Illinois schools now have some new guidance – or requirements – regarding their anti-bullying policies. This is thanks to a new law signed Thursday by the governor that is more specific about what must be included in schools’ anti-bullying policies. State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) was the sponsor.
“I heard repeatedly from teachers and principals who wanted to help but didn’t know what to do, and what we’ve done in this bill is give specific guidance to the schools that want to do the right thing, that know that they’re going to be better schools, that they’re going to have better students and they’re going to create better citizens by creating safe and health learning environments,” she said at the bill-signing ceremony at an elementary school in Chicago.
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School policies now must define bullying, spell out procedures for reporting it, investigating those reports and for action that will be taken if the complaints are sustained.
The previous law, Cassidy said, was sufficiently vague that some schools had bullying policies that were only a couple of sentences. She says there is no direct cost to implementing this law.