GA school data shows bullying happens more on the school bus than at school

Friday, Jan. 31, 2020
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's really hard for parents taking their children to school and seeing them come home defeated.

National data shows 20 percent students are bullied and 13 percent say they've been called names and been made fun of 5 percent reported being pushed shoved or spit on.

It's the kind of call which will leave a parent feeling helpless.

“She called me when she got to the school bathroom crying,” Maloree Deckert said.

But it’s something Deckert says she hears quite often. Her 10-year-old daughter being bullied on the school bus.

“It shattered me,” Deckert said.

“Typically we don't see these things happening within our classrooms,” Michelle Sherman, assistant superintendent of Columbia County Schools, said. “That’s not a place where we usually see these things; it’s at recess, it’s on the bus, it’s at the bus stop.”

According to the Georgia Department of Education, 36.7 percent of bullying happened at school while nearly 50 percent happened on the school bus. These are only a percentage of the cases that have been reported.

As of today, 10 incidents in Columbia County schools have qualified as bullying under law.

The procedures for investigating bullying in Columbia and Richmond ounties on a bus are the same as in the class. First, the staff members are expected to quickly respond to the incident. After that, the bullying turns into an investigation by interviewing the alleged perpetrators, victims, and witnesses.

The last step is to notify parents of both the accused and the victim to get the problem fully resolved.

Parents like Decker hope action will soon take place.

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