Only on 12: Richmond Co. Schools announce 'anti-bullying action plan' after attack lands teen in ER

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, May 17, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Richmond County School safety officers say it is happening more and more. But when we went to check each school, you will not believe what we found about your complaints of bullying.

The school system doesn't keep them. Until now.

A vicious attack at Morgan Road Middle School sent a seventh grader to the hospital.

"It was a brutal assault," said Chief Pat Clayton with Richmond County Schools Public Safety. "We addressed it as such."

Two girls now face assault charges as the Richmond County School system takes a second look at its bullying policy.

"We're looking for a pattern of activity that creates fear," Clayton said.

But administrators haven't been keeping track of your complaints of bullying in schools.

"If no action is taken," said Dr. Carol Rountree, director of Student Services, "we have no guarantee that things will change."

That is especially after News 12 got our hands on not one, but two fights caught on camera. The second fight happened at Richmond Academy.

"So you're telling us that there is no formal way of tracking initial bullying complaints?" we asked Rountree.

"Exactly. There was not anything in place," she replied. "But we feel the need at this point to gather that kind of information."

This comes as the number of bullying cases making their way to tribunals increased from 22 to 28 last year.

"We've had a little bit of an uptick from last year," Clayton said. "What we are going to continue to do is look and see if there are any patterns at any particular schools."

The school is now crafting "an anti-bullying action plan." It is all thanks to cellphone video highlighting students in a less than glowing light.

"We should learn from the situations that have presented themselves," Rountree said.

Rountree says counselors and principals will meet this summer to draft a plan to keep track of your complaints. They hope to have it ready for each and every school next fall.


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