A Watch-dog Organization - Advocating for Bullied Children
& Reporting on State Anti Bullying Laws
Signed by the governor: December 29, 2006 - HB 276 (Enacted) SCHOOL BULLYING (Stewart, J.) - With respect to school policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying; to expand in-service training in child abuse prevention that school districts and community schools must provide



Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

Sec. 3301.22.  The state board of education shall develop a model policy to prohibit harassment, intimidation, or bullying in order to assist school districts in developing their own policies under section 3313.666 of the Revised Code. The board shall issue the model policy within six months after the effective date of this section.

Sec. 3313.666.  (A) As used in this section, "harassment, intimidation, or bullying" means any intentional written, verbal, or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once and the behavior both:

(1) Causes mental or physical harm to the other student;

(2) Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student.

(B) The board of education of each city, local, exempted village, and joint vocational school district shall establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying. The policy shall be developed in consultation with parents, school employees, school volunteers, students, and community members. The policy shall include the following:

(1) A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any student on school property or at school-sponsored events;

(2) A definition of harassment, intimidation, or bullying that shall include the definition in division (A) of this section;

(3) A procedure for reporting prohibited incidents;

(4) A requirement that school personnel report prohibited incidents of which they are aware to the school principal or other administrator designated by the principal;

(5) A requirement that parents or guardians of any student involved in a prohibited incident be notified and, to the extent permitted by section 3319.321 of the Revised Code and the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974," 88 Stat. 571, 20 U.S.C. 1232q, as amended, have access to any written reports pertaining to the prohibited incident;

(6) A procedure for documenting any prohibited incident that is reported;

(7) A procedure for responding to and investigating any reported incident;

(8) A strategy for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation, or bullying, and from retaliation following a report;

(9) A disciplinary procedure for any student guilty of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, which shall not infringe on any student's rights under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States;

(10) A requirement that the district administration semiannually provide the president of the district board a written summary of all reported incidents and post the summary on its web site, if the district has a web site, to the extent permitted by section 3319.321 of the Revised Code and the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974," 88 Stat. 571, 20 U.S.C. 1232q, as amended.

(C) Each board's policy shall appear in any student handbooks, and in any of the publications that set forth the comprehensive rules, procedures, and standards of conduct for schools and students in the district. Information regarding the policy shall be incorporated into employee training materials.

(D) A school district employee, student, or volunteer shall be individually immune from liability in a civil action for damages arising from reporting an incident in accordance with a policy adopted pursuant to this section if that person reports an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying promptly in good faith and in compliance with the procedures as specified in the policy.

(E) Except as provided in division (D) of this section, nothing in this section prohibits a victim from seeking redress under any other provision of the Revised Code or common law that may apply.

(F) This section does not create a new cause of action or a substantive legal right for any person.

Sec. 3313.667.  (A) Any school district may form bullying prevention task forces, programs, and other initiatives involving volunteers, parents, law enforcement, and community members.

(B) To the extent that state or federal funds are appropriated for these purposes, each school district shall:

(1) Provide training, workshops, or courses on the district's harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy adopted pursuant to section 3313.666 of the Revised Code to school employees and volunteers who have direct contact with students. Time spent by school employees in the training, workshops, or courses shall apply towards any state- or district-mandated continuing education requirements.

(2) Develop a process for educating students about the policy.

(C) This section does not create a new cause of action or a substantive legal right for any person.

Effective: In 90 days (March 28 2007)


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