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.


UT Professor Develops App For Patients Who Can't Speak

Patients who are unable to communicate with their health care providers are now able to better verbalize their needs, thanks to a new app developed by Rebecca Koszalinski, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Speak for Myself allows intubated and voiceless patients to communicate pain, fear, anxiety, loneliness and toileting requests ... (click for more)

AT&T Donates $5,000 To CSCC

AT&T announced a $5,000 contribution to the Cleveland State Community College to support non-traditional, underserved students preparing for high-skill jobs requiring technology-based skills in Tennessee community colleges.  The donation will fund scholarships to help students begin a path toward completing their college degrees. The contribution was presented on Tuesday ... (click for more)

Boyd Questions Effectiveness Of Read 20 Program; Coppinger Defends It

County Commissioner Tim Boyd said he questions the effectiveness of the Read 20 pre-K literacy program and wants the director to come before the County Commission to answer questions.   County Mayor Jim Coppinger defended the program, noting that it was the creation of former County Mayor Claude Ramsey.   Commissioner Boyd said the low literacy level hearing ... (click for more)

Corker Says Without Budget Reform, Washington Is “Laying A Huge Burden On Future Generations”

In remarks on the Senate floor  on Wednesday , Senator Bob Corker joined a number of colleagues to discuss the broken federal budget process.   “The processes that we have in place make it impossible for us to really deal with our country’s fiscal issues,” said Senator Corker. “Today is the perfect example of that: we pass a continuing resolution ... (click for more)

Jimmy Templeton Will Be Missed At The City Yards

If only we had known about the Chattanooga City Council's planned retirement send off for Jimmy Templeton of Public Works, the room would have been filled to overflowing with his friends and admirers - including me.   I have had the honor of knowing and working with Jimmy since the 1970's (and also knew his father "Big Jim").  Jimmy was a strong right hand for whoever ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Knobfather & Me

I’ve seen some beautiful things in my life. I’ve eaten dinner inside the Eiffel Tower with the city of Paris all aglitter below. I’ve been sprayed by champagne in the Dallas Cowboys’ dressing room after they won the Super Bowl. I’ve stood both at the top and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I’ve snorkeled in the Great Exuma islands, learned to snow ski in the Austrian Alps, and ... (click for more)