Illinois School Bullying Laws and Legal Help

Brooke R. Whitted was formerly appointed by the Superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education to the Illinois Anti-Bullying and Harassment Task Force. This statutorily-created group will explore causes and consequences of bullying, as well as develop guidelines for school districts to most effectively address this pervasive national issue. For more information, see below, as well as the Task Force’s website at www.isbe.state.il.us/SBPTF/default.htm.

In our state, the statute requires schools to provide a safe and stable environment for all students.  It is the affirmative responsibility of school districts to protect children from being physically or verbally abused or otherwise emotionally abused by other students or staff members. Research has shown that bullying can cause severe emotional distress that can affect individuals for their entire life. Teasing during elementary school, harassment in middle school or bullying in high school can create a level of mental distress that can and has resulted in depression, withdrawal, low academic performance, outbursts of temper and, as has been recently covered in the news media, suicide.  The long term damage to feelings of self worth is undisputed.  Clearly, bullying and harassment need to be eliminated from all public and private school environments so that students can get the education that the statutes mandate.  Illinois’ new statute, in conjunction with the Jason Flatt Act (mandating education of staff and students on the signs and prevention of suicide), combine to assist in combating this ever-increasing national problem.

Illinois School Bullying Prevention Task Force

Meeting Materials:

Other Resources: