130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 290  As Passed by the House
As Passed by the House

130th General Assembly
Regular Session
2013-2014
H. B. No. 290


Representative Stebelton 

Cosponsors: Representatives Becker, Smith, Huffman, Grossman, Adams, J., Terhar, Blessing, Scherer, Hood, Buchy, Brenner, Fedor, Perales, Maag, Antonio, Baker, Barnes, Beck, Burkley, Driehaus, Green, Milkovich, Phillips, Sheehy, Stautberg Speaker Batchelder 



A BILL
To amend sections 3313.75, 3313.76, 3313.77, and 3313.78 and to enact section 3313.791 of the Revised Code regarding the use of school district premises by members of the public and immunity from civil liability for a school district and schools when permitting members of the public to use school premises.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1.  That sections 3313.75, 3313.76, 3313.77, and 3313.78 be amended and section 3313.791 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 3313.75. (A) For purposes of this section, "school premises" has the same meaning as in section 3313.77 of the Revised Code.
(B) The board of education of a city, exempted village, or local school district may authorize the opening of schoolhouses school premises for any lawful purposes.
(B)(C) In accordance with this section and section 3313.77 of the Revised Code, a district board may rent or lease facilities school premises under its control to any public or nonpublic institution of higher education for the institution's use in providing evening and summer classes.
(C)(D) This section does not authorize a board to rent or lease a schoolhouse school premises when such rental or lease interferes with the public schools in such district, or for any purpose other than is authorized by law.
Sec. 3313.76.  Upon application of any responsible organization, or of a group of at least seven citizens, all school grounds and schoolhouses premises, as that term is defined in section 3313.77 of the Revised Code, as well as all other buildings under the supervision and control of the state, or buildings maintained by taxation under the laws of this state, shall be available for use as social centers for the entertainment and education of the people, including the adult and youthful population, and for the discussion of all topics tending to the development of personal character and of civil welfare, and for religious exercises. Such occupation should not seriously infringe upon the original and necessary uses of such properties. The public officials in charge of such buildings shall prescribe such rules and regulations for their occupancy and use as will secure a fair, reasonable, and impartial use of the same.
Sec. 3313.77.  (A) For purposes of this section:
(1) "General public" means members of the community, including both of the following:
(a) Students during nonschool hours;
(b) Employees of a school or school district when not working in the scope of their employment.
(2) "Nonschool hours" means both of the following:
(a) Any time prior to and after regular classroom instruction on a day that school is in session;
(b) Any day that school is not in session, including weekends, holidays, and vacation breaks.
(3) "Recreational meetings and entertainments" means all indoor or outdoor games or physical activities, either organized or unorganized, that are undertaken for exercise, relaxation, diversion, sport, or pleasure.
(4) "School premises" means all indoor and outdoor structures, facilities, and land owned, rented, or leased by a school or school district.
(B) The board of education of any city, exempted village, or local school district shall, upon request and the payment of a reasonable fee, subject to such regulation as is adopted by such board, permit the use of any school house and rooms therein and the grounds and other property under its control premises, when not in actual use for school purposes, for any of the following purposes:
(A)(1) Giving instructions in any branch of education, learning, or the arts;
(B)(2) Holding educational, religious, civic, social, or recreational meetings and entertainments, and for such other purposes as promote the welfare of the community; provided such meetings and entertainments shall be nonexclusive and open to the general public;
(C)(3) Public library purposes, as a station for a public library, or as reading rooms;
(D)(4) Polling places, for holding elections and for the registration of voters, or for holding grange or similar meetings.
Within sixty days after the effective date of this section, the The board of education of each school district shall adopt a policy for the use of school facilities premises by the general public, including a list of all fees to be paid for the use of such facilities premises and the costs used to determine such fees. Once adopted, the policy shall remain in effect until formally amended by the board. A copy of the policy shall be made available to any resident of the district upon request.
Sec. 3313.78.  Upon application of a committee representing any candidate for public office or any regularly organized or recognized political party, the board of education having control of any school grounds premises mentioned in section 3313.76 of the Revised Code, shall permit the same to be used as a place wherein to hold meetings of electors for the discussion of public questions and issues. No such meeting shall be held during regular school hours. No charge shall be made for such use, but the candidate or committee so holding a meeting shall be responsible for any damage done or expense incurred by reason thereof.
Sec. 3313.791. (A) For purposes of this section:
(1) "School" means a school in a city, local, or exempted village school district.
(2) "School district" means a city, local, or exempted village school district.
(3) "School premises" has the same meaning as in section 3313.77 of the Revised Code.
(B) A school or school district, a member of a school district board of education, or a school district or school employee is not liable in damages in a civil action for injury, death, or loss to person or property allegedly arising from the use of school premises under section 3313.75, 3313.76, 3313.77, or 3313.78 of the Revised Code, unless the injury, death, or loss to person or property results from willful or wanton misconduct by the school or school district, a member of the school district board of education, or an employee of the school district or of any school in the district.
This section does not eliminate, limit, or reduce any other immunity or defense that a school or school district, member of a school district board of education, or school district or school employee may be entitled to under Chapter 2744. or any other provision of the Revised Code or under the common law of this state.
Section 2.  That existing sections 3313.75, 3313.76, 3313.77, and 3313.78 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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