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105 ILCS 5/27-23.7

As per 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7, each school district, charter school, and non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school shall create, maintain, and implement a policy on bullying which must be filed with the State Board of Education. Furthermore, entities must conduct a review and reevaluation of the policy every two years. If an entity fails to file a policy on bullying within 14 days of receipt of a written request to file a policy, the State Board of Education shall publish notice of the non-compliance on the State Board of Education's website. The list of noncompliant entities can be found below. If you have questions about this mandate or you are an entity in need of technical assistance, please contact

Bullying, including cyber-bullying, is defined in 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

  1. placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
  2. causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health; 
  3. substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
  4. substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Bullying may take various forms, including but not limited to harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. 

“Cyber-bullying” means bullying using technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photoelectronic system, or photo optical system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. "Cyber-bullying" includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying in this Section. "Cyber-bullying" also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

 What should I do if my child is the target of bullying?

​It is critical that children and young adults feel safe in the educational environment. From a procedural perspective, the most appropriate course of action in addressing bullying issues is to contact the school principal. If after contacting the school principal your concerns remain, you may consider contacting the district superintendent for assistance. It is crucial that the superintendent be made aware of such issues if they continue unabated.

Authority and responsibility to administer discipline and respond to acts of bullying rests with the local board of education, through the office of the superintendent of schools and building administration. If your concerns are still not resolved, you may consider contacting the local board of education. If, after exhausting all inquiries at the district level, your concerns remain, you may consider contacting the office of the regional superintendent of schools that holds supervisory authority over the schools in your county.

Finally, the United States Department of Education, through the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), directs school districts to look at each bullying incident not only as a violation of bullying policy, but as a possible action of discriminatory harassment. If discriminatory harassment has occurred, the school district must take steps to end the harassment, regardless of any dis​cipline imposed for bullying. A complaint of discrimination can be filed by anyone who believes that a school that receives Federal financial assistance has discriminated against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.

The following is a link to the OCR complaint form:

If you feel that you or your child may be the victim of discrimination, you may email the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Discrimination Complaint FormPDF Document or your own signed letter to If you write your own letter, please include the information identified above. The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination but may complain on behalf of another person or group. Before filling out the complaint form, it might be useful to read the information on how the Office of Civil Rights handles bullying complaints. You may also contact OCR at 1‐800‐421‐3481.​​​​​​​​​​

 Bullying Prevention Policies

llinois School Code and Administrative Rules, 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 and Ill. Admin. Code title 23, §1.295​,​ requires that all public schools, non-sectarian nonpublic schools, and charter schools are to create and implement policies concerning bullying prevention. Policies created under this section must be filed with the Illinois State Board of Education. For a breakdown of the statute and a detailed list of what the policy should encompass, you can reference Bullying Prevention Policy Requirements and GuidancePDF Document​.

Bullying prevention policies must be filed via the "Bullying Policy Submission and Evaluation" system in IWAS. For assistance with accessing/using the system, please refer to the IWAS System User Guide.

The Illinois State Board of Education has created a model policy for bullying prevention. The model policy may be used as a guide for drafting policies or as a template which can be edited to apply to a given entity. Entities are not required to use the model policy, however they must include all policy items required under statute.

Drafting Note: All language in brackets (“[insert school/district name]”) must be modified by you, the user of this “Model Policy for Bullying Prevention”, to conform to the entity you are using/modifying this for, specifically inserting the name of your school district, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school.

Questions regarding bullying prevention policies or the model policy can be directed to or (217) 785-5585.

 Bullying Tools/Resources

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