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Illinois Bullying Laws



105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 (2010) defines bullying and prohibits it in the school environment on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry age, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, gender-related identity or expression, unfavorable discharge from military service, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic. No student shall be subject to bullying during any school-sponsored education program or activity, while in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the bus, at schools-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities, or through the transmission of information from a school computer, school computer network or other similar electronic school equipment. Bullying make take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: 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. 

105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 (2010) requires each school district and non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school to create and maintain a policy on bullying. The policy must be communicated to the students and their parent or guardian annually, updated every 2 years and filed with the State Board of Education. The statute also creates the School Bullying Prevention Task Force and outlines its responsibilities.

105 ILCS 5/10-20.14 (2002) requires the school board, with the parent-teacher advisory committee and community based organizations, to include provisions in the student discipline policy to address students who have demonstrated behaviors that put them at risk for aggressive behavior, including without limitation bullying.

Cyber Bullying
105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 (2010) prohibits bullying (as defined in the statute) in the school environment and includes in its definition of bullying electronic communications. Bullying is specifically prohibited through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment.

105 ILCS 135/1-2 (2008) defines harassment through electronic communications. The definition includes "making any obscene comment, request, suggestion or proposal with an intent to offend," and "threatening injury to the person or to the property of the person to whom the electronic communication is directed or to any of his family or household members." Violation of the provisions of the statute will result in a class B misdemeanor.

720 ILCS 120/5 (1996) defines hazing as a person who knowingly requires the performance of an act by a student or other person in a school, college, university or other educational institution, for purpose of induction or admission into any group, organization or society associated with or connected with that institution, if the act is not sanctioned or authorized by the institution and the act results in bodily harm.

Source: National Association of State Boards of Education
Last Updated: 7/16/2010

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