BULLYING PREVENTION POLICY (HB 5290)
On behalf of the Prevent School Violence Illinois (PSVI) Coalition, of which ICAH is a member, we continue to support HB 5290 - Bullying Prevention Policy. This piece of legislation passed out of the Illinois House at the end of March 2012 and is headed to the Senate floor ANY DAY now for a vote. ICAH urges you to reach out to your respective State Legislators to vote in favor of this bill.
Look up your State legislators and contact them today!
HB 5290 is not a new mandate; rather, it clarifies and strengthens an existing mandate that, since 2007 has required schools to have bullying prevention policies. Currently, Illinois law does not provide schools with any guidance about how their bullying prevention policies can most effectively prevent and address bullying. HB 5290 incorporates the recommendations of the Illinois School Bullying Prevention Task Force, created by law in 2010, to provide this guidance. This bill was introduced in the Illinois House by Rep. Kelly Cassidy on February 8, 2012. State Senator Steans is the main sponsor of this bill in the Illinois Senate.
Research shows that students who attend schools that have bullying policies feel safer, which results in better attendance. Better attendance, in turn, leads to better social, emotional and academic outcomes.
Please support HB 5290 today!
For an updated copy of the bill fact sheet and/or with questions, please contact Anita at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effectively Prevent & Address Bullying & Violence in Illinois Schools
SUPPORT HB 5290 (Senate Amendment #1)
Senate Sponsors: Steans – Mulroe – Lightford – Martinez
Current Illinois law requires that school districts have bullying prevention policies but fails to provide the guidance necessary to ensure that these policies and their implementation successfully combat bullying.
HB 5290 provides this guidance.
What HB 5290 (SA#1) Does:
HB 5290 (SA#1) modifies current law by integrating the specific recommendations of the Illinois School Bullying Prevention Task Force to more effectively prevent and address bullying and school violence.
Specifically HB 5290 (SA#1):
- Defines “policy on bullying” to provide schools with the guidance needed to comply with existing law that schools create and maintain bullying policies. A policy on bullying, developed with the input of school stakeholders, includes:
- The definition of bullying as provided in law and a statement that bullying is contrary to State law and school policy
- Procedures for reporting bullying, including anonymous reporting, investigating and addressing bullying
- The interventions that can be taken to address bullying
- Procedures for posting and distribution
Additionally, HB 5290 (SA#1) gives school districts and elementary and secondary non-public, non-sectarian schools the freedom to tailor their procedures to the unique needs of their school communities.
Why We Need to Define of “Policy on Bullying”:
Currently, reports of bullying may fall through the cracks because some districts lack a clear process for responding to them.
For example: Ana faced ongoing bullying that got so bad, she was afraid and stopped going to school. Because she missed classes, her grades suffered and she had trouble getting into college. Her district had a 1-line bullying policy that banned bullying but provided no procedures to help her report it or the school address it. After she returned to school, the bullying continued but even though she spoke to her principal and even the school board, the incident reports got shuffled around and eventually fell through the cracks. This is not what our legislature intended when they passed two previous anti-bullying bills. HB 5290 (SA#1) simply asks schools to communicate to their school community what they will do to investigate and address reports of bullying.
Why We Need HB 5290 (SA#1):
Bullying is a serious problem in Illinois schools. It produces alarmingly negative health, social, and academic outcomes for our youth.
- Half (52%) of Illinois students report that they had been verbally harassed and nearly 1 in 4 students reported that they had been physically harassed or assaulted in school in the past year.
- Passing rates on standardized exams are up to 6 percent lower in schools where students report a severe bullying climate.
- Students targeted by bullying behaviors are more likely to consider, attempt and commit suicide.
Bullying policies that provide guidance to schools more effectively help them to prevent and address bullying.
The existing bullying policies of the majority of Illinois school districts and the administrations of elementary and secondary non-public, non-sectarian schools already reflect HB 5290. The bill ensures that all schools include these important components to optimize bullying prevention at no cost.
Illinois School Bullying Prevention Task Force
Representatives of State Agencies Whose Work Includes Bullying Prevention:
- Illinois Attorney General: Sarah Migas
- Illinois Department of Human Rights: Rocco Claps
- Illinois Department of Human Services: Secretary Michelle Sadler, Kim Fornero and Xavier Williams
- Illinois State Board of Education: Dr. Chris Koch
- Illinois Violence Prevention Authority: Barbara Shaw
Statewide Organizations That Focus on Bullying and School Violence Prevention:
- Anti-Defamation League: Lonnie Nasatir
- Health and Disability Advocates: Julie Justicz
- Illinois Safe Schools Alliance: Shannon Sullivan
- Illinois African-American Coalition for Prevention: Malik Nevels
School Managemnet and Teachers:
- Carpentersville School District 300: Peggy Thurow
- Carpentersville School District 300: Heather Nelson
- Chicago Public Schools: Josh Gray
- East Aurora School District 131: Kelly Keating
- Rantoul School District 137: Mike Penicook
- Rantoul School District 137: Maria McCarthy
Academics Who Conduct Research on Bullying, Its Consequences to Students in Grades K-12, and Effective Strategies for Preventing and Addressing Bullying:
- University of Illinois at Chicago: Dr. Stacey Horn
- University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: Dr. Dorothy Espelage
High School Students Who Experienced Bullying
Others at the Superintendent's Discretion
- Illinois Parent Teacher Association: Matthew John Rodriguez
- Leslie Shankman School Corporation: Brooke Whitted
- Quincy Human Rights Commission: Susan Goodwin
- Regional Superintendent of Education, Monroe/Randolph Counties: Marc Kiehna
- ACLU of Illinois
- Access Living
- Affinity Community Services
- AIDS Foundation of Chicago
- Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital
- American Association of University Women
- American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Chapter
- Anti-Defamation League
- Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
- Chicago Lakeshore Hospital
- Equality Illinois
- Equip for Equality
- Federation for Community Schools
- Health & Disability Advocates
- Health & Medicine Policy Research Group
- Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention
- Illinois Association of School Social Workers
- Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
- Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
- Illinois Department of Human Rights
- Illinois Human Rights Commission
- Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition
- Illinois Parent Teacher Association
- Illinois Psychiatric Society
- Illinois Psychological Association
- Illinois Safe Schools Alliance
- Illinois School Counselors Association
- Mental Health America of Illinois
- Mental Health Summit
- National Association of Social Workers,
- Illinois Chapter
- National Louis University
- POWER-PAC (Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew—Policy Action Council)
- Prevent School Violence Illinois Coalition
- Protestants for the Common Good
- Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
- Stand for Children Illinois
- The Arc of Illinois
- The Civil Rights Agenda
- United Way of Illinois