New Report On Bullying in Tennessee Schools Confirms 5,478 Cases

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A new report on the number of bullying cases in Tennessee’s public schools was released by the state’s Department of Education Thursday showing there were 7,555 cases reported during the 2012-13 school year.  According to the data submitted to the state’s Department of Education by school officials statewide 5,478, or 72.51 percent, of bullying reports submitted were confirmed after investigation.  

In Hamilton County, there were 345 bullying cases reported in 2012-2013, 255 bullying cases indicated after an investigation, 5 bullying cases involving race, color of national origin, 85 bullying cases involving sex or gender discrimination, 4 cases involving disability, 7 bulling cases involving the use of electronic technology, and no cases still pending.

The report was required under anti-bullying legislation which passed the General Assembly in 2012 sponsored by Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) and Representative Charles Curtiss (D-Sparta).  Of those bullying cases reported, 321 were based on race, color or national origin, 695 concerned sex or gender-based discrimination and 168 involved a student’s disability. 

“The numbers in this report are very alarming,” said Senator Ketron.  “Besides the obvious emotional harm bullying does to a student personally, it also hampers the kind of classroom atmosphere that promotes learning.  This is a systemic problem that we need to address not only in our schools, but in our homes, churches, community organizations, on the ball field and elsewhere.”

“This is so sad,” added Representative Curtiss.  “I am very pleased that this information is now coming forward so we can do something about it.”

According to the report 564, or 7.47 percent, of the bullying cases reported to the Department of Education were lodged via electronic technology. The legislation sponsored by Ketron and Curtiss also strengthened Tennessee’s law against bullying and cyberbullying through the use of electronic devices.  In addition, it required each Local Education Agency (LEA), at the beginning of the school year, to provide teachers and school counselors with a copy of the school’s bullying policy and its implementation process, information on prevention and strategies to address bullying and harassment when it happens, as well as relevant training on the issue. 

“Based on the information available to the Tennessee Department of Education, each local education agency (LEA) in Tennessee satisfied the requirements of the state bullying and harassment laws and submitted bullying compliance information,” the report said. 

“We are pleased that the report shows our local boards are now providing the information and training to help prevent bullying,” said Rep. Curtiss.  “We hope that we will see improvement that will be reflected by statistics in the next report as a result of these efforts.”

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.


57 Chattanooga State Global Scholars Reach Celebration Point

The Global Scholars Program, Chattanooga State’s academic honors program, provides students with the opportunity to gain a global perspective and awareness through a deeper and more complex, connected, and contextualized college experience. Global scholars are a part of a learning community comprised of students from all academic majors and programs. Students take classes together, ... (click for more)

GPS Holds Commencement 2017

The GPS Class of 2017 was lauded but also challenged at the Commencement ceremony held on Friday. Most of all, they were celebrated – by their families, their friends, and the faculty.  Head of School Dr. Autumn Graves acknowledged the students’ accomplishments and quoted from the girls’ chapel talks to illustrate the wisdom, thoughtfulness, thankfulness, and realizations ... (click for more)

Erlanger Expects $5 Million Profit Despite "Very Challenging" Budget

Erlanger Health System officials said they expect a $5 million profit for the upcoming fiscal year despite a "very challenging" budget. Britt Tabor, chief financial officer, said there will be continued top line growth, which has brought a 51 percent rise in patient revenue over the past five years. "This is organic growth. It's not from mergers or acquisitions," Mr. Tabor ... (click for more)

Public Defender Says Another Entity Needs To Continue Funding For New Mental Health Court

Public Defender Steve Smith said another entity needs to take over funding the new Mental Health Court. He said Criminal Court Judge Don Poole has agreed to oversee the court and will make a budget presentation to the County Commission on May 31. Mr. Smith told members of the Pachyderm Club on Monday that he has been funding the program through the services of Anna Protano ... (click for more)

Tennessee Business Expansions On Rise Across State

In 2016, Tennessee was named State of the Year for Economic Development by Southern Business & Development Magazine based on project totals and the variety of industries that invested in the state and created jobs. To a great extent, Bradley and Polk Counties have benefited from that investment.   From February 2015 to February 2016, Cleveland/Bradley County led the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Public Defender And The Mental Health Court

I am holding in my hand a list of the names of 50 very real people who cost the taxpayers of Hamilton County a combined $3,037.090 in incarceration charges before July 2015. These people live in our county and I dare say it is not completely their fault that they were put in the county jail. Each has a professionally-diagnosed mental illness and today, most regretfully, the County ... (click for more)