New Law Allows Schools to Expel Students for Online Threats
Legislation took effect Jan. 1, giving school districts another student discipline tool.
As Romeoville and Bolingbrook schools took part in a nationwide anti-bullying campaign known as No Name Calling Week, Valley View attorney Jeff Alperin on Monday updated the board on a new law that could allow districts to combat online bullying.
“As of Jan. 1, a state statute allows Illinois school districts to discipline students for off-campus electronic speech,” Alperin said. That includes threats made against other students, employees or any school-related personnel.
The text of the law, House Bill 3281, states that students may be expelled if they’ve been found to:
"... have made an explicit threat on an Internet website against a school employee, a student, or any school-related personnel, the Internet website through which the threat was made is a site that was accessible within the school at the time the threat was made or was available to third parties who worked or studied within the school grounds at the time the threat was made, and the threat could be reasonably interpreted as threatening to the safety and security of the threatened individual because of his or her duties or employment status or status as a student inside the school.”
Alperin said so far, he’s unaware of any cases that have tested the new legislation.
“It’s a quickly evolving area of the law,” he said.
Bullying policy update
Assistant Superintendent for Education Rachel Kinder also gave the board an update, sharing the latest version of the district’s anti-bullying policy.
Under state law, the district is required to maintain an anti-bullying policy and renew it every two years, she said. The policy must be shared with parents on an annual basis and filed with the Illinois State Board of Education.
“Bullying, intimidation, and/or harassment may take various forms, including without limitation: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying,” the policy states.
To read the entire policy, CLICK HERE.
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