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Illinois Lawmakers Approve Bill Requiring Schools to Notify Parents of Bullying Within 24 Hours

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A measure that would require school administrations in Illinois to inform parents and guardians of bullying within 24 hours has been approved by both bodies of the state legislature and is awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritzker's approval.

Passed by the Senate on May 4, House Bill 3425 amends the definition of "policy on bullying" in the Illinois School Code to include bullying based off of physical appearance, socioeconomic status, academic status, pregnancy, parenting status and homelessness.

Instead of "promptly informing parents of students or guardians" of an alleged bullying incident, schools will be required to make notification within a specific timeframe of under 24 hours.

The legislation also requires that schools develop bullying prevention policy based on models provided by the Illinois State Board of Education as well as collect, maintain and submit data regarding allegations and instances of bullying to the state agency. The proposal includes a specific mandate for the State Board of Education, as it requires the agency to provide non-identifiable data of the number of bullying allegations and incidents in a given year - if requested by a parent or guardian.

The measure will officially become law if the governor signs off.

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