Delaware Schools Required To Change Bullying Policies - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Schools Required To Change Bullying Policies

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Cyber bullying is becoming a growing problem among children and teens.

That's why Leighann Garrison of Camden says she tries to protect her 12-year old son.  

"When my son was getting bullied in elementary school, I didn't call the parents. I didn't go to the teacher. I went in to this kids lunch (at school). I did this three different times. I went right to the kid," said Garrison.

A statewide cyber bullying policy is now in effect. The effort was led by Attorney General Beau Biden and Lt. Gov. Matt Denn. Schools in Delaware are now required to add language regarding cyber bullying to its existing bullying policy.


Part of the law states that schools must treat cyber bullying the same as bullying.
Schools must also treat it as threatening, intimidating or take into account if it limits a students participation in school.


Also, cyber bullying does not have to happen in school or through the use of school computers.
"We're not going out into the community and looking for situations. We want to be empowered to deal with the situations as they impact students in the school environment," said Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, Superintendent of the Caesar Rodney School District.
Another part of the law states schools must report all bullying incidents within five days to the Board of Education, regardless if the information can be validated.


"Section 6, Item B does not say if a student's name will be reported even though the claim cannot be substantiated and the five day time limit is unreasonable. Item XII does not say at what point a parent will be notified or state what recourse parents have if they have not been notified. Students are entitled to due process and parents are their best advocates," said Cheryl Precourt, Caesar Rodney school board member.


Some parents say monitoring a child's online behavior shouldn't completely be the schools responsibility.


"It places too much responsibility on schools to monitor students actions outside of school.

When bullying crosses over into the school, that's when leaders should get involved," said Alicia Porter of Camden.


The law allows the Attorney General's Office to defend schools that face a legal challenge after implementing a new policy.


Schools that refuse won't be protected.


"I don't know how else they can fix it to protect themselves. I just think it takes a village," said Garrison.


Parents are invited to the next meeting in the Caesar Rodney School District on May 21. The meeting will be held at Charlton School at 7 p.m.

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