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Key Votes

SF 2318 - Amends School Harassment and Bullying Policies - Key Vote

Iowa Key Votes

Jerry Kearns voted Yea (Passage With Amendment) on this Legislation.

Read statements Jerry Kearns made in this general time period.

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Legislation - Bill Passed With Amendment (House) (68-27) - (Key vote)

Title: Amends School Harassment and Bullying Policies

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends school bullying and harassment policies.

Highlights:
  • Expands the definition of “electronic,” for the purposes of determining incidents of bullying or harassment, to include communication over social networking sites and applications, or any other electronic communication site, device, or means (Sec. 3). 
  • Requires each school district and accredited nonpublic school to establish a procedure for notifying the parent or guardian of a student about the student’s direct involvement in an incident of harassment or bullying (Sec. 5).
  • Exempts a school official from notifying a parent or guardian of an incident of harassment or bullying if the school official “reasonably” believes the notification would subject a student to abuse, neglect, or other physical or mental harm (Sec. 5). 
  • Requires a school district, school, or school employee who “reasonably and in good faith” notifies a parent or guardian of an incident of harassment or bullying to be immune from any civil or criminal liability relating to the notification and from participating in any related judicial proceedings (Sec. 4).
  • Requires the Board of Educational Examiners to require all teachers who have “regular and substantial contact” with students to complete training on harassment and bullying prevention and response as part of their professional development training (Sec. 2).
  • Exempts a student who transfers to a school outside their district of residence from the 90 day waiting period before participating in varsity interscholastic athletic competitions if the student was previously subject to an incident of harassment or bullying while attending school in their district of residence (Sec. 6). 
Legislation - Bill Passed (Senate) (26-19) - (Key vote)

Title: Amends School Harassment and Bullying Policies

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass bill that amends school bullying policies and establishes the School Climate Improvement Program.

Highlights:
  • Authorizes school officials to investigate and respond to an alleged incident of harassment or bullying that occurs outside of school, off of school property, or away from a school-sponsored function (Sec. 12).
  • Expands the definition of “electronic”, for the purposes of determining incidents of bullying or harassment, to include communication over social networking sites and applications, or any other electronic communication site, device, or means (Sec. 9). 
  • Establishes the “School Climate Improvement Program” in order to promote safe and supportive learning environments and award grants to fund certain school programs and activities, including, but not limited to, the following programs (Sec. 6):
    • Staff training programs;
    • Research-based school safety programs; and
    • Mental health demonstration programs.
  • Establishes the “Office of Support and Analysis for Safe Schools” in the Department of Education to coordinate and implement the state’s anti-bullying efforts and oversee the School Climate Improvement Program (Sec. 5). 
  • Appropriates the following amounts to the department for the 2014 fiscal year (Sec. 14): 
    • $250,000 for the establishment and administration of the Office of Support and Analysis for Safe Schools; and
    • $750,000 for providing grants through the School Climate Improvement Program. 
  • Requires each school district and accredited nonpublic school to add a procedure to their anti-bullying policies for documenting a school’s investigation and response to bullying (Sec. 10).
  • Requires each school district  and accredited nonpublic school to establish a procedure for notifying the parent or guardian of a student about the student’s direct involvement in an incident of harassment or bullying (Sec. 12).
  • Exempts a school official from notifying a parent or guardian of an incident of harassment or bullying if the school official “reasonably” believes the notification would subject a student to abuse, neglect, or other physical or mental harm (Sec. 12). 
  • Requires the Board of Educational Examiners to require all teachers who have “regular and substantial contact” with students to complete bullying prevention and response training approved by the Office of Support and Analysis for Safe Schools as part of their professional development training (Secs. 3 & 7).
  • Exempts a student who transfers to a school outside their district of residence from the 90 day waiting period before participating in varsity interscholastic athletic competitions if the student was previously subject to an incident of harassment or bullying while attending school in their district of residence (Sec. 13). 
Legislation - Introduced (Senate) -

Title: Amends School Harassment and Bullying Policies

Committee Sponsors

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