In honor of National Bullying Prevention Month, our entire October newsletter is dedicated to highlighting issues around bullying. We’ll highlight recent news about bullying prevention, customer best practices, and innovative tactics and useful tips.
However, we wanted to give you a preview. A recent article from the San Diego Union Tribune reported that 62 percent of districts nationwide reported zero incidents of bullying or harassment on the basis of race, sex or disability in 2013-14. This may sound like a good thing, but it’s not what it seems.
Erin Prangley, the Associate Director for Public Policy for the American Association of University Women, was concerned by the many zeroes. High reporting numbers do not necessarily mean there are higher occurrences of bullying. It reflects a positive school culture where students are encouraged to report concerns.
The article lists reasons for this under-reporting of bullying:
- Faculty and staff may lack the training needed to identify bullying, handle the situation and report it to a higher level.
- Students may not be comfortable reporting harassment or bullying, or they may not be confident their claims will be taken seriously.
- There is miscommunication between schools and central-office administrators, who are responsible for reporting school data to outside entities.
Any of these reasons are unacceptable in our book. With PublicSchoolWORKS’ Student Bullying & Violence Prevention Program (SBVPP), both staff and students are trained to identify and report bullying. Staff, students and even parents have access to online and telephone hotlines where they can anonymously report incidents of bullying. And they are constantly encouraged to utilize these resources via posters, hand-outs, stickers and more. Once a report is submitted, PublicSchoolWORKS’ system automatically emails key administrators at the school and district level to review and investigate the report. When the district has to complete annual reporting to the state or federal government, they can generate a comprehensive report of all submitted bullying reports.
Want to learn more about the SBVPP and how your district can benefit from this tool? Contact us today.