Ohio School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Bullying, Harassment, or Hazing

Discipline Compendium

Ohio School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Bullying, Harassment, or Hazing

Category: Discipline Addressing Specific Code of Conduct Violations
Subcategory: Bullying, Harassment, or Hazing
State: Ohio

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LAWS

5.2296. School Bullying Prevention and Awareness Act.

The month of September shall be designated as "School Bullying Prevention Awareness Month" to highlight the policies prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying adopted by schools in the state and the required notice of those policies sent to parents and guardians annually under section 3313.666 of the Revised Code.

2903.31. Hazing.

(A) As used in this section, "hazing" means doing any act or coercing another, including the victim, to do any act of initiation into any student or other organization that causes or creates a substantial risk of causing mental or physical harm to any person.

(B)(1) No person shall recklessly participate in the hazing of another.

(2) No administrator, employee, or faculty member of any primary, secondary, or post-secondary school or of any other educational institution, public or private, shall recklessly permit the hazing of any person.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of hazing, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

3301.22. Model harassment prevention policy.

The state board of education shall develop a model policy to prohibit harassment, intimidation, or bullying in order to assist school districts in developing their own policies under section 3313.666 of the Revised Code. The board shall issue the model policy within six months after the effective date of this section.

3313.6024. Reporting on prevention-focused programs.

(A) Annually, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, each school district shall report to the department of education, in the manner prescribed by the department, the types of prevention-focused programs, services, and supports used to assist students in developing the knowledge and skills to engage in healthy behaviors and decision-making and to increase their awareness of the dangers and consequences of risky behaviors, including substance abuse, suicide, bullying, and other harmful behaviors. The district shall report the following information regarding such programs, services, and supports for each building operated by the district and for each of grades kindergarten through twelve served by the building:

(1) Curriculum and instruction provided during the school day;

(2) Programs and supports provided outside of the classroom or outside of the school day;

(3) Professional development for teachers, administrators, and other staff;

(4) Partnerships with community coalitions and organizations to provide prevention services and resources to students and their families;

(5) School efforts to engage parents and the community;

(6) Activities designed to communicate with and learn from other schools or professionals with expertise in prevention education.

(B) The department may use information reported under this section, and any other information collected by the department pursuant to law, as a factor in the distribution of any funding available for prevention-focused programs, services, and supports.

3313.666. District policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying required.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Electronic act" means an act committed through the use of a cellular telephone, computer, pager, personal communication device, or other electronic communication device.

(2) "Harassment, intimidation, or bullying" means either of the following:

(a) Any intentional written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once and the behavior both:

(i) Causes mental or physical harm to the other student;

(ii) Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student.

(b) Violence within a dating relationship.

(B) The board of education of each city, local, exempted village, and joint vocational school district shall establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying. The policy shall be developed in consultation with parents, school employees, school volunteers, students, and community members. The policy shall include the following:

(1) A statement prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any student on school property, on a school bus, or at school-sponsored events and expressly providing for the possibility of suspension of a student found responsible for harassment, intimidation, or bullying by an electronic act;

(2) A definition of harassment, intimidation, or bullying that includes the definition in division (A) of this section;

(3) A procedure for reporting prohibited incidents;

(4) A requirement that school personnel report prohibited incidents of which they are aware to the school principal or other administrator designated by the principal;

(5) A requirement that the custodial parent or guardian of any student involved in a prohibited incident be notified and, to the extent permitted by section 3319.321 of the Revised Code and the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974," 88 Stat. 571, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, as amended, have access to any written reports pertaining to the prohibited incident;

(6) A procedure for documenting any prohibited incident that is reported;

(7) A procedure for responding to and investigating any reported incident;

(8) A strategy for protecting a victim or other person from new or additional harassment, intimidation, or bullying, and from retaliation following a report, including a means by which a person may report an incident anonymously;

(9) A disciplinary procedure for any student guilty of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, which shall not infringe on any student's rights under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States;

(10) A statement prohibiting students from deliberately making false reports of harassment, intimidation, or bullying and a disciplinary procedure for any student responsible for deliberately making a false report of that nature;

(11) A requirement that the district administration semiannually provide the president of the district board a written summary of all reported incidents and post the summary on its web site, if the district has a web site, to the extent permitted by section 3319.321 of the Revised Code and the "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974," 88 Stat. 571, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, as amended.

(C) Each board's policy shall appear in any student handbooks, and in any of the publications that set forth the comprehensive rules, procedures, and standards of conduct for schools and students in the district. The policy and an explanation of the seriousness of bullying by electronic means shall be made available to students in the district and to their custodial parents or guardians. Information regarding the policy shall be incorporated into employee training materials.

(D)(1) To the extent that state or federal funds are appropriated for this purpose, each board shall require that all students enrolled in the district annually be provided with age-appropriate instruction, as determined by the board, on the board's policy, including a written or verbal discussion of the consequences for violations of the policy.

(2) Each board shall require that once each school year a written statement describing the policy and the consequences for violations of the policy be sent to each student's custodial parent or guardian. The statement may be sent with regular student report cards or may be delivered electronically.

(E) A school district employee, student, or volunteer shall be individually immune from liability in a civil action for damages arising from reporting an incident in accordance with a policy adopted pursuant to this section if that person reports an incident of harassment, intimidation, or bullying promptly in good faith and in compliance with the procedures as specified in the policy.

(F) Except as provided in division (E) of this section, nothing in this section prohibits a victim from seeking redress under any other provision of the Revised Code or common law that may apply.

(G) This section does not create a new cause of action or a substantive legal right for any person.

(H) Each board shall update the policy adopted under this section to include violence within a dating relationship and harassment, intimidation, or bullying by electronic means.

3313.667. District bullying prevention initiatives.

(A) Any school district may form bullying prevention task forces, programs, and other initiatives involving volunteers, parents, law enforcement, and community members.

(B) To the extent that state or federal funds are appropriated for these purposes, each school district shall provide training, workshops, or courses on the district's harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy adopted pursuant to section 3313.666 of the Revised Code to school employees and volunteers who have direct contact with students and are not subject to section 3319.073 of the Revised Code. Time spent by school employees in the training, workshops, or courses shall apply towards any state- or district-mandated continuing education requirements.

(C) This section does not create a new cause of action or a substantive legal right for any person.

3319.073. In-service training in child abuse prevention programs, school safety and violence prevention, and training on the board's harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy.

(C) Each board shall incorporate training on the board's harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy adopted under section 3313.666 of the Revised Code into the in-service training required by division (A) of this section. Each board also shall incorporate training in the prevention of dating violence into the in-service training required by that division for middle and high school employees. The board shall develop its own curricula for these purposes.

REGULATIONS

No relevant regulations found.

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