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


Rep. Margaret Croke

Filed: 3/7/2023





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 3425 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
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



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1achieve and that bullying causes physical, psychological, and
2emotional harm to students and interferes with students'
3ability to learn and participate in school activities. The
4General Assembly further finds that bullying has been linked
5to other forms of antisocial behavior, such as vandalism,
6shoplifting, skipping and dropping out of school, fighting,
7using drugs and alcohol, sexual harassment, and sexual
8violence. Because of the negative outcomes associated with
9bullying in schools, the General Assembly finds that school
10districts, charter schools, and non-public, non-sectarian
11elementary and secondary schools should educate students,
12parents, and school district, charter school, or non-public,
13non-sectarian elementary or secondary school personnel about
14what behaviors constitute prohibited bullying.
15    Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color,
16religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, physical appearance,
17socioeconomic status, academic status, pregnancy, parenting
18status, homelessness, age, marital status, physical or mental
19disability, military status, sexual orientation,
20gender-related identity or expression, unfavorable discharge
21from military service, association with a person or group with
22one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived
23characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is
24prohibited in all school districts, charter schools, and
25non-public, non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools. No
26student shall be subjected to bullying:



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1        (1) during any school-sponsored education program or
2    activity;
3        (2) while in school, on school property, on school
4    buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus
5    stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored
6    or school-sanctioned events or activities;
7        (3) through the transmission of information from a
8    school computer, a school computer network, or other
9    similar electronic school equipment; or
10        (4) through the transmission of information from a
11    computer that is accessed at a nonschool-related location,
12    activity, function, or program or from the use of
13    technology or an electronic device that is not owned,
14    leased, or used by a school district or school if the
15    bullying causes a substantial disruption to the
16    educational process or orderly operation of a school. This
17    item (4) applies only in cases in which a school
18    administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying
19    through this means has occurred and does not require a
20    district or school to staff or monitor any
21    nonschool-related activity, function, or program.
22    (a-5) Nothing in this Section is intended to infringe upon
23any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of
24religion or religiously based views protected under the First
25Amendment to the United States Constitution or under Section 3
26of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.



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1    (b) In this Section:
2    "Bullying" includes "cyber-bullying" and means any severe
3or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including
4communications made in writing or electronically, directed
5toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably
6predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
7        (1) placing the student or students in reasonable fear
8    of harm to the student's or students' person or property;
9        (2) causing a substantially detrimental effect on the
10    student's or students' physical or mental health;
11        (3) substantially interfering with the student's or
12    students' academic performance; or
13        (4) substantially interfering with the student's or
14    students' ability to participate in or benefit from the
15    services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
16    Bullying, as defined in this subsection (b), may take
17various forms, including without limitation one or more of the
18following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking,
19physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft,
20public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation
21for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is
22meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.
23    "Cyber-bullying" means bullying through the use of
24technology or any electronic communication, including without
25limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images,
26sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in



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1whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system,
2photoelectronic system, or photooptical system, including
3without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications,
4instant messages, or facsimile communications.
5"Cyber-bullying" includes the creation of a webpage or weblog
6in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or
7the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of
8posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation
9creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of
10bullying in this Section. "Cyber-bullying" also includes the
11distribution by electronic means of a communication to more
12than one person or the posting of material on an electronic
13medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the
14distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated
15in the definition of bullying in this Section.
16    "Policy on bullying" means a bullying prevention policy
17that meets the following criteria:
18        (1) Includes the bullying definition provided in this
19    Section.
20        (2) Includes a statement that bullying is contrary to
21    State law and the policy of the school district, charter
22    school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or
23    secondary school and is consistent with subsection (a-5)
24    of this Section.
25        (3) Includes procedures for promptly reporting
26    bullying, including, but not limited to, identifying and



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1    providing the school e-mail address (if applicable) and
2    school telephone number for the staff person or persons
3    responsible for receiving such reports and a procedure for
4    anonymous reporting; however, this shall not be construed
5    to permit formal disciplinary action solely on the basis
6    of an anonymous report.
7        (4) Consistent with federal and State laws and rules
8    governing student privacy rights, includes procedures for
9    promptly informing parents or guardians of all students
10    involved in the alleged incident of bullying within 24
11    hours after the school's administration is made aware of
12    the students' involvement in the incident and discussing,
13    as appropriate, the availability of social work services,
14    counseling, school psychological services, other
15    interventions, and restorative measures. The school shall
16    make diligent efforts to notify a parent or legal
17    guardian, utilizing all contact information the school has
18    available or that can be reasonably obtained by the school
19    within the 24-hour period.
20        (5) Contains procedures for promptly investigating and
21    addressing reports of bullying, including the following:
22            (A) Making all reasonable efforts to complete the
23        investigation within 10 school days after the date the
24        report of the incident of bullying was received and
25        taking into consideration additional relevant
26        information received during the course of the



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



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1    actions for a person who engages in reprisal or
2    retaliation.
3        (8) Includes consequences and appropriate remedial
4    actions for a person found to have falsely accused another
5    of bullying as a means of retaliation or as a means of
6    bullying.
7        (9) Is based on the engagement of a range of school
8    stakeholders, including students and parents or guardians.
9        (10) Is posted on the school district's, charter
10    school's, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or
11    secondary school's existing, publicly accessible Internet
12    website, is included in the student handbook, and, where
13    applicable, posted where other policies, rules, and
14    standards of conduct are currently posted in the school
15    and provided periodically throughout the school year to
16    students and faculty, and is distributed annually to
17    parents, guardians, students, and school personnel,
18    including new employees when hired.
19        (11) As part of the process of reviewing and
20    re-evaluating the policy under subsection (d) of this
21    Section, contains a policy evaluation process to assess
22    the outcomes and effectiveness of the policy that
23    includes, but is not limited to, factors such as the
24    frequency of victimization; student, staff, and family
25    observations of safety at a school; identification of
26    areas of a school where bullying occurs; the types of



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1    bullying utilized; and bystander intervention or
2    participation. The school district, charter school, or
3    non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school
4    may use relevant data and information it already collects
5    for other purposes in the policy evaluation. The
6    information developed as a result of the policy evaluation
7    must be made available on the Internet website of the
8    school district, charter school, or non-public,
9    non-sectarian elementary or secondary school. If an
10    Internet website is not available, the information must be
11    provided to school administrators, school board members,
12    school personnel, parents, guardians, and students.
13        (12) Is consistent with the policies of the school
14    board, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian
15    elementary or secondary school.
16        (13) Requires all individual instances of bullying, as
17    well as all threats, suggestions, or instances of
18    self-harm determined to be the result of bullying, to be
19    reported to the parents or legal guardians of those
20    involved under the guidelines provided in paragraph (4) of
21    this definition.
22        (14) Includes a recommendation to seek free or
23    cost-effective professional development and youth
24    programming on bullying prevention that is consistent with
25    the State Board of Education's recommendations for such
26    training and that is research-based and addresses the



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1    specific context of the school.
2    "Restorative measures" means a continuum of school-based
3alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions
4and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs
5of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining
6school safety, (iii) protect the integrity of a positive and
7productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal
8and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in
9school and society, (v) serve to build and restore
10relationships among students, families, schools, and
11communities, (vi) reduce the likelihood of future disruption
12by balancing accountability with an understanding of students'
13behavioral health needs in order to keep students in school,
14and (vii) increase student accountability if the incident of
15bullying is based on religion, race, ethnicity, or any other
16category that is identified in the Illinois Human Rights Act.
17    "School personnel" means persons employed by, on contract
18with, or who volunteer in a school district, charter school,
19or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school,
20including without limitation school and school district
21administrators, teachers, school social workers, school
22counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, cafeteria
23workers, custodians, bus drivers, school resource officers,
24and security guards.
25    (c) (Blank).
26    (d) Each school district, charter school, and non-public,



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1non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall create,
2maintain, and implement a policy on bullying, which policy
3must be filed with the State Board of Education. The policy on
4bullying shall be based on the State Board of Education's
5template for a model bullying prevention policy under
6subsection (h) and shall include the criteria set forth in the
7definition of "policy on bullying". The policy or implementing
8procedure shall include a process to investigate whether a
9reported act of bullying is within the permissible scope of
10the district's or school's jurisdiction and shall require that
11the district or school provide the victim with information
12regarding services that are available within the district and
13community, such as counseling, support services, and other
14programs. School personnel available for help with a bully or
15to make a report about bullying shall be made known to parents
16or legal guardians, students, and school personnel. Every 2
17years, each school district, charter school, and non-public,
18non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall conduct a
19review and re-evaluation of its policy and make any necessary
20and appropriate revisions. No later than September 30 of the
21subject year, the policy must be filed with the State Board of
22Education after being updated. The State Board of Education
23shall monitor and provide technical support for the
24implementation of policies created under this subsection (d).
25In monitoring the implementation of the policies, the State
26Board of Education shall review each filed policy on bullying



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1to ensure all policies meet the requirements set forth in this
2Section, including ensuring that each policy meets the 12
3criterion identified within the definition of "policy on
4bullying" set forth in this Section.
5    If a school district, charter school, or non-public,
6non-sectarian elementary or secondary school fails to file a
7policy on bullying by September 30 of the subject year, the
8State Board of Education shall provide a written request for
9filing to the school district, charter school, or non-public,
10non-sectarian elementary or secondary school. If a school
11district, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian
12elementary or secondary school fails to file a policy on
13bullying within 14 days of receipt of the aforementioned
14written request, the State Board of Education shall publish
15notice of the non-compliance on the State Board of Education's
17    (e) This Section shall not be interpreted to prevent a
18victim from seeking redress under any other available civil or
19criminal law.
20    (f) School districts, charter schools, and non-public,
21non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools shall collect,
22maintain, and submit to the State Board of Education
23non-identifiable data regarding allegations and founded
24instances of bullying within the school district, charter
25school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary
26school. School districts, charter schools, and non-public,



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1non-sectarian elementary and secondary schools must submit
2such data in an annual report due to the State Board of
3Education no later than August 15 of each year starting with
4the 2024-2025 school year. The State Board of Education shall
5adopt rules for the submission of data that includes, but is
6not limited to: (i) a record of each verified allegation of
7bullying and action taken; and (ii) whether the instance of
8bullying was based on actual or perceived characteristics
9identified in subsection (a) and, if so, lists the relevant
10characteristics. The rules for the submission of data shall be
11consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing
12student privacy rights, including, but not limited to, the
13federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and
14the Illinois School Student Records Act, which shall include,
15without limitation, a record of each complaint and action
16taken. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules
17regarding the notification of school districts, charter
18schools, and non-public, non-sectarian elementary and
19secondary schools that fail to comply with the requirements of
20this subsection.
21    (g) Upon the request of a parent or legal guardian of a
22child enrolled in a school district, charter school, or
23non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school
24within this State, the State Board of Education must provide
25non-identifiable data on the number of bullying allegations
26and incidents in a given year in the school district, charter



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1school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary
2school to the requesting parent or legal guardian. The State
3Board of Education shall adopt rules regarding (i) the
4handling of such data, (ii) maintaining the privacy of the
5students and families involved, and (iii) best practices for
6sharing numerical data with parents and legal guardians.
7    (h) The State Board of Education shall post on its
8Internet website a template for a model bullying prevention
9policy. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to
10implement the provisions of this subsection.
11    (i) The Illinois Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention
12Fund is created as a special fund in the State treasury. Any
13moneys appropriated to the Fund may be used, subject to
14appropriation, by the State Board of Education for the
15purposes of subsection (j).
16    (j) Subject to appropriation, the State Superintendent of
17Education may provide a grant to a school district, charter
18school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary
19school to support its anti-bullying programming. Grants may be
20awarded from the Illinois Bullying and Cyberbullying
21Prevention Fund. School districts, charter schools, and
22non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary schools that
23are not in compliance with subsection (f) are not eligible to
24receive a grant from the Illinois Bullying and Cyberbullying
25Prevention Fund.
26(Source: P.A. 102-197, eff. 7-30-21; 102-241, eff. 8-3-21;



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1102-813, eff. 5-13-22; 102-894, eff. 5-20-22.)".