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california legislation > AB 1156

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ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
AB 1156 (Eng)
As Amended May 27, 2011
Majority vote

EDUCATION 6-3 APPROPRIATIONS 12-5

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|Ayes:|Brownley, Ammiano, |Ayes:|Fuentes, Blumenfield, |
| |Buchanan, | |Bradford, Charles |
| |Carter, Eng, Williams | |Calderon, Campos, Davis, |
| | | |Gatto, Hall, Hill, Lara, |
| | | |Mitchell, Solorio |
| | | | |
|-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
|Nays:|Norby, Halderman, Wagner |Nays:|Harkey, Donnelly, |
| | | |Nielsen, Norby, Wagner |
| | | | |
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SUMMARY : Makes several proposals related to bullying, including
requiring training in the prevention of bullying, authorizing a
pupil to transfer to another district and revising the definition of
bullying, beginning on July 1, 2012. Specifically, this bill :

1)Makes declarations and findings regarding the impact of bullying,
including that bullying causes physical, psychological and
emotional harm to pupils; interferes with pupils' ability to learn
and participate in school activities; and, that bullying has been
linked to other forms of antisocial behavior, such as vandalism,
shoplifting, truancy and dropping out of school, fighting, using
drugs and alcohol, sexual harassment and sexual violence.

2)Adds training in the prevention of bullying as a component in the
workshops provided by the Department of Justice and the California
Department of Education (CDE) to school districts, county offices
of education, and schoolsite personnel to assist them in the
development of school safety and crisis response plans.

3)Specifies that as comprehensive school safety plans are reviewed
and updated, the Legislature encourages all plans, to the extent
that resources are available, to include policies and procedures
aimed at the prevention of bullying.

4)Specifies that a pupil is in compliance with the residency








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requirements for school attendance in a school district if a pupil
whose residence is located within the boundaries of another school
district meets all of the following conditions:

a) He or she has been determined by the superintendent of that
other school district, or by the principal of the school
attended by the pupil in that other school district, to have
been the victim of an act of bullying committed by a pupil of
that district;

b) He or she is unable to transfer to another school within the
other school district, as certified by the superintendent of
the other school district; and,

c) He or she is unable to receive authorization for
interdistrict transfer in a timely manner.

5)Specifies that "bullying" means any severe or pervasive physical
or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing
or by means of an electronic act, and including one or more acts
committed by a pupil or group of pupils engaging in sexual
harassment, hate violence, harassment, threats, or intimidation
directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be reasonably
predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

a) Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to that
pupil's or those pupils' person or property;

b) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially
detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health;

c) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial
interference with his or her academic performance; or,

d) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial
interference with his or her ability to participate in or
benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided
by a school.

6)Relocates the definitions of "bullying" and "electronic act" from
Education Code (EC) Section 32261 (Interagency School Safety
Demonstration Act of 1985) to Section 48900 (expulsions and
suspensions).









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7)Defines "reasonable pupil" as a pupil who exercises average care,
skill, and judgment in conduct for a person of his or her age.

8)Strikes an obsolete provision in the suspension and expulsion
provisions of the Education Code.

FISCAL EFFECT : According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee,
minor negligible General Fund/Proposition 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
bill.

COMMENTS : School-based harassment, discrimination, intimidation and
bullying can create a school climate of fear and disrespect that can
result in conditions that negatively affect learning.

The author states, "AB 1156 will address the issue of bullying in a
comprehensive and effective manner by requiring the training of
school site personnel in the prevention of bullying, providing a
mechanism under which the option is available for the student who is
the target of an act of bullying to be removed from an unhealthy
setting, and expanding the definition of bullying by linking it to
such impacts, as academic achievement and participation. The goal
is to provide a safe environment designed to support a healthy
learning experience for every child."

This bill has four main components. According to the CDE, training
on the prevention of bullying/cyber bullying is already being done.
Existing law requires the Department of Justice and the CDE to
contract with one or more professional trainers to coordinate
statewide workshops for local educational agency staff to assist
them in the development of the school safety plan and crisis
response plans. This provision is met through funds from the School
Safety Consolidated Competitive Grant. The CDE contracts with Kern
County Office of Education to provide the trainings. In addition to
bullying/cyberbullying, the workshops also provide training on safe
school planning and crises response planning. Training on the
prevention of bullying, however, is currently permissive. By
specifying the training component to include bullying in the law, it








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will be a required component of the training.

The bill also encourages the school safety plan to include policies
and procedures for the prevention of bullying.

Section 5 of the bill authorizes a pupil to be deemed to meet
residency requirements if the pupil transfers to a school in another
district based on all of the following:

1)A determination by the superintendent of the home district or the
principal of the school from which the pupil transferred that the
pupil had been a victim of an act of bullying committed by a pupil
from the home district.

2)If the pupil is unable to transfer to another school in the home
district.

3)If the pupil is unable to receive authorization for an
interdistrict transfer under existing process in a timely manner.


Bullying is currently defined as an act by a pupil engaging in
sexual harassment, hate violence, harassment, threats or
intimidation that may include bullying committed via an electronic
act that includes, but is not limited to, a message, text, sound, or
image by means of an electronic device (e.g., a telephone, wireless
telephone or other wireless communication device, computer or
pager).

This bill redefines bullying as any severe or pervasive physical or
verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or
by means of an electronic act, and including one or more acts
committed by a pupil or group of pupils engaging in sexual
harassment, hate violence, harassment, threats, or intimidation
directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be reasonably
predicted to cause a pupil to fear harm to the pupil's person or
property, and cause a reasonable person to experience detrimental
effect on his or her physical or mental health, academic
performance, or his or her ability to participate in or benefit from
the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

The definition proposed by this bill differs from existing law by
specifying that the conduct must be "severe" or "pervasive" and that
has or "can be reasonably predicted" to have specified effects.








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There are a number of bills dealing with bullying this year, with
more than one bill affecting suspension/expulsion due to an act of
bullying. In addition to this bill, SB 453 (Correa), which was held
in the Senate Appropriations Committee suspense file, expands
authorization to suspend or expel a pupil for acts of bullying to
include those acts motivated by any of the following actual or
perceived characteristics of the victim: disability, gender,
nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or
association with a person or group with one or more of these actual
or perceived characteristics. SB 453 also includes acts of bullying
that have persisted and reoccurred despite repeated efforts at
remediation and termination of the behavior by the principal or the
superintendent of schools on the list of acts for which expulsion
may be recommended. AB 9 (Ammiano), pending on the Assembly floor,
establishes policies and procedures in the prevention of bullying.


Analysis Prepared by : Sophia Kwong Kim / ED. / (916) 319-2087 FN:
0001134