On Monday, the Ohio Senate Education Committee approved the Jessica Logan Act, an anti-bullying bill designed to encourage stronger anti-bullying training from school districts and crack down on bullying in schools.
The problem, however, is that the bill doesn't specifically delineate the real or perceived characteristics of students that are protected by the bill. Race, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity are not listed as characteristics that are consistently bullied. Language in the bill that had previously included this information was stamped out while the bill was discussed in committee on Monday.
The approved bill is weak, establishing a general policy of "don't bully." Officially, it states:
The board of education of each city, local, exempted village, and joint vocational school district shall establish and annually review a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying. The policy shall be developed in consultation with parents, school employees, school volunteers, students, and community members.
The bill then goes onto establish a requirement that schools institute an anti-bullying, anti-harassment statement prohibiting these behaviors on school grounds or school buses, a definition of these behaviors, and a procedure for reporting such incidences.