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Rep. Sheehy testifies on anti-hazing legislation

House Bill 205 reforms disciplinary guidelines for students in primary, secondary and post-secondary schools
April 13, 2021
Michael Sheehy News

COLUMBUS- State Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) today provided sponsor testimony before the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee on House Bill (HB) 205, which would enact the “Ohio Anti-Bullying and Hazing Act,” also known as “Collin’s Law.”

“In just over two years, Ohioans mourned the tragic deaths of Collin Wiant and Stone Foltz, both of whom lost their lives as a result of hazing on college campuses,” said Rep. Sheehy. “No student should have to endure such physical or mental abuse simply to join or continue their membership with a social organization. The Ohio House has a chance to protect our students at all levels of schooling in Ohio and demand accountability when these kinds of tragedies occur.”

HB 205 also makes several changes to Ohio law regarding bullying in primary and secondary schools. Key provisions of HB 205 include:

·         Requiring the Department of Education to develop evidence-based best practices regarding harassment, intimidation, and bullying;

·         Requiring each school district, community school, and STEM school to adopt an “evidence-based” or “evidence-informed” policy regarding disciplinary actions against a student who commits an offense of bullying, harassment, or intimidation;

·         Permitting districts and schools to provide counseling services, upon parental consent, for offenders and victims of bullying;

·         Expanding the definition of hazing;

·         Increasing penalties against those who recklessly participate in hazing that includes forced consumption of alcohol or drugs of abuse resulting in serious physical harm;

·         Requiring officials and parents to immediately report to law enforcement the knowledge or reasonable cause to suspect that an individual has suffered or faces a threat of hazing.

HB 205 is jointly sponsored by Rep. Haraz Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg). Collin’s Law was previously introduced in the 133rd General Assembly as HB 310, which was sponsored by former Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) and was co-sponsored by Reps. Sheehy and Ghanbari.

HB 205 awaits further hearings in the Primary and Secondary Education Committee.