The Anti-School-Bullying bill, SB 3266, passed out of the senate March 25 on a 51-2 vote! Congratulations to our friends at the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance for their hard work on this.
Here is more information about SB 3266 from Prevent School Violence Illinois:
- The bill comprehensively defines bullying for the first time in Illinois law. (Including cyberbullying)
- It provides specific clarification to an existing mandate that will be helpful to schools and districts that need to draft the required anti-bullying police to make their schools safe.
- It establishes the Illinois School Bullying Task Force to identify best practices and support schools in implementing prevention programs.
- And it aids schools in addressing bullying without costing more dollars. Lives will be saved through suicide prevention, and more students will successfully stay in school.
Bullying is a serious problem in Illinois schools.
Students report that physical appearance (looks or body size), sexual orientation and gender expression are the most common reasons other students at their school are bullied.
Students also report hearing racist (44%) and negative religious (19%) remarks at school.
Bullying has serious consequences
Over 15% (15.5%) of Illinois students have carried a weapon within the past 30 days.
25.1% of Illinois high school students report skipping school in the past 30 days due to feeling unsafe; when broken down by race 7.7% of Hispanic students and 8.7% of Black students skipped school due to feeling unsafe compared to 4% of White students.
31.3% of Illinois high school students report being in a physical fight over the past 12 months.
Students targeted by bulling behaviors are more likely to consider, attempt and commit suicide.
There has been a disturbing trend in middle school students targeted by bullying who have take their own lives, including Chase Nall, an 11-year-old sixth-grade student in Chatham, IL in February of 2009.
Also 11-year-old Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, another beautiful life cut tragically short, took his own life on April 6, 2009 after enduring constant bullying, including being called "gay" and "faggot" despite not even identifying as gay.
Encourage your State Representative to help make schools safe for all students - including LGBT students. Urge them to support SB3266!