TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – A new law passed on Thursday requires Ohio public schools to expand and update their anti-bullying policies.
The Jessica Logan Act is named for a Cincinnati teen who committed suicide after weeks of bullying.
Policies must include topics such as bullying on the school bus and bullying via cell phone or online. In addition, districts must now have policies on bullying off school grounds if it disrupts the educational environment. School districts must have a way to report bullying anonymously.
Perrysburg Superintendent Tom Hosler says that his district already has a comprehensive anti-bullying policy in place, but the new law is a good thing:
"It provides more framework for us to operate from so parents, no matter what community they're in, understand there are laws out there that will help me." adding that teachers will undergo extra staff training to learn the policy.
Perrysburg added electronic bullying to its policy in 2012 because there were several cases of bullying via social media in the district.
"You can't escape it. You can't walk down another street to avoid that so I think it's harder for students today to get out from under that." said Hosler.
"Bullying's always been an issue but with electronics coming into play it's just getting out of control." said Mallory Stock-Dow, who said her fourth grade daughter's experience with bullying was affecting her schoolwork.
Hosler stated that while policies can help, it's also up to parents to step in and talk to their children about bullying. He says it is important to communicate the problems to schools if there is an issue.
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