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california legislation > AB 1156

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CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
AB 1156 (Eng)
As Amended August 31, 2011
Majority vote

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|ASSEMBLY: |50-27|(June 2, 2011) |SENATE: |25-11|(September 7, |
| | | | | |2011)|
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Original Committee Reference: ED.

SUMMARY
: Makes several proposals related to bullying, including
requiring training in the prevention of bullying, giving
priority for interdistrict transfers to victims of bullying, 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)Gives priority for interdistrict attendance under any existing
interdistrict attendance agreement, or, in the absence of an
agreement, be given additional consideration for the creation
of an interdistrict attendance agreement, to a pupil who has
been determined by personnel of either the district of
residence or the district of proposed enrollment to have been








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the victim of an act of bullying committed by a pupil of the
district of residence, at the request of the person having
legal custody of the pupil.

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)Expands the definition of "electronic act" to include a post
on a social network Internet Web site.

7)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).

8)Defines "reasonable pupil" as a pupil, including, but not
limited to, an exceptional needs pupil, who exercises average
care, skill, and judgment in conduct for a person of his or
her age, or for a person of his or her age with his or her
exceptional needs.

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

The Senate amendments expand the definition of "electronic act"








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to include a post on a social Internet Web site, strike the
provision regarding residency requirements and instead give a
pupil determined to have been a victim of an act of bullying
priority for an interdistrict transfer, revise the definition of
"reasonable pupil" to include exceptional needs pupils, and add
co-authors.

AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY , this bill was substantially similar
to the version passed by the Senate.

FISCAL EFFECT : According to the Senate Appropriations
Committee, potentially significant cost pressure for
anti-bullying training, potentially significant costs to allow
students to transfer to other districts, and substantial cost
pressure to revise school safety plans.

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."

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 will be a required component of the








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training.

The bill also encourages the school safety plan to include
policies and procedures for the prevention of bullying and gives
priority for interdistrict transfers to pupils determined by the
district or residence of proposed enrollment to have been a
victim of an act of bullying.

Bullying is defined in existing law 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.

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








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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 in the
Legislature, establishes policies and procedures in the
prevention of bullying.


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


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