Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB2950
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Full Text of HB2950  100th General Assembly




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1    AN ACT concerning education.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Section
527-23.7 as follows:
6    (105 ILCS 5/27-23.7)
7    Sec. 27-23.7. Bullying prevention.
8    (a) The General Assembly finds that a safe and civil school
9environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve and
10that bullying causes physical, psychological, and emotional
11harm to students and interferes with students' ability to learn
12and participate in school activities. The General Assembly
13further finds that bullying has been linked to other forms of
14antisocial behavior, such as vandalism, shoplifting, skipping
15and dropping out of school, fighting, using drugs and alcohol,
16sexual harassment, and sexual violence. Because of the negative
17outcomes associated with bullying in schools, the General
18Assembly finds that school districts, charter schools, and
19non-public, non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools
20should educate students, parents, and school district, charter
21school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary
22school personnel about what behaviors constitute prohibited



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1    Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color,
2religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status,
3physical or mental disability, military status, sexual
4orientation, gender-related identity or expression,
5unfavorable discharge from military service, association with
6a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual
7or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing
8characteristic is prohibited in all school districts, charter
9schools, and non-public, non-sectarian elementary and
10secondary schools. No student shall be subjected to bullying:
11        (1) during any school-sponsored education program or
12    activity;
13        (2) while in school, on school property, on school
14    buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus
15    stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored or
16    school-sanctioned events or activities;
17        (3) through the transmission of information from a
18    school computer, a school computer network, or other
19    similar electronic school equipment; or
20        (4) through the transmission of information from a
21    computer that is accessed at a nonschool-related location,
22    activity, function, or program or from the use of
23    technology or an electronic device that is not owned,
24    leased, or used by a school district or school if the
25    bullying causes a substantial disruption to the
26    educational process or orderly operation of a school. This



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1    item (4) applies only in cases in which a school
2    administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying
3    through this means has occurred and does not require a
4    district or school to staff or monitor any
5    nonschool-related activity, function, or program.
6    (a-5) Nothing in this Section is intended to infringe upon
7any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of
8religion or religiously based views protected under the First
9Amendment to the United States Constitution or under Section 3
10of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
11    (b) In this Section:
12    "Bullying" includes "cyber-bullying" and means any severe
13or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including
14communications made in writing or electronically, directed
15toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably
16predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
17        (1) placing the student or students in reasonable fear
18    of harm to the student's or students' person or property;
19        (2) causing a substantially detrimental effect on the
20    student's or students' physical or mental health;
21        (3) substantially interfering with the student's or
22    students' academic performance; or
23        (4) substantially interfering with the student's or
24    students' ability to participate in or benefit from the
25    services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
26    Bullying, as defined in this subsection (b), may take



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1various forms, including without limitation one or more of the
2following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking,
3physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft,
4public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation
5for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is
6meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.
7    "Cyber-bullying" means bullying through the use of
8technology or any electronic communication, including without
9limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images,
10sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in
11whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system,
12photoelectronic system, or photooptical system, including
13without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications,
14instant messages, or facsimile communications.
15"Cyber-bullying" includes the creation of a webpage or weblog
16in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or
17the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of
18posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation
19creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of
20bullying in this Section. "Cyber-bullying" also includes the
21distribution by electronic means of a communication to more
22than one person or the posting of material on an electronic
23medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the
24distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated
25in the definition of bullying in this Section.
26    "Policy on bullying" means a bullying prevention policy



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1that meets the following criteria:
2        (1) Includes the bullying definition provided in this
3    Section.
4        (2) Includes a statement that bullying is contrary to
5    State law and the policy of the school district, charter
6    school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or
7    secondary school and is consistent with subsection (a-5) of
8    this Section.
9        (3) Includes procedures for promptly reporting
10    bullying, including, but not limited to, identifying and
11    providing the school e-mail address (if applicable) and
12    school telephone number for the staff person or persons
13    responsible for receiving such reports and a procedure for
14    anonymous reporting; however, this shall not be construed
15    to permit formal disciplinary action solely on the basis of
16    an anonymous report.
17        (4) Consistent with federal and State laws and rules
18    governing student privacy rights, includes procedures for
19    promptly informing parents or guardians of all students
20    involved in the alleged incident of bullying and
21    discussing, as appropriate, the availability of social
22    work services, counseling, school psychological services,
23    other interventions, and restorative measures.
24        (5) Contains procedures for promptly investigating and
25    addressing reports of bullying, including the following:
26            (A) Making all reasonable efforts to complete the



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1        investigation within 10 school days after the date the
2        report of the incident of bullying was received and
3        taking into consideration additional relevant
4        information received during the course of the
5        investigation about the reported incident of bullying.
6            (B) Involving appropriate school support personnel
7        and other staff persons with knowledge, experience,
8        and training on bullying prevention, as deemed
9        appropriate, in the investigation process.
10            (C) Notifying the principal or school
11        administrator or his or her designee of the report of
12        the incident of bullying as soon as possible after the
13        report is received.
14            (D) Consistent with federal and State laws and
15        rules governing student privacy rights, providing
16        parents and guardians of the students who are parties
17        to the investigation information about the
18        investigation and an opportunity to meet with the
19        principal or school administrator or his or her
20        designee to discuss the investigation, the findings of
21        the investigation, and the actions taken to address the
22        reported incident of bullying.
23        (6) Includes the interventions that can be taken to
24    address bullying, which may include, but are not limited
25    to, school social work services, restorative measures,
26    social-emotional skill building, counseling, school



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1    psychological services, and community-based services.
2        (7) Includes a statement prohibiting reprisal or
3    retaliation against any person who reports an act of
4    bullying and the consequences and appropriate remedial
5    actions for a person who engages in reprisal or
6    retaliation.
7        (8) Includes consequences and appropriate remedial
8    actions for a person found to have falsely accused another
9    of bullying as a means of retaliation or as a means of
10    bullying.
11        (9) Is based on the engagement of a range of school
12    stakeholders, including students and parents or guardians.
13        (10) Is posted on the school district's, charter
14    school's, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or
15    secondary school's existing Internet website, and is
16    included in the student handbook, and, where applicable,
17    posted where other policies, rules, and standards of
18    conduct are currently posted in the school and provided
19    periodically throughout the school year to students and
20    faculty, and is distributed annually to parents,
21    guardians, students, and school personnel, including new
22    employees when hired.
23        (11) As part of the process of reviewing and
24    re-evaluating the policy under subsection (d) of this
25    Section, contains a policy evaluation process to assess the
26    outcomes and effectiveness of the policy that includes, but



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1    is not limited to, factors such as the frequency of
2    victimization; student, staff, and family observations of
3    safety at a school; identification of areas of a school
4    where bullying occurs; the types of bullying utilized; and
5    bystander intervention or participation. The school
6    district, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian
7    elementary or secondary school may use relevant data and
8    information it already collects for other purposes in the
9    policy evaluation. The information developed as a result of
10    the policy evaluation must be made available on the
11    Internet website of the school district, charter school, or
12    non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school.
13    If an Internet website is not available, the information
14    must be provided to school administrators, school board
15    members, school personnel, parents, guardians, and
16    students.
17        (12) Is consistent with the policies of the school
18    board, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian
19    elementary or secondary school.
20    "Restorative measures" means a continuum of school-based
21alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions
22and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs
23of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining
24school safety, (iii) protect the integrity of a positive and
25productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal
26and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in



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1school and society, (v) serve to build and restore
2relationships among students, families, schools, and
3communities, and (vi) reduce the likelihood of future
4disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding
5of students' behavioral health needs in order to keep students
6in school.
7    "School personnel" means persons employed by, on contract
8with, or who volunteer in a school district, charter school, or
9non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school,
10including without limitation school and school district
11administrators, teachers, school guidance counselors, school
12social workers, school counselors, school psychologists,
13school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers,
14school resource officers, and security guards.
15    (c) (Blank).
16    (d) Each school district, charter school, and non-public,
17non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall create,
18maintain, and implement a policy on bullying, which policy must
19be filed with the State Board of Education. The policy or
20implementing procedure shall include a process to investigate
21whether a reported act of bullying is within the permissible
22scope of the district's or school's jurisdiction and shall
23require that the district or school provide the victim with
24information regarding services that are available within the
25district and community, such as counseling, support services,
26and other programs. School personnel available for help with a



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1bully or to make a report about bullying shall be made known to
2parents or legal guardians, students, and school personnel.
3Every 2 years, each school district, charter school, and
4non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall
5conduct a review and re-evaluation of its policy and make any
6necessary and appropriate revisions. The policy must be filed
7with the State Board of Education after being updated. The
8State Board of Education shall monitor and provide technical
9support for the implementation of policies created under this
10subsection (d).
11    (e) This Section shall not be interpreted to prevent a
12victim from seeking redress under any other available civil or
13criminal law.
14(Source: P.A. 98-669, eff. 6-26-14; 98-801, eff. 1-1-15; 99-78,
15eff. 7-20-15.)
16    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
17becoming law.