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california legislation > AB 1156

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Date of Hearing: May 27, 2011

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
Felipe Fuentes, Chair

AB 1156 (Eng) - As Amended: May 18, 2011

Policy Committee:Education
Vote:6-3

Urgency: No State Mandated Local Program:
No Reimbursable: No

SUMMARY

This bill, commencing July 1, 2011, makes the following
statutory changes in order to prevent bullying in California
schools:

1)Defines bullying as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal
act or conduct, including communications in writing or by
means of an electronic act committed by a pupil or group of
pupils or directed toward a pupil(s), that can be reasonably
predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

a) Placing the pupil(s) in a reasonable fear of harm to
that pupil's person or property.
b) Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the
pupil's academic performance.
c) Substantially interfering with the pupil's ability to
participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or
privileges provided by a school.

2)Encourages school safety plans, as they are reviewed/updated
and to the extent funds are available, to include policies and
procedures aimed at the prevention of bullying.

3)Amends an existing training requirement that assists local
education agencies (LEAs) and schoolsite personnel in
developing their school safety plans to include training in
the prevention of bullying, as specified.

4)Specifies, beginning July 2012, a pupil is complying with
school district residency requirements if his or her residence
is located within the boundaries of another district and meets








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both of the following conditions:

a) Has been the victim of an act of bullying committed by a
pupil in the other district, as determined by
superintendent or the principal of the school he or she
previously attended in the other school district.
b) Is unable to receive authorization for an interdistrict
transfer in a timely manner.

FISCAL EFFECT

Minor negligible GF/98 revenue limit (general purpose) costs to
the state if a pupil enrolls in another school district due to
bullying issues pursuant to this measure. The state provides
each district with revenue limit funding to educate pupils.
While each school district revenue limit calculation is
different, the difference is marginal in terms of the state's
current funding revenue limit obligation. The difference in
cost will be determined by the number of pupils who attend
another district pursuant to this measure.

COMMENTS

1)Purpose . According to the United States Department of Justice
(USDOJ), 1.6 million children in grades 6-10 in the United
States are bullied at least once a week and 1.7 million
children bully others as frequently. The USDOJ further states
"bullying has long-term and short term psychological effects
on both those who bully and those who are bullied. Victims
experienced loneliness and reported having trouble making
social and emotional adjustments, difficulty making friends,
and poor relationships with classmates. Victims of bullying
often suffer humiliation, insecurity, and a loss of
self-esteem, and they may develop a fear of going to school."


According to the author, "In California, schools do not always
provide an environment conducive to learning, because there
are a significant number of students who worry that they will
be targeted for physical violence or harassment by their
peers, especially in middle school. For example, nearly 30% of
boys and girls in the 7th grade reported that they had been
afraid of being beaten up at school once or more in 2008.
ÝThis bill] will address the issue of bullying in a
comprehensive and effective manner by requiring the training








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of school site personnel in the prevention of bullying,
providing a mechanism under which the option is available for
the victim to be removed from an unhealthy setting, and
expanding the definition of bullying by linking it to academic
achievement. "

2)Should the pupil be required to demonstrate that he or she
attempted to transfer to another school prior to being allowed
to attend another school district
? This bill allows a pupil
to enroll in a school district if he or she was bullied in
another district under specified conditions, including a
requirement that district personnel determine the pupil was
bullied. This bill, however, does not require the pupil to
demonstrate that he or she attempted to transfer to another
school within the district prior to seeking attendance in a
different school district. The committee may wish to consider
this issue.

3)Existing law
authorizes the governing boards of two or more
school districts to enter into an agreement for the
interdistrict attendance of pupils who are residents of the
districts. Current law specifies if either district fails to
approve the interdistrict attendance of a pupil, or in the
case of the failure or refusal of the districts to enter into
an agreement, the person having legal custody of the pupil may
appeal to the county board of education.

Statute also specifies that each school district and county
office of education (COE) is responsible for the overall
development of all comprehensive school safety plans. It also
delineates the contents of these plans, including procedures
addressing violence and disaster preparedness.

Current law requires SDE and the Department of Justice (DOJ)
to contract with one or more professional trainers to
coordinate statewide workshops for LEAs and schoolsite
personnel to assist them in the development of their
respective school safety plans. According to SDE, the Kern
County Superintendent of Schools (KCSS) was awarded a $350,000
contract to perform this requirement. KCSS is scheduled to
conduct 28 trainings this year on bullying prevention.

4)Related legislation .

a) AB 9 (Ammiano), pending in this committee, requires








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school districts to include specific information in its
policies/procedures regarding discrimination, harassment,
intimidation, and bullying. It also establishes complaint
procedures and alternative discipline policies for pupils
involved in this behavior.

b) AB 630 (Hueso), a two-year bill in the Assembly
Education Committee, expresses legislative intent to
encourage school districts to establish bullying-reduction
programs to be integrated either into the regular
curriculum, as specified.


Analysis Prepared by : Kimberly Rodriguez / APPR. / (916)
319-2081