Vigo Co. schools new policy aimed at fighting bullying

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) Indiana schools are taking a hard stance on bullying. You may remember Indiana’s legislature passing new bullying laws last year. Before this school year can get underway changes have to be made.

In 2011, the Center Disease for Control did a survey of school and cyber bullying. The Hoosier state ranked 3rd out of 50 states for instances of bullying. A staggering ranking that Vigo County schools aim to change.

“We need to ensure that we do all we can policy wise, regulation wise, training staff wise and working with students to make sure we put a stop to it as much as possible,” Vigo schools superintendent Danny Tanoos said.

Monday’s school board meeting was the first step to a change in culture. When the bullying study came out in 2011, 1 in 3 bullied Hoosier students actually reported to the proper authorities. That’s where school officials feel they can influence a change.

“If there’s an incident reported on bullying the administrators involved have 5 days to report that back to the parents and the people involved,” Rick Stevens, Vigo County’s assistant of student services said.

The timeline is meant to keep both students and administrators accountable. Each incident is separately investigated to make sure it’s actually bullying.

“Some people think of bullying when they report it, but it may be a student conflict, it may be a relationship that went south you know as far as personal relationships,” Stevens.

“It may not be bullying it has to be a repeated act over a period of time.”

“We take bullying very serious in Vigo County,” Stevens said. “We have zero tolerance for it. When it does happen we’ll investigate, taken action, and notify the people it’s appropriate to notify. “

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