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Public Act 098-0801


 

Public Act 0801 98TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 098-0801
 
HB4207 EnrolledLRB098 16062 NHT 51115 b

    AN ACT concerning education.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Section
27-23.7 as follows:
 
    (105 ILCS 5/27-23.7)
    Sec. 27-23.7. Bullying prevention.
    (a) The General Assembly finds that a safe and civil school
environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve and
that bullying causes physical, psychological, and emotional
harm to students and interferes with students' ability to learn
and participate in school activities. The General Assembly
further finds that bullying has been linked to other forms of
antisocial behavior, such as vandalism, shoplifting, skipping
and dropping out of school, fighting, using drugs and alcohol,
sexual harassment, and sexual violence. Because of the negative
outcomes associated with bullying in schools, the General
Assembly finds that school districts and non-public,
non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools should educate
students, parents, and school district or non-public,
non-sectarian elementary or secondary school personnel about
what behaviors constitute prohibited bullying.
    Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color,
religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status,
physical or mental disability, military status, sexual
orientation, gender-related identity or expression,
unfavorable discharge from military service, association with
a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual
or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing
characteristic is prohibited in all school districts and
non-public, non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools. No
student shall be subjected to bullying:
        (1) during any school-sponsored education program or
    activity;
        (2) while in school, on school property, on school
    buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus
    stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored or
    school-sanctioned events or activities; or
        (3) through the transmission of information from a
    school computer, a school computer network, or other
    similar electronic school equipment; or .
        (4) through the transmission of information from a
    computer that is accessed at a nonschool-related location,
    activity, function, or program or from the use of
    technology or an electronic device that is not owned,
    leased, or used by a school district or school if the
    bullying causes a substantial disruption to the
    educational process or orderly operation of a school. This
    item (4) applies only in cases in which a school
    administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying
    through this means has occurred and does not require a
    district or school to staff or monitor any
    nonschool-related activity, function, or program.
    (b) In this Section:
    "Bullying" includes "cyber-bullying" and means any severe
or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including
communications made in writing or electronically, directed
toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably
predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
        (1) placing the student or students in reasonable fear
    of harm to the student's or students' person or property;
        (2) causing a substantially detrimental effect on the
    student's or students' physical or mental health;
        (3) substantially interfering with the student's or
    students' academic performance; or
        (4) substantially interfering with the student's or
    students' ability to participate in or benefit from the
    services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
    Bullying, as defined in this subsection (b), may take
various forms, including without limitation one or more of the
following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking,
physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft,
public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation
for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is
meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.
    "Cyber-bullying" means bullying through the use of
technology or any electronic communication, including without
limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images,
sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in
whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system,
photoelectronic system, or photooptical system, including
without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications,
instant messages, or facsimile communications.
"Cyber-bullying" includes the creation of a webpage or weblog
in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or
the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of
posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation
creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of
bullying in this Section. "Cyber-bullying" also includes the
distribution by electronic means of a communication to more
than one person or the posting of material on an electronic
medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the
distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated
in the definition of bullying in this Section.
    "School personnel" means persons employed by, on contract
with, or who volunteer in a school district or non-public,
non-sectarian elementary or secondary school, including
without limitation school and school district administrators,
teachers, school guidance counselors, school social workers,
school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses,
cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, school resource
officers, and security guards.
    (c) (Blank).
    (d) Each school district and non-public, non-sectarian
elementary or secondary school shall create and maintain a
policy on bullying, which policy must be filed with the State
Board of Education. The policy or implementing procedure shall
include a process to investigate whether a reported act of
bullying is within the permissible scope of the district's or
school's jurisdiction and shall require that the district or
school provide the victim with information regarding services
that are available within the district and community, such as
counseling, support services, and other programs. Each school
district and non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary
school must communicate its policy on bullying to its students
and their parent or guardian on an annual basis. The policy
must be updated every 2 years and filed with the State Board of
Education after being updated. The State Board of Education
shall monitor the implementation of policies created under this
subsection (d).
    (e) This Section shall not be interpreted to prevent a
victim from seeking redress under any other available civil or
criminal law. Nothing in this Section is intended to infringe
upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise
of religion or religiously based views protected under the
First Amendment to the United States Constitution or under
Section 3 or 4 of Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution.
(Source: P.A. 95-198, eff. 1-1-08; 95-349, eff. 8-23-07;
95-876, eff. 8-21-08; 96-952, eff. 6-28-10.)
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect January
1, 2015.

Effective Date: 1/1/2015