New bill would create hotline for Illinois students to report bullying

SPRINGFIELD- A new bill could help Illinois students anonymously report bullying.

State Rep. John Cabello, R-Manchester Park, is the driving force behind a bill that could allow students under 18 to use a toll-free hotline to report harassment, according to IL News.

A hotline already exists. The Department of Children and Family Services operates a hotline for reporting child abuse or neglect.

“There should be no cost involved, at least to the state,” Cabello said. “Everything is already there. It’s just another way of trying to make sure we get these kids the help they need.”

When called, the operator will give the caller information on how to handle their situation. The next step is to notify school officials about the details of the call. In severe cases where the bullying involves criminal action the police will become involved.

Locally, a recent Facebook post by a Moline High School student created buzz about students’ ability to report bullying. According to the post, students have been subjected to racial slurs and other forms of bullying.

The post says no action was taken by the school after reports were made, but when the bullied student retaliated they were sent to the office. Moline High School could not be reached for comments.

Cabello says his idea was inspired by similar accounts from across his region.

“What we’re trying to do is give the kids going through this another avenue of trying to make sure it stops.”

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