130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 208  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
H. B. No. 208

Representatives Stinziano, Antonio 

To amend section 3313.666 of the Revised Code to require that school anti-bullying policies prohibit harassment, intimidation, or bullying that is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of a student.

Section 1. That section 3313.666 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 3313.666.  (A) As used in this section, "harassment:
(1) "Harassment, intimidation, or bullying" means either of the following:
(1)(a) Any intentional written, verbal, or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once that is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of a student, and the behavior both:
(a)(i) Causes mental or physical harm to the other student;
(b)(ii) Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student.
(2)(b) Violence within a dating relationship.
(2) "Trait or characteristic of a student" includes but is not limited to age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.
(B) The board of education of each city, local, exempted village, and joint vocational school district shall establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying. The policy shall be developed in consultation with parents, school employees, school volunteers, students, and community members. The policy shall include the following:
(1) A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any student on school property or at school-sponsored events;
(2) A definition of harassment, intimidation, or bullying that shall include the definition in division (A) of this section;
(3) A procedure for reporting prohibited incidents;
(4) A requirement that school personnel report prohibited incidents of which they are aware to the school principal or other administrator designated by the principal;
(5) A requirement that parents or guardians of any student involved in a prohibited incident be notified and, to the extent permitted by section 3319.321 of the Revised Code and the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974," 88 Stat. 571, 20 U.S.C. 1232q 1232g, as amended, have access to any written reports pertaining to the prohibited incident;
(6) A procedure for documenting any prohibited incident that is reported;
(7) A procedure for responding to and investigating any reported incident;
(8) A strategy for protecting a victim from additional harassment, intimidation, or bullying, and from retaliation following a report;
(9) A disciplinary procedure for any student guilty of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, which shall not infringe on any student's rights under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States;
(10) A requirement that the district administration semiannually provide the president of the district board a written summary of all reported incidents and post the summary on its web site, if the district has a web site, to the extent permitted by section 3319.321 of the Revised Code and the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974," 88 Stat. 571, 20 U.S.C. 1232q 1232g, as amended.
(C) Each board's policy shall appear in any student handbooks, and in any of the publications that set forth the comprehensive rules, procedures, and standards of conduct for schools and students in the district. Information regarding the policy shall be incorporated into employee training materials.
(D) A school district employee, student, or volunteer shall be individually immune from liability in a civil action for damages arising from reporting an incident in accordance with a policy adopted pursuant to this section if that person reports an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying promptly in good faith and in compliance with the procedures as specified in the policy.
(E) Except as provided in division (D) of this section, nothing in this section prohibits a victim from seeking redress under any other provision of the Revised Code or common law that may apply.
(F) This section does not create a new cause of action or a substantive legal right for any person.
(G) Not later than six months after the effective date of this amendment September 29, 2010, each board shall update the policy adopted under this section to include violence within a dating relationship.
Section 2.  That existing section 3313.666 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.
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