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Real Deal: Bullying Numbers
ALBANY -- It seems like every week, CBS6 is bringing you a new story about bullying in our local schools. From fight clubs to hallway hecklers to horrible YouTube videos, there is no question that bullying is still a major issue for most districts. All schools are now required to file reports on bullying and discrimination and for the first time, were seeing the numbers in black and white.
Over the past several months, CBS6 has spoken with a number of students, in a number of different school districts who say they were bullied so badly they stopped going to school. She grabbed me by the back of my hair and pulled me down to the groundright after the fight, the girl went home and posted video of it all over facebook saying, I beat her a-s-s and a bunch of other kids were saying you go girl it was so embarrassing, Jane, a Middle Schooler at Glens Falls told CBS6. My trumpet fell, so I picked it up and that's when she ran up to me and pulled me and started beating me, Tianna, a middle school student in Schenectady told CBS6. And Hope, a 7th grader at Mont Pleasant School recently stood up at a Schenctady school board meeting to talk about a game some of the boys play in her school where they slap girls backsides and chests, I personally have been assaulted 4 times in one year in this district, she said.
The students parents say theyve spoke with school administrators dozens of times but still feel as though their kids are in danger and not enough is being done about. All school districts are now required to self-report all incidents regarding discrimination and harassment. CBS6 has obtained these new statistics for some of the schools weve recently done bullying stories about. Below is a breakdown of the incidents:
Albany City Schools:
Total number of incidents occurring on school property or at school-sponsored functions: 171
Total number of incidents involving intimidation, abuse or verbal threats: 130
Total number of incidents involving physical contact: 31
Total number of incidents occurring on school property or at school-sponsored functions: 131
Total number of incidents involving intimidation, abuse or verbal threats: 101
Total number of incidents involving physical contact: 30
Glens Falls Schools:
Total number of incidents occurring on school property or at school-sponsored functions: 59
Total number of incidents involving intimidation, abuse or verbal threats: 45
Total number of incidents involving physical contact: 14
Schenectady City Schools:
Total number of incidents occurring on school property or at school-sponsored functions: 103
Administrators at these schools have told CBS6 on several occasions that student safety is the #1 priority but none of them would say how last years numbers compare to whats being calculated so far, this school year.
These type of situations just won't be tolerated and if our students don't understand that, we will help them understand that because that's just not how we do business it's not what we do in Albany, says Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, the Superintendent of the Albany City School District. As a parent, you want to see things change and you want to see them change right away, we as school officials we're bound by certain rules and regulations that are strict so often times there are significant efforts going on behind the scenes that we're not allowed to talk about, adds Skye Heritage of the Glens Falls School District.
The punishments range from in-school suspension to expulsion to criminal charges but sometimes that doesnt even get the bullying to stop. Schenectady City Schools was only able to provide CBS6 with the total number of bullying incidents last year but we know from recent events, it appears the problems in that district arent getting better. We really need to step back and re-think how it is that we're responding to these kids and the environment from which they're coming from and help them differently as opposed to a notion of get a bigger stick--that's not going to help any of us end up in a better place 5 years from now, says Dr. Laurence Spring, the Superintendent of Schenectady Schools.
Its an on-going issue that schools, parents, and police are trying to find the best way to combat and now, at least they have a benchmark.