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  3. Ohio Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Ohio Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies

Components of State Anti-Bullying Laws and Regulations

Component Included
Prohibiting statement Yes
Definition Yes
Scope Yes
Protected groups No
District policy requirement Yes
Reporting and investigations Yes
Consequences Yes
Communication of policy Yes
Safeguards and supports No
Review and update of local policies Yes
Prevention education Yes
Staff training Yes
Parent engagement Yes

What are the Ohio laws and regulations that cover bullying?

How are bullying and cyberbullying defined in Ohio anti-bullying laws and regulations?

Ohio anti-bullying laws include the following definitions of bullying or harassing behavior:

“Harassment, intimidation, or bullying” means either of the following:

    (a)  Any intentional written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once and the behavior both:

        (i) Causes mental or physical harm to the other student;

        (ii) Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student.

ORC Ann. 3313.666 (2012)

Do Ohio anti-bullying laws and regulations cover cyberbullying that occurs off-campus?

No. Ohio anti-bullying laws do not cover off-campus conduct.

What are the policy requirements for schools to prevent and respond to bullying behavior?

Ohio school districts must establish a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying. School district policies must contain key policy and procedural elements, including, but not limited to:

  • Statements prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying and statements of scope indicating where and when the policy applies;
  • Definitions of prohibited behavior that are inclusive of definitions in state law;
  • Procedures for reporting, investigations, and documentation;
  • Strategies for protecting a victim or other person from harassment, intimidation, or bullying or from retaliation following a report;
  • Disciplinary consequences for violation of the policy;
  • Statements prohibiting students from making false reports;
  • Statements of how the policy will be publicized within the district; and
  • Requirements that districts provide a written summary of all report incidents and post the summary on the district website.

Do Ohio anti-bullying laws and regulations include protections for specific groups?

No. There are no specific groups listed under Ohio anti-bullying laws or regulations.

Schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination on a number of different personal characteristics. Find out when bullying may be a civil rights violation.

Do Ohio anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to implement bullying prevention programs or strategies?

Yes. Ohio anti-bullying laws encourage districts form bullying prevention task forces, programs, and other initiatives involving volunteers, parents, law enforcement, and community members.

Do Ohio anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to train teachers and other school staff on how to respond to bullying incidents?

Yes.  Ohio anti-bullying laws require each board of education to incorporate training on the board’s harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy into in-service training programs. Ohio anti-bullying laws also require districts, to the extent that state or federal funds are appropriated for these purposes, to provide training, workshops, or courses on the district’s harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy.

Do Ohio anti-bullying laws and regulations encourage or require districts to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying?

No.  Ohio anti-bullying laws do not require districts to provide safeguards or mental health supports for students involved with bullying.

Do Ohio anti-bullying laws and regulations involve parents in efforts to address bullying behavior?

Yes. Ohio anti-bullying laws require districts to develop policies in consultation with parents, school employees, school volunteers, students, and community members. Ohio school district policies must include a requirement that the custodial parent or guardian of any student involved in a prohibited incident be notified and be given access to any written reports pertaining to the prohibited incident to extent permitted by state and federal law.

For More Information

Visit the Ohio Department of Education “Anti-Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Resources webpage and/or view the Ohio state model policy on bullying and harassment.

The key component framework used in the analysis of state laws is based on the review of legislation presented in the “Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies – December 2011” (U.S. Department of Education).


Date Last Reviewed