Delaware expands reporting of bullying incidents, eyes uniform cyberbullying policy

With the signing of Delaware’s new bully reporting law (excerpt below),  schools will be required to report all incidents to the state. New Jersey has a similar mandate in place as a result of Governor Christie’s legislation passed two years ago. The challenge with all new reporting mandates is creating an efficient system for managing bullying reports that will allow current school district staff to manage the reporting process. Many states still lack an online reporting system that allows students and staff to report bullying. Relying on paper and pencil bully reporting forms creates a mound of paperwork to sift through and collate for delivery to the state department of education. Although the new legislation mentions mandating additional reporting, the new law doesn’t include additional funding for school district staff who will manage the reporting process. The end result becomes a mandate that school districts either scramble to comply with or fail to complete.

Article excerpt

DOVER, Del. — State officials are strengthening efforts to crack down on bullying and cyberbullying of Delaware school students.

Gov. Jack Markell is signing a law that expands reporting requirements for incidents of school bullying.

Under existing law, school districts must report substantiated cases of bullying to the state Department of Education. The new law requires reporting all incidents of bullying, regardless of whether they are substantiated by local officials.

Another bill to be signed by Markell on Friday calls for a uniform statewide policy on cyberbullying to be adopted by all public schools.

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