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Schools, Department Of Education Seek Anti-Bullying Measures

State superintendent Glenda Ritz holds a press conference in her office to announce the hiring of an outside group to conduct a review of the online ISTEP+ exam, whose validity has come into question after widespread disruptions halted testing on April 29 and April 30.

Parents and students across Indiana can expect to see greater anti-bullying efforts in schools this year as a result of legislation passed last session.

The legislation requires each public school to develop bullying prevention programs, report incidents of bullying to the Department of Education and provide training to teachers on the best ways to address bullying.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says her department has been providing resources for counselors, principals, superintendents and teachers as the school year gets underway.

“We’ve got sample lessons online for actual classroom use and all sorts of resources that are available and we’ve even designed those according to grade levels,” she says.

Ritz was at the State Fair Tuesday talking to people about the department’s bullying prevention programs.

Bloomfield resident Becky Duchacek spoke with Ritz about online resources for families to use, which she says she is happy to have. Duchacek says she has already been talking about bullying with her great niece, who just started kindergarten.

“Don’t be mean to nobody and don’t let anybody be mean to you,” she says. “You know, if there’s a problem, go tell the teacher; have the teacher help out. I just worry about her.”

Ritz says a new Department of Education division of outreach and school improvement will follow up with schools later in the year on how they have implemented anti-bullying lessons.

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