Reported cases of bullying in schools have slightly decreased compared to the 2017-18 school year, according to an annual state survey aimed at tracking bullying incidents. 

At least two Indiana school districts face federal lawsuits claiming they didn’t do enough to protect students from bullying. Meanwhile, anti-bullying advocates in the state are pushing for stronger laws. 

IDOE: Bullying Data Reflects Improved Reporting Process

Aug 13, 2018

Data from schools across the state shows a sharp increase in bullying, but the numbers could be a bit misleading. That’s because the state recently changed how schools are required to collect and report the data.

House Committee Hears Testimony On Sex Education Bill

Feb 16, 2018
Jill Sheridan / IPB News

The House Education Committee heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would require schools to make sex education instructional materials available to parents and require parents to opt-in to instruction.

Monica Boyer, president of the Indiana Liberty Coalition, says the bill allows parents to protect their children from information about people who identify as transgender specifically or LGBTQ.

Barbara Brosher / Indiana Public Broadcasting

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz joined the conversation about how to make schools safer and more inclusive for all students when she attended a panel discussion last month on the subject at Bloomington High School South.

The Monroe County Community School Corporation recently updated its anti-discrimination policy to specifically prohibit discrimination or bullying based on a student’s gender identity.

There are no state regulations on anti-discrimination policies, so it’s left to individual districts, like MCCSC, to make those changes.

Thomas Ricker / https://www.flickr.com/photos/trixer/3531445744

A program in Central Indiana will teach anti-bullying techniques to more than 30,000 schoolchildren.

Social Health Association CEO Tonja Eagan says the “Step Up For Kindness” campaign stresses a number of skills useful in preventing or stopping bullying, including kindness, empathy, good character and helping someone if they’re being bullied.

National statistics suggest as many as 25-percent of kids are bullied at some point and 1-in-20 bullying victims drops out of school as a result.

The House Education Committee Monday will consider legislation aimed at curbing the spread of bullying in schools.  The bill’s author wants to get schools across Indiana on the same page.

Representative Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) says bullying has become an epidemic, with dropouts and absenteeism on the rise as a result.  Porter says one of the most important things his bill can do is create a definition.