bully 080921SPRINGFIELD – To better understand the prevalence of bullying and violence in Illinois schools, a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) will strengthen incident reporting requirements.

“Nationwide rates of violence between students are alarming—to ensure we’re keeping our students safe, we need a deeper understanding of the issue in Illinois,” Murphy said. “The first step toward solving any problem is gathering information.”

The law requires the Illinois State Board of Education to collect data on incidents of violence that occurred on school grounds or during school-related activities that resulted in a student’s out-of-school suspension, expulsion or removal to an alternative setting.

ISBE is required to post the number of incidents recorded in each district on its public Illinois School Report Card website.

During the 2017-18 school year, an estimated 962,300 violent incidents occurred in U.S. public schools nationwide, according to the most recent School Survey on Crime and Safety administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Seventy-one percent of schools reported having at least one violent incident.

“When it comes to protecting student safety, transparency must be a priority,” Murphy said. “Stronger incident reporting requirements will help us identify problems and find solutions.”

The law, originally Senate Bill 633, was signed into law Friday. ISBE must begin publishing this data in the 2022-23 school year.