Tougher Anti-Bullying Measures Proposed in HB 360

On December 11, 2017, Gabriella Celeste offered written testimony to the Ohio House Education and Career Readiness Committee on HB 360. HB 360 would enact the Ohio Anti-Bullying and Hazing Act. This legislation would include harsh discipline tactics for bullies including a mandatory suspension for a first bullying offense, mandated community service for all offenses, and it would expand the definition of a bullying victim to include adults. Celeste provided testimony on specific concerns with the bill and offered recommendations for how to improve it. She suggested that an individualized assessment and targeted approach, rather than one size fits all sanctions, would better ensure that appropriate interventions are used for each student. In her testimony she also noted that nothing in HB 360 addresses parents’ and students’ concerns about schools failing to address bullying.

Celeste’s testimony can be read here.

Currently HB 360 remains in committee.