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.


Lee Donates Organ Console To St. Luke’s

Lee University hasy donated an organ console to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Cleveland. Representatives of the local school, the church, and Barger & Nix Organs gathered to oversee the transfer of the console.  “This is a wonderful gift,” said Tammy Randolph, senior warden of St. Luke’s Vestry. “Lee University has always been a wonderful neighbor, and we are so blessed ... (click for more)

Bradley County Schools Sees Increase In ACT Scores

Dr. Linda Cash, director of Schools for Bradley County, announces that the 2016 Graduating Class ACT Report reveals the highest ACT Composite Score the system has seen in the past five years. Dr. Cash stated that increasing ACT scores was, and still is, part of the district’s strategic plan and that she is excited to see improvement in the first year of this plan. ... (click for more)

Jury Awards 25 City Police Personnel Total Of $562,000 On Claims That Pay Plan Was Not Followed

A Chancery Court jury on Wednesday gave a verdict totaling $562,000 for 25 city police personnel who filed suit almost five years ago alleging that the city never lived up to terms of a 2010 pay plan. Attorney Stevie Phillips, who tried the case along with Janie Parks Varnell, said, "The jury awarded each officer what we had asked for to the penny." She stated, "These 25 members ... (click for more)

TDEC Defends Its Operation Of Septic Permit Office In Bradley County; Backs Hank Thompson

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) defended the operation of its septic permit office in Bradley County, including the work of manager Hank Thompson. The Bradley County Commission is studying whether to take over the operation of the office, saying there have been a number of complaints against Mr. Thompson and that he recently kicked Commissioner ... (click for more)

Alexander Should Do Something About The Affordable Health Care Act Price Increase - And Response (3)

Re:  Alexander's remarks about Tennesseans not affording "Affordable Health Care Act" prices Mr. Alexander,  Your message stated, Tennesseans can't afford a 44 percent to 62 percent increase in the Affordable Care prices.  I simply ask, as Senate Health Committee chairman, why don't you do something about it?  Don't tell us something most know already.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 40 Questions About ‘Blue Bags’

No. 1 – Did you know that one in every five of the 42,000 children in the Hamilton County school district is what the experts call “food deprived?” No. 2 – Can you get your arms around the fact that a huge percentage of those 8,400 children get little, if nothing, to eat from Friday at lunch until they return to our schools on Monday? No. 3 -- Did you know that you – just ... (click for more)