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Ohio Senate Passes Anti-Bullying Bill

The Ohio Senate overwhelmingly approved the Jessica Logan Act yesterday. The bill is designed to enhance schools’ anti-bullying policies and improve parental notification.

“It is not a perfect bill, but it will most surely increase public awareness of this growing problem,” said Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Canfield.

The bill adds a definition of cyberbullying to school policies and to anti-bullying training that is already required for teachers. It also adds school buses as places where bullying can be disciplined, and it requires schools to set up a process to allow for anonymous reporting of harassment.

House Bill 116, which passed 31-1, also requires that parents be notified at home of the district’s bullying policies.

The bill is named for Jessica Logan, a Cincinnati-area student who committed suicide in 2008. She had been harassed at school and online after a nude cellphone photo she sent to her boyfriend was distributed to hundreds of students at her suburban Cincinnati school and elsewhere.

The bill now goes back to the House for concurrence.

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