After reporting only 11 bullying incidents across all 89 of the Pasco County Schools this past year (article excerpt below), the Florida Department of Education stepped in to provide training for all school administrators. Given the higher number of reported incidents nationwide, Pasco’s numbers seem remarkably low. Many school districts across the US use paper and pencil forms as the sole source of student reports. Students simply don’t want to take the time to complete the form or fear retaliation from their peers if they are seen making a report in the school’s front office. Online reporting system like Sprigeo allow students to report from any device with an internet connect, while ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of the reporter by allowing for anonymous bully reporting. Over the past year Sprigeo has become the primary bully reporting system for schools in 21 states.
Pasco County administrators attended a Florida Department of Education training session Monday that will help the district better track bullying incidents in the future.
The district, which has 89 schools and about 67,000 students, came under scrutiny recently after it reported only 28 bullying incidents in all of 2011.
Districts vary in how and what they report, Pasco Schools spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli said. Distinguishing between a bullying precursor behavior and bullying can cause some discrepancies, she said.