Anti-Bullying Bill Awaits Kasich's Signature

By
WOUB Staff Writer

Dateline
Updated Wed, Jan 18, 2012 3:08 pm

All that stands between an anti-bullying act becoming law is Ohio Governor John Kasich’s signature.

House Bill 155, revised as House Bill 116, requires Ohio public schools to prohibit bullying by means of electronic devices such as cell phones and computers.

The bill also mandates school counseling that includes the students involved, their parents, counselors, teachers and administrators.

On July 3, 2008, 18-year-old Cincinnati-area high school graduate Jessica Logan took her own life as the result of cyber bullying.

Today, her name lives on through the “Jessica Logan Act.”

"Bullying is no longer that ‘I'm going to get you on the playground’ or ‘I’m going to get you after school,’” says Belpre City Schools Superintendent Tony Dunn. “It happens at any time electronically and so it can cause a lot of stress and a lot of grief in kids lives, and they bring that stress to school with them.”

The most prominent part of the bill gives schools the right to intervene in bullying incidents that occur off school property, no matter whether the incident is cyber or face-to-face. 

Additionally, school staff will also be required to attend workshops on bullying in hopes of squashing the problem before is escalates.

Ohio University junior Amanda Taylor is a Special Education major who thinks the bill will better-educate Ohio public school faculty, benefiting students.

“I feel confident that, with the new pieces of this legislation, [children] will come to me and feel comfortable talking to me about the situation and know that it will be handled promptly,” says Taylor.

The bill has faced criticism, however, from Equality Ohio, an equal-rights group based in Columbus.

The group claims that the language of the bill was poorly worded upon revision and fails to include “race, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Still, Dunn believes the bill will reduce bullying in Ohio schools and says the bill will bring another level of awareness to bullying.

 

Tags: