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On January 28th, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) issued a memorandum to school districts notifying administrators of new required components of a board of education’s bullying policy and specifying a timeline for districts to file a revised bullying policy with ISBE. In August 2014, the Illinois Association of School Boards’ PRESS Policies were revised pursuant to legislation passed amending the Illinois bullying statute.

The August 2014 revisions were the result of Public Act 98-669, which added several components for the bullying prevention policy including:new definitions; changes to how the policy is created, maintained and implemented; the removal of requiring schools to communicate its policy to students and parents or guardians on an annual basis; and provided for the need to maintain and analyze data on the prevalence of bullying present within the district.

In January 2015, the passage of Public Act 98-801 added the prohibition of cyber-bullying at non-school-related locations or functions, or from the use of a device that is not owned, leased, or used by a school district or school.

ISBE acknowledged that even though careful deliberation with all stakeholders (including students, parents and staff) will need to take place prior to developing a compliant bullying policy incorporating the two most recent amendments to the statute, the submission deadline of April 15, 2015 would stand for districts to submit their initial bullying policies to ISBE.

Please contact Terry Hodges or Jennifer Mueller with your bullying policy or procedures inquiries.