SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate recently approved a plan that would give schools the ability to discipline students who use non-school computers to bully their classmates.

State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) sponsored House Bill 4207, which passed with a 32-18 vote.

“School should be a safe environment where students can learn and grow. If bullies are hurting other students’ ability to learn, it shouldn’t matter if it’s being done from a school computer or their cell phone,” Silverstein said.

Silverstein’s proposal prohibits out-of-school cyberbullying or bullying using a non school-owned electronic device. Schools would be able to discipline the bullies if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school.

The plan also requires school districts to have a process to determine if the bullying is within their jurisdiction and inform bullied students about anti-bullying services.

House Bill 4207 now returns to the House for approval before going to the governor’s desk.

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