Report Shows Fewer Incidents of Bullying in Del. Schools - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Report Shows Fewer Incidents of Bullying in Del. Schools

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DOVER, Del. – A report released Friday by Delaware's attorney general shows schools are complying with recent changes to bullying statutes, and there's less bullying in public schools as a result.

This is the second annual report that analyzes how the Department of Education, school districts and charter schools have implemented the 2012 amendments to the state's statutes.

Those revisions included two laws, based on bills drafted by then-Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and then-Attorney General Beau Biden after a series of public hearings on the subject of school bullying. Those bills are described at the bottom of this article.

The most recent bullying report found that the total number of substantiated, reported incidents decreased by 11 percent between 2013 and 2014, although the validity of this statistic is questionable due to unusually large reductions in substantiated incidents in some school districts.

As for unsubstantiated incidents of bullying, more dramatic changes raised questions about whether some districts have made systemic changes in the recording or reporting of alleged bullying.

The report also found that the state's efforts to require schools to communicate with parents about bullying incidents are showing success, but that that the state's evidence-gathering practices regarding bullying are in need of reform.

Senate Bill 193 required the Delaware Department of Education to instate a uniform cyberbullying policy, based on a model prepared by the Delaware Department of Justice.

House Bill 268 made a number of changes to the state's bullying law, including requiring schools to report incidents of bullying to the state's Department of Education and requiring the department to randomly audit schools to ensure this is being done.

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