House Bill 116 requires school districts to establish cyber-bullying policies and to annually teach teachers and inform parents about their overall bullying policies. It also requires them to teach students about the policies if state or federal funding is provided for that purpose. It was signed into law by Gov. John Kasich on February 2, 2012.
The bill was named in memory of Jessica Logan, a Cincinnati teenager who committed suicide after being harassed over nude photos she sent to a former boyfriend.
State law already required school districts to have anti-bullying policies. Existing law defined bullying as “any intentional written, verbal, or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once and the behavior both causes mental or physical harm to the other student and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student.” Violence within a dating relationship is also considered bullying.
HB 116 requires school districts to include bullying committed using a cell phone, computer or or other electronic communication device in their anti-bullying policies.
Nationally, 28 percent of students age 12 through 18 reported being bullied at school in the 2008-09 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics under the definition of bullying described in this presentation. About 6 percent reported being the victim of online bullying.
The national statistics showed that students who reported being bullied at school were more often the victims of name calling or rumors rather than of threats of harm or actual physical attacks. And reports of bullying tended to decrease as students got older.