Bully Free Iowa 2

The Senate Committee on Education antibullying bill has been renumbered as SF 2318 and assigned to an Appropriations subcommittee of Hogg (D-Linn), Dvorsky (D-Johnson), and Ernst (R-Montgomery). The Senate bill is substantially the same except for changing the name of the new office in the DE to the office of support and analysis for safe schools and reallocating the appropriations as $250,000 to the new office and $750,000 to the school climate improvement grant program.

The “Bully Free Iowa Act of 2014” has been renumbered as HF 2409. HF 2409 varies from HSB 525, and proposes these additional changes to Iowa Code:

  • 256.7(34) directing the state board adopt rules incorporating the training required by 272.2(19) into the standards for individual teacher and administrator professional development plans. [Same as the Senate bill.]
  • 256.100 directs the department to coordinate and implement the state’s efforts to prevent and respond to harassment and bullying [similar to the Senate bill though stops short of establishing an office of support and analysis for safe schools (formerly called the office of harassment and bullying prevention and response in SSB 3149), does not include the school climate improvement grant program administration, or require the department to coordinate or collaborate with IDPH on the your life Iowa initiative or administration of the Iowa youth survey.]
  • 272.2(19) changes the training requirement to completing training on harassment and bullying prevention and response (while removing the requirement that the training be provided at no cost to the trainee). Requiring the adoption of rules requiring training for individuals applying for or renewing an administrator license.
  • Removing the change to 280.28(2)(c) defining trait or characteristic of the student and amending the definition of harassment and bullying to include acts or conduct based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student or for any other reason.
  • 280.28(3)(i) adding a procedure for documenting actions taken by the school to investigate and respond to harassment or bullying. [Same as Senate bill 280.28(3)(h).]
  • 280.28(7) [Same changes as the Senate bill regarding reporting requirements.]
  • 280.28 (10) rulemaking authority. [Same as 280.28(11) of the Senate bill.]

Eight amendments to this bill have been filed.

H-8040 by Alons (R-Sioux), Fry (R-Clarke), Sheets (R-Appanoose), Fisher (R-Tama), Shaw (R-Pocahontas), Salmon (R-Black Hawk), Gassman (R-Winnebago), Schultz (R-Crawford), Rogers (R-Black Hawk), Watts (R-Dallas), and Heartsill (R-Marion) allowing school districts to display the motto “in God we trust” in every school building in the school district.

H-8050 by Alons (R-Sioux), Salmon (R-Black Hawk), Watts (R-Dallas), Fisher (R-Tama), Sheets (R-Appanoose), Heartsill (R-Marion), Schultz (R-Crawford), Gassman (R-Winnebago), Shaw (R-Pocahontas), and Maxwell (R-Poweshiek) striking the training notification, providing the state board of education access to analyze responses to the Iowa youth survey conducted by the IDPH, striking references to accredited nonpublic schools, and adding new 280.28(11) that this section does not apply to nonpublic schools or private instruction as defined in 299A.1 (competent and independent private instruction).

H-8051 by Schultz (R-Crawford), Salmon (R-Black Hawk), Alons (R-Sioux), Heartsill (R-Marion), Sheets (R-Appanoose), Fisher (R-Tama), Watts (R-Dallas), Gassman (R-Winnebago), Shaw (R-Pocahontas), and Maxwell (R-Poweshiek) making training requirements conditional on the availability of training at no charge to trainees, schools, or school districts.

H-8052 by Gassman (R-Winnebago), Salmon (R-Black Hawk), Alons (R-Sioux), Schultz (R-Crawford), Sheets (R-Appanoose), Heartsill (R-Marion), Watts (R-Dallas), Fisher (R-Tama), Shaw (R-Pocahontas), and Maxwell (R-Poweshiek) completely rewriting the portion of the definition of harassment and bullying that requires one or more of the following conditions to be met:

  • (1) Is lewd, indecent, or obscene.
  • (2) Is a severe, persistent, or pervasive use of threatening acts, words, or conduct that objectively inflicts injury on the student.
  • (3) Is intended to threaten imminent physical harm to the student.
  • (4) Is intended to incite an immediate breach of the peace.
  • (5) Causes a substantial and material disruption of the school environment.

H-8053 by Alons (R-Sioux), Salmon (R-Black Hawk), Watts (R-Dallas), Sheets (R-Appanoose), Heartsill (R-Marion), Schultz (R-Crawford), Gassman (R-Winnebago), Fisher (R-Tama), Shaw (R-Pocahontas), and Maxwell (R-Poweshiek) striking the requirement that data be reported to the department and the local community.

H-8054 by Watts (R-Dallas), Salmon (R-Black Hawk), Alons (R-Sioux), Fisher (R-Tama), Heartsill (R-Marion), Sheets (R-Appanoose), Gassman (R-Winnebago), Schultz (R-Crawford), Shaw (R-Pocahontas), and Maxwell (R-Poweshiek) striking the new subsection regarding authority off school grounds.

H-8055 by Sheets (R-Appanoose), Salmon (R-Black Hawk), Alons (R-Sioux), Heartsill (R-Marion), Watts (R-Dallas), Fisher (R-Tama), Gassman (R-Winnebago), Schultz (R-Crawford), Shaw (R-Pocahontas), and Maxwell (R-Poweshiek) adding new subsection 280.28(11) Rule of construction. this section shall not be construed to permit the restraint of or discipline for speech addressing legitimate matters of public concern, including speech that is an expression of a religious belief, philosophical belief, or political belief, or other categories of expression protected by the United States and Iowa Constitutions.

H-8056 by Salmon (R-Black Hawk), Alons (R-Sioux), Watts (R-Dallas), Fisher (R-Tama), Sheets (R-Appanoose), Heartsill (R-Marion), Schultz (R-Crawford), Gassman (R-Winnebago), Shaw (R-Pocahontas), and Maxwell (R-Poweshiek) amending subsection 280.28(5) to extend immunity from criminal or civil liability to school employees who choose not to investigate or take further action regarding a report of an alleged incident of harassment or bullying that occurred off school grounds or away from school functions or school-sponsored activities.

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