Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3425
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Full Text of HB3425  103rd General Assembly




HB3425 EnrolledLRB103 29456 RJT 55848 b

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 State Finance Act is amended by adding
5Section 5.990 as follows:
6    (30 ILCS 105/5.990 new)
7    Sec. 5.990. The Illinois Bullying and Cyberbullying
8Prevention Fund.
9    Section 10. The School Code is amended by changing Section
1027-23.7 as follows:
11    (105 ILCS 5/27-23.7)
12    Sec. 27-23.7. Bullying prevention.
13    (a) The General Assembly finds that a safe and civil
14school environment is necessary for students to learn and
15achieve and that bullying causes physical, psychological, and
16emotional harm to students and interferes with students'
17ability to learn and participate in school activities. The
18General Assembly further finds that bullying has been linked
19to other forms of antisocial behavior, such as vandalism,
20shoplifting, skipping and dropping out of school, fighting,
21using drugs and alcohol, sexual harassment, and sexual



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1violence. Because of the negative outcomes associated with
2bullying in schools, the General Assembly finds that school
3districts, charter schools, and non-public, non-sectarian
4elementary and secondary schools should educate students,
5parents, and school district, charter school, or non-public,
6non-sectarian elementary or secondary school personnel about
7what behaviors constitute prohibited bullying.
8    Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color,
9religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, physical appearance,
10socioeconomic status, academic status, pregnancy, parenting
11status, homelessness, age, marital status, physical or mental
12disability, military status, sexual orientation,
13gender-related identity or expression, unfavorable discharge
14from military service, association with a person or group with
15one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived
16characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is
17prohibited in all school districts, charter schools, and
18non-public, non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools. No
19student shall be subjected to bullying:
20        (1) during any school-sponsored education program or
21    activity;
22        (2) while in school, on school property, on school
23    buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus
24    stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored
25    or school-sanctioned events or activities;
26        (3) through the transmission of information from a



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1    school computer, a school computer network, or other
2    similar electronic school equipment; or
3        (4) through the transmission of information from a
4    computer that is accessed at a nonschool-related location,
5    activity, function, or program or from the use of
6    technology or an electronic device that is not owned,
7    leased, or used by a school district or school if the
8    bullying causes a substantial disruption to the
9    educational process or orderly operation of a school. This
10    item (4) applies only in cases in which a school
11    administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying
12    through this means has occurred and does not require a
13    district or school to staff or monitor any
14    nonschool-related activity, function, or program.
15    (a-5) Nothing in this Section is intended to infringe upon
16any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of
17religion or religiously based views protected under the First
18Amendment to the United States Constitution or under Section 3
19of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
20    (b) In this Section:
21    "Bullying" includes "cyber-bullying" and means any severe
22or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including
23communications made in writing or electronically, directed
24toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably
25predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
26        (1) placing the student or students in reasonable fear



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1    of harm to the student's or students' person or property;
2        (2) causing a substantially detrimental effect on the
3    student's or students' physical or mental health;
4        (3) substantially interfering with the student's or
5    students' academic performance; or
6        (4) substantially interfering with the student's or
7    students' ability to participate in or benefit from the
8    services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
9    Bullying, as defined in this subsection (b), may take
10various forms, including without limitation one or more of the
11following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking,
12physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft,
13public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation
14for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is
15meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.
16    "Cyber-bullying" means bullying through the use of
17technology or any electronic communication, including without
18limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images,
19sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in
20whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system,
21photoelectronic system, or photooptical system, including
22without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications,
23instant messages, or facsimile communications.
24"Cyber-bullying" includes the creation of a webpage or weblog
25in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or
26the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of



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1posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation
2creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of
3bullying in this Section. "Cyber-bullying" also includes the
4distribution by electronic means of a communication to more
5than one person or the posting of material on an electronic
6medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the
7distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated
8in the definition of bullying in this Section.
9    "Policy on bullying" means a bullying prevention policy
10that meets the following criteria:
11        (1) Includes the bullying definition provided in this
12    Section.
13        (2) Includes a statement that bullying is contrary to
14    State law and the policy of the school district, charter
15    school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or
16    secondary school and is consistent with subsection (a-5)
17    of this Section.
18        (3) Includes procedures for promptly reporting
19    bullying, including, but not limited to, identifying and
20    providing the school e-mail address (if applicable) and
21    school telephone number for the staff person or persons
22    responsible for receiving such reports and a procedure for
23    anonymous reporting; however, this shall not be construed
24    to permit formal disciplinary action solely on the basis
25    of an anonymous report.
26        (4) Consistent with federal and State laws and rules



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1    governing student privacy rights, includes procedures for
2    promptly informing parents or guardians of all students
3    involved in the alleged incident of bullying within 24
4    hours after the school's administration is made aware of
5    the students' involvement in the incident and discussing,
6    as appropriate, the availability of social work services,
7    counseling, school psychological services, other
8    interventions, and restorative measures. The school shall
9    make diligent efforts to notify a parent or legal
10    guardian, utilizing all contact information the school has
11    available or that can be reasonably obtained by the school
12    within the 24-hour period.
13        (5) Contains procedures for promptly investigating and
14    addressing reports of bullying, including the following:
15            (A) Making all reasonable efforts to complete the
16        investigation within 10 school days after the date the
17        report of the incident of bullying was received and
18        taking into consideration additional relevant
19        information received during the course of the
20        investigation about the reported incident of bullying.
21            (B) Involving appropriate school support personnel
22        and other staff persons with knowledge, experience,
23        and training on bullying prevention, as deemed
24        appropriate, in the investigation process.
25            (C) Notifying the principal or school
26        administrator or his or her designee of the report of



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1        the incident of bullying as soon as possible after the
2        report is received.
3            (D) Consistent with federal and State laws and
4        rules governing student privacy rights, providing
5        parents and guardians of the students who are parties
6        to the investigation information about the
7        investigation and an opportunity to meet with the
8        principal or school administrator or his or her
9        designee to discuss the investigation, the findings of
10        the investigation, and the actions taken to address
11        the reported incident of bullying.
12        (6) Includes the interventions that can be taken to
13    address bullying, which may include, but are not limited
14    to, school social work services, restorative measures,
15    social-emotional skill building, counseling, school
16    psychological services, and community-based services.
17        (7) Includes a statement prohibiting reprisal or
18    retaliation against any person who reports an act of
19    bullying and the consequences and appropriate remedial
20    actions for a person who engages in reprisal or
21    retaliation.
22        (8) Includes consequences and appropriate remedial
23    actions for a person found to have falsely accused another
24    of bullying as a means of retaliation or as a means of
25    bullying.
26        (9) Is based on the engagement of a range of school



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1    stakeholders, including students and parents or guardians.
2        (10) Is posted on the school district's, charter
3    school's, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or
4    secondary school's existing, publicly accessible Internet
5    website, is included in the student handbook, and, where
6    applicable, posted where other policies, rules, and
7    standards of conduct are currently posted in the school
8    and provided periodically throughout the school year to
9    students and faculty, and is distributed annually to
10    parents, guardians, students, and school personnel,
11    including new employees when hired.
12        (11) As part of the process of reviewing and
13    re-evaluating the policy under subsection (d) of this
14    Section, contains a policy evaluation process to assess
15    the outcomes and effectiveness of the policy that
16    includes, but is not limited to, factors such as the
17    frequency of victimization; student, staff, and family
18    observations of safety at a school; identification of
19    areas of a school where bullying occurs; the types of
20    bullying utilized; and bystander intervention or
21    participation. The school district, charter school, or
22    non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school
23    may use relevant data and information it already collects
24    for other purposes in the policy evaluation. The
25    information developed as a result of the policy evaluation
26    must be made available on the Internet website of the



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1    school district, charter school, or non-public,
2    non-sectarian elementary or secondary school. If an
3    Internet website is not available, the information must be
4    provided to school administrators, school board members,
5    school personnel, parents, guardians, and students.
6        (12) Is consistent with the policies of the school
7    board, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian
8    elementary or secondary school.
9        (13) Requires all individual instances of bullying, as
10    well as all threats, suggestions, or instances of
11    self-harm determined to be the result of bullying, to be
12    reported to the parents or legal guardians of those
13    involved under the guidelines provided in paragraph (4) of
14    this definition.
15    "Restorative measures" means a continuum of school-based
16alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions
17and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs
18of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining
19school safety, (iii) protect the integrity of a positive and
20productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal
21and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in
22school and society, (v) serve to build and restore
23relationships among students, families, schools, and
24communities, (vi) reduce the likelihood of future disruption
25by balancing accountability with an understanding of students'
26behavioral health needs in order to keep students in school,



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1and (vii) increase student accountability if the incident of
2bullying is based on religion, race, ethnicity, or any other
3category that is identified in the Illinois Human Rights Act.
4    "School personnel" means persons employed by, on contract
5with, or who volunteer in a school district, charter school,
6or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school,
7including without limitation school and school district
8administrators, teachers, school social workers, school
9counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, cafeteria
10workers, custodians, bus drivers, school resource officers,
11and security guards.
12    (c) (Blank).
13    (d) Each school district, charter school, and non-public,
14non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall create,
15maintain, and implement a policy on bullying, which policy
16must be filed with the State Board of Education. The policy on
17bullying shall be based on the State Board of Education's
18template for a model bullying prevention policy under
19subsection (h) and shall include the criteria set forth in the
20definition of "policy on bullying". The policy or implementing
21procedure shall include a process to investigate whether a
22reported act of bullying is within the permissible scope of
23the district's or school's jurisdiction and shall require that
24the district or school provide the victim with information
25regarding services that are available within the district and
26community, such as counseling, support services, and other



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1programs. School personnel available for help with a bully or
2to make a report about bullying shall be made known to parents
3or legal guardians, students, and school personnel. Every 2
4years, each school district, charter school, and non-public,
5non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall conduct a
6review and re-evaluation of its policy and make any necessary
7and appropriate revisions. No later than September 30 of the
8subject year, the policy must be filed with the State Board of
9Education after being updated. The State Board of Education
10shall monitor and provide technical support for the
11implementation of policies created under this subsection (d).
12In monitoring the implementation of the policies, the State
13Board of Education shall review each filed policy on bullying
14to ensure all policies meet the requirements set forth in this
15Section, including ensuring that each policy meets the 12
16criterion identified within the definition of "policy on
17bullying" set forth in this Section.
18    If a school district, charter school, or non-public,
19non-sectarian elementary or secondary school fails to file a
20policy on bullying by September 30 of the subject year, the
21State Board of Education shall provide a written request for
22filing to the school district, charter school, or non-public,
23non-sectarian elementary or secondary school. If a school
24district, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian
25elementary or secondary school fails to file a policy on
26bullying within 14 days of receipt of the aforementioned



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1written request, the State Board of Education shall publish
2notice of the non-compliance on the State Board of Education's
4    Each school district, charter school, and non-public,
5non-sectarian elementary or secondary school may provide
6evidence-based professional development and youth programming
7on bullying prevention that is consistent with the provisions
8of this Section.
9    (e) This Section shall not be interpreted to prevent a
10victim from seeking redress under any other available civil or
11criminal law.
12    (f) School districts, charter schools, and non-public,
13non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools shall collect,
14maintain, and submit to the State Board of Education
15non-identifiable data regarding verified allegations of
16bullying within the school district, charter school, or
17non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school.
18School districts, charter schools, and non-public,
19non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools must submit
20such data in an annual report due to the State Board of
21Education no later than August 15 of each year starting with
22the 2024-2025 school year through the 2030-2031 school year.
23The State Board of Education shall adopt rules for the
24submission of data that includes, but is not limited to: (i) a
25record of each verified allegation of bullying and action
26taken; and (ii) whether the instance of bullying was based on



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1actual or perceived characteristics identified in subsection
2(a) and, if so, lists the relevant characteristics. The rules
3for the submission of data shall be consistent with federal
4and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights,
5including, but not limited to, the federal Family Educational
6Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the Illinois School Student
7Records Act, which shall include, without limitation, a record
8of each complaint and action taken. The State Board of
9Education shall adopt rules regarding the notification of
10school districts, charter schools, and non-public,
11non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools that fail to
12comply with the requirements of this subsection.
13    (g) Upon the request of a parent or legal guardian of a
14child enrolled in a school district, charter school, or
15non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school
16within this State, the State Board of Education must provide
17non-identifiable data on the number of bullying allegations
18and incidents in a given year in the school district, charter
19school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary
20school to the requesting parent or legal guardian. The State
21Board of Education shall adopt rules regarding (i) the
22handling of such data, (ii) maintaining the privacy of the
23students and families involved, and (iii) best practices for
24sharing numerical data with parents and legal guardians.
25    (h) By January 1, 2024, the State Board of Education shall
26post on its Internet website a template for a model bullying



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1prevention policy.
2    (i) The Illinois Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention
3Fund is created as a special fund in the State treasury. Any
4moneys appropriated to the Fund may be used, subject to
5appropriation, by the State Board of Education for the
6purposes of subsection (j).
7    (j) Subject to appropriation, the State Superintendent of
8Education may provide a grant to a school district, charter
9school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary
10school to support its anti-bullying programming. Grants may be
11awarded from the Illinois Bullying and Cyberbullying
12Prevention Fund. School districts, charter schools, and
13non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary schools that
14are not in compliance with subsection (f) are not eligible to
15receive a grant from the Illinois Bullying and Cyberbullying
16Prevention Fund.
17(Source: P.A. 102-197, eff. 7-30-21; 102-241, eff. 8-3-21;
18102-813, eff. 5-13-22; 102-894, eff. 5-20-22.)
19    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
20becoming law.