Ohio Cyber-Bullying Legislation: What You Need to Know

February 3, 2012 By Government Services Practice Group
Legal Updates

WHAT HAPPENED:  Yesterday, Governor Kasich signed into law House Bill 116 (also known as the "Jessica Logan Act" in memory of a student who committed suicide due to bullying via texting).  This bill expands the scope of Ohio's current anti-bullying law to prohibit harassment by electronic means.  This includes harassment, intimidation, and bullying through computers, cell phones, or other electronic devices.  The bill also requires school districts to amend their anti-bullying policies and procedures.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:  House Bill 116 imposes several new requirements on school districts, including the following:

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:  With the passing of HB 116, school districts will be required to update current anti-bullying policies.  It is important to note that HB 116 does not specifically expand the definition of bullying to include all incidents that occur off school property.  Therefore, school districts should carefully draft these new policies to avoid constitutional challenges.