Skip to main content
State Seal State Seal State Seal
Home Button Home Button Home Button

Ghanbari Fights for 'Collin's Law: The Ohio Anti-Bullying and Hazing Act'

This is the first House committee hearing on the bill since the hazing death of BGSU student Stone Foltz
April 13, 2021
Haraz N. Ghanbari News

State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) today testified in support of House Bill 205, which is also known as the “Collin’s Law: The Ohio Anti-Bullying and Hazing Act.” The bill addresses the issue of school bullying and hazing throughout the state. Ghanbari is a joint sponsor of the legislation.

The hearing on House Bill 205 comes after the recent hazing tragedy of Stone Foltz at Bowling Green State University (BGSU).

“This bill is a necessary and well-constructed reform and expansion of current law that will go a long way to curb both bullying and hazing in the state of Ohio,” said Ghanbari. “Generally speaking, what this bill does is to broaden the definition of bullying and hazing victims and perpetrators and prescribes certain disciplinary actions.”

The legislation works to strengthen consequences for acts of bullying and hazing; this includes raising hazing penalties from a misdemeanor 4 to misdemeanor 2 charge, which becomes a felony 3 if drugs or alcohol are involved. Additionally, it specifies preservation of local control for schools on the disciplinary actions by providing autonomy for them to address and respond to first-reported offenses of bullying. If these acts continue, the provisions of the bill will be implemented.

The legislation has provisions to help both the victims and perpetrators surrounding the issue of bullying. Under the bill, if a student is identified as a bully then that individual will serve a disciplinary period, during which the student may be required to participate in a community service program. The bill also encourages schools to offer tutoring, academic support, and counseling services to bullying victims.

The title of the bill, “Collin’s Law,” is inspired by Collin Wiant, who passed away as a student at Ohio University. Extreme hazing led to Collin’s death by asphyxiation while pledging for a fraternity.

During the 133rd General Assembly, Ghanbari was also a cosponsor of identical legislation under House Bill 310, which passed within the House in November of last year.

Today was the first hearing of House Bill 205 within the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee and now awaits its second hearing.

Ghanbari’s full testimony can be viewed here.