School board examines bullying data

FLINT TWP. — Bullying behavior is not bad in Carman-Ainsworth Schools but data shows that it has not been totally routed by policies and programs to discourage it.

Superintendent Steve Tunnicliff presented data to the school board last week about the number of bullying incidents last school year, based on detailed records kept of all reported incidents.

With a total enrollment of about 4,200 students, there were a total of 27 reported incidents involving 35 students. Most incidents were in the ninth grade which had nine incidents followed by the tenth grade with five incidents, Tunnicliff reported.

There were no reported incidents among kindergartners, first-graders or seniors. Two incidents occurred in the second grade, four in the third grade, two each in the fifth and sixth grades, four in the seventh grade, three in the eighth grade and one in the eleventh grade.

A further breakdown of the data found that of 8 total incidents at the elementary level, two each occurred at Dillon and Dye elementaries involving at total of eleven students and none occurred at Rankin and Randels Elementary. One resulted in an out-of-school-suspension and the rest were handled by detention or other interventions.

At the middle school, a total of eight incidents involved nine students. None resulted in out-of-school suspensions.

Of the 11 incidents involving 15 students at the high school, one out-ofschool suspension and eight in-school suspensions resulted.

Tunnicliff credited varying antibullying programs with keeping the numbers down.

Proactive measures taken to curb bullying behavior include building and gradelevel antibullying lessons, displays of posters and other antibullying materials, an anonymous bullying reporting system, and Empathy for All, an antibullying group started about two years ago by students at the high school that is being considered for districtwide implementation.

Discipline ranged from discussions about the district’s antibullying policy or out-of-school suspensions. Most — 13 — were handled with in-school suspensions.

Tunnicliff said the good thing about having a bullying policy is that it raises awareness but the down side is that too many disagreements or differences tend to get labeled as bullying when they are not.

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