Lt. Governor and Attorney General Release 1st Report on Public School Anti-Bullying Compliance

Date Posted: Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Categories:  Department of Justice DOJ Press Releases Family Former Lt. Governor Matt Denn (2009-2014) Office of the Lieutenant Governor

WILMINGTON – Earlier today, Delaware Lt. Governor Matt Denn and Deputy Attorney General Patricia Dailey Lewis, Director – Family Division, presented “Unfinished Business: Implementation By Delaware Public Schools Of The State’s 2012 Anti-Bullying Laws.”

This report is the first issued since the General Assembly passed two new laws related to bullying in the state’s public schools in 2012 – Senate Bill 193 (cyberbullying) and House Bill 268 (reporting).

The anti-bullying effort, spearheaded jointly by Lt. Governor Matt Denn and Attorney General Beau Biden, aimed to improve on existing laws created to protect every student.

A few basic conclusions from the report:

  •  Public school districts, with few exceptions, have complied with the provisions of the state’s new cyberbullying laws and regulations.  The majority of charter schools are not yet in compliance.
  • There remains significant variation in the diligence with which schools make reports to the parents of victims and perpetrators in bullying incidents. 
  • The most prevalent reported causes of bullying in Delaware public schools are students’ physical appearance, student disability, and student gender identity. 

Held at Springer Middle, a school known for their impressive anti-bullying culture, the Lt. Governor and DAG Dailey Lewis were joined by Brandywine School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Holodick and Assistant Superintendent Dorrell Green, DSEA President Frederika Jenner, Department of Education School Climate and Discipline Associate John Sadowski, Roberta Gealt from the University of Delaware Center for Drug & Alcohol Studies, and representatives from Delaware PTA, Delaware Bullying Prevention Association, Prevent Child Abuse Delaware, Developmental Disabilities Council.

“”We hope that this report serves as a reminder to our schools of the importance of following the state’s new bullying laws,” said Lt. Governor Matt Denn.  “Bullying remains a real problem in our schools, and we need all of our schools to treat it seriously.”

“Children need safe, secure environments in schools where they can focus on learning,” said Patricia Dailey Lewis, who is the director of Attorney General Biden’s Family Division. “Bullying prevents kids from learning and can leave lifelong emotional scars. The legislation that Attorney General Biden and Lt. Gov. Denn developed in 2012 was designed to increase the reporting of bullying incidents so parents and educators can intervene. Schools are making significant progress, but there is still a lot more work ahead of us.”

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