — Montana is on the verge of becoming the 50th U.S. state with a law against bullying in schools.House Bill 284 — the “Bully-Free Montana Act,” which prohibits bullying in K-12 schools, passed in the Montana House of Representatives on Monday in a 58-to-42 vote.

Governor Steve Bullock is expected to sign the bill into law.

The bill, sponsored by MT State Rep. Kimberly Dudik (D-Missoula), is designed to promote safe schools and bully-free learning environments.

When the bill was first introduced, it included protections for both students and employees from bullying. The most recent version only prohibits the bullying of students.

Bullying is defined in the bill as causing a student physical harm, damaging a student’s property, creating a hostile learning environment, or substantially disrupting the orderly operations of a school.

This law also protects victims and witnesses who report bullying from retaliation.

Acts of hazing associated with athletics or school-sponsored organizations and groups are also included under the new law

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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