Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Indiana Releases First Statewide Report On School Bullying

Indiana’s first statewide report on bullying found more than 9,400 incidents at state public schools last year.

Indiana's state public schools reported more than 9,400 bullying incidents last year.

charamelody (Flickr)

Indiana's state public schools reported more than 9,400 bullying incidents last year.

Data collected by the Indiana Department of Education shows 44 percent of cases reported during the 2013-14 academic year were verbal and 21 percent physical. The rest involved written or electronic threats, as well as social relational issues.

Emma Donnan School, a takeover school operated by Charter Schools USA in Indianapolis, reported the most incidents at 128.

Eric Weddle of the Indianapolis Star reports that close to one-quarter of the 1,000 individual schools surveyed reported no bullying incidents:

Rep. Greg Porter, D-Indianapolis, author of the legislation, called the report a big step forward for Indiana’s anti-bullying initiatives.

“The whole point is to look at the education atmosphere of our children,” he said. “This is why we have the data, to give schools tools to address it.”

But Porter questioned why more than 240 schools, of the more than 1,000 individual schools in the data, reported no incidents.

When the legislation was debated, Porter said, there was concern some schools might not report to avoid “looking bad,” he said. That makes it difficult for meaningful comparisons among the schools.

Bullying is a common problem in Indiana schools – more so than most other states. The Centers for Disease Control ranks Indiana third in the nation for incidences of bullying on school property, with one in every four children experiencing bullying. IDOE figures say one in 20 children is so fearful of being bullied that he or she skips school.

These statistics have grabbed the attention of local and state officials, prompting passage of the state law last year requiring public schools to begin collecting data. The law offers a detailed and uniform definition of bullying for all schools to follow:

Overt, unwanted, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications, that create an objectively hostile school environment for targeted students that place them in reasonable fear or harm or affects their mental health or school performance.

The law also recommends reporting procedures and intervention policies, as well as guidelines to establish bullying prevention programs.

Anti-bullying training is now required for all school employees and volunteers. Training includes tutorials on how to spot signs of bullying and report such incidents to school administrators, who must then report those incidents to parents and submit an annual report to the state.


  • Facebook User

    Trying to combat bullying can be helped by teaching kids kindness and tolerance. Songs, like “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” on youtube can help:

  • Po’edMamaBear

    It’s funny how Noblesville Schools didn’t report ANY instances of bullying last school year, but yet they had one fairly large incident out there for EVERYONE to see, the fight in the bathroom between the two 7th & 8th grade boys. The 7th grader was constantly being bullied, just as my son has been, the parents reported it to the school and the school did NOTHING about it!! A kid, TWICE the size of my son, threatened my son, saying, “I could beat your ass!,” and “Meet me in the hall after class and we’ll handle this.” This same kid had been attempting to intimidate my son since school started. I was so proud of my son for standing up for himself…and no, he didn’t lady a single finger on this kid! Anywho, the Vice Principal, Mrs. Rardin, told me that she was handing out no discipline to this punk bully or to my son…which she had no grounds to discipline my child anyway… but this little punk got away with it!!!! I am on the process of transferring my son to online school from home, because these schools care not one iota for the ‘low-income’ or ‘learning disabled’ children. That VP is nothing but a fake, prejudice, ‘B—-’!

    • PO’edMamaBear

      I forgot to mention, I have personally reported MULTIPLE incidents of bullying to NEMS, and they couldn’t care less!

  • Lgb2013

    Where do u see what schools reported what?

  • Jadella

    I recently went through a bullying situation with my daughter at Wes Del Schools I spoke to the school on numerous occasions about what was going on and they did nothing there solution to the problem was to send a teacher following my daughter all day well guess what that didn’t work either because she was jumped and beat up at lunch I still find it very hard every day to send her to this school because these kids are so ruthless and mean they are still making fun of her for this was just in the guidance counselors office last week again and still nothing is being done. Sure the little girl that beat her up I pressed charges on because someone has to teach these kids a lesson I sure would love to see this school get their heads out of there rears and stop this.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »