H.B. 116 (Jessica Logan Act)
Ohio Governor Kasich has signed into law House Bill 116 (also known as the "Jessica Logan Act", in memory of a student who committed suicide due to bullying via texting).
The bill expands the current anti-bullying law to prohibit harassment by electronic means. This includes harassment, intimidation, and bullying through computers, cell phones, or other electronic devices.
The Ohio School Plan supports efforts to create a safe educational environment through both risk transfer through our coverage documents and through risk management policies and procedures.
The Ohio School's documents do not exclude bullying or liability arising out of chat rooms, bulletin boards or other types of social media. While each situation must be evaluated individually, it is the intent of the Ohio School Plan to protect the schools from the liability created by House Bill 116 and its predecessors addressing bullying.
In addition, House Bill 116 requires school districts to amend their anti-bullying policies and procedures to address the following.
- School districts must revise anti-bullying policies to prohibit bullying on school buses and to provide for the possibility of suspension of a student responsible for harassment, intimidation, or bullying by an electronic act (i.e., cyber-bullying).
- School districts' anti-bullying policies must include a strategy for protecting a bullying victim or other persons from new or additional bullying, including a means by which a person can report an incident anonymously.
- School districts' anti-bullying policies must include a statement prohibiting students from deliberately making false reports of bullying and a disciplinary procedure for any student responsible for deliberately making a false report.
- School districts must require all students in the district to be provided annually with age-appropriate instruction (as determined by the board of education) on the board's anti-bullying policy, including a written or verbal discussion of the consequences for violating the school's policy.
- Once per school year, school districts must send a written statement describing the anti-bullying policy and consequences for violations to each student's custodial parent or guardian. This can be sent electronically or with report cards.
- School districts must include training on the anti-bullying policy in its in-service training program for child abuse prevention or intervention required for all teachers, administrators, counselors, nurses, and school psychologists.
Here is a link to the bill