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Public Act 102-0241


 

Public Act 0241 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 102-0241
 
SB0673 EnrolledLRB102 17049 CMG 22476 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, charter schools, and non-public, non-sectarian
elementary and secondary schools should educate students,
parents, and school district, charter school, 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, charter
schools, 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;
        (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.
    (a-5) 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
of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
    (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.
    "Policy on bullying" means a bullying prevention policy
that meets the following criteria:
        (1) Includes the bullying definition provided in this
    Section.
        (2) Includes a statement that bullying is contrary to
    State law and the policy of the school district, charter
    school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or
    secondary school and is consistent with subsection (a-5)
    of this Section.
        (3) Includes procedures for promptly reporting
    bullying, including, but not limited to, identifying and
    providing the school e-mail address (if applicable) and
    school telephone number for the staff person or persons
    responsible for receiving such reports and a procedure for
    anonymous reporting; however, this shall not be construed
    to permit formal disciplinary action solely on the basis
    of an anonymous report.
        (4) Consistent with federal and State laws and rules
    governing student privacy rights, includes procedures for
    promptly informing parents or guardians of all students
    involved in the alleged incident of bullying and
    discussing, as appropriate, the availability of social
    work services, counseling, school psychological services,
    other interventions, and restorative measures.
        (5) Contains procedures for promptly investigating and
    addressing reports of bullying, including the following:
            (A) Making all reasonable efforts to complete the
        investigation within 10 school days after the date the
        report of the incident of bullying was received and
        taking into consideration additional relevant
        information received during the course of the
        investigation about the reported incident of bullying.
            (B) Involving appropriate school support personnel
        and other staff persons with knowledge, experience,
        and training on bullying prevention, as deemed
        appropriate, in the investigation process.
            (C) Notifying the principal or school
        administrator or his or her designee of the report of
        the incident of bullying as soon as possible after the
        report is received.
            (D) Consistent with federal and State laws and
        rules governing student privacy rights, providing
        parents and guardians of the students who are parties
        to the investigation information about the
        investigation and an opportunity to meet with the
        principal or school administrator or his or her
        designee to discuss the investigation, the findings of
        the investigation, and the actions taken to address
        the reported incident of bullying.
        (6) Includes the interventions that can be taken to
    address bullying, which may include, but are not limited
    to, school social work services, restorative measures,
    social-emotional skill building, counseling, school
    psychological services, and community-based services.
        (7) Includes a statement prohibiting reprisal or
    retaliation against any person who reports an act of
    bullying and the consequences and appropriate remedial
    actions for a person who engages in reprisal or
    retaliation.
        (8) Includes consequences and appropriate remedial
    actions for a person found to have falsely accused another
    of bullying as a means of retaliation or as a means of
    bullying.
        (9) Is based on the engagement of a range of school
    stakeholders, including students and parents or guardians.
        (10) Is posted on the school district's, charter
    school's, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or
    secondary school's existing Internet website, is included
    in the student handbook, and, where applicable, posted
    where other policies, rules, and standards of conduct are
    currently posted in the school and provided periodically
    throughout the school year to students and faculty, and is
    distributed annually to parents, guardians, students, and
    school personnel, including new employees when hired.
        (11) As part of the process of reviewing and
    re-evaluating the policy under subsection (d) of this
    Section, contains a policy evaluation process to assess
    the outcomes and effectiveness of the policy that
    includes, but is not limited to, factors such as the
    frequency of victimization; student, staff, and family
    observations of safety at a school; identification of
    areas of a school where bullying occurs; the types of
    bullying utilized; and bystander intervention or
    participation. The school district, charter school, or
    non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school
    may use relevant data and information it already collects
    for other purposes in the policy evaluation. The
    information developed as a result of the policy evaluation
    must be made available on the Internet website of the
    school district, charter school, or non-public,
    non-sectarian elementary or secondary school. If an
    Internet website is not available, the information must be
    provided to school administrators, school board members,
    school personnel, parents, guardians, and students.
        (12) Is consistent with the policies of the school
    board, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian
    elementary or secondary school.
    "Restorative measures" means a continuum of school-based
alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions
and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs
of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining
school safety, (iii) protect the integrity of a positive and
productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal
and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in
school and society, (v) serve to build and restore
relationships among students, families, schools, and
communities, and (vi) reduce the likelihood of future
disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding
of students' behavioral health needs in order to keep students
in school, and (vii) increase student accountability if the
incident of bullying is based on religion, race, ethnicity, or
any other category that is identified in the Illinois Human
Rights Act.
    "School personnel" means persons employed by, on contract
with, or who volunteer in a school district, charter school,
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, charter school, and non-public,
non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall create,
maintain, and implement 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. School personnel available for help with a
bully or to make a report about bullying shall be made known to
parents or legal guardians, students, and school personnel.
Every 2 years, each school district, charter school, and
non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall
conduct a review and re-evaluation of its policy and make any
necessary and appropriate revisions. The policy must be filed
with the State Board of Education after being updated. The
State Board of Education shall monitor and provide technical
support for 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.
(Source: P.A. 99-78, eff. 7-20-15; 100-137, eff. 8-18-17.)
 
    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
becoming law.

Effective Date: 8/3/2021