ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A new law that went into effect on July 1, 2023, is hoping to curb bullying in the state of Indiana. The focus of the law is on the reporting aspect of bullying.
Schools are now required to notify parents within five days if their child is involved in an instance of bullying. That goes for the families of both the victim and the child accused of bullying.
The new law comes as bullying incidents reported statewide surpass pre-pandemic levels. According to an Indiana Department of Education report, instances of bullying went up about 7% last school year. There were increases in every category possible, including verbal, physical, and electronic.
WANE 15 reached out to local school districts to see what is being done to implement the new law. Many said only minor changes in policy needed to be changed.
Southwest Allen County Schools said it only needed to change minor verbiage to its policy. “Because most kids are used to reporting things that happen during the school day, I don’t know if the bullying policy is going to impact it positively or negatively. It does help administrators administrate the law and the rules a little bit easier. What it comes down to is we want all of our kids, it doesn’t matter what school we’re in to treat each other appropriately, and fairly, and to make sure we care about each other. If you don’t care for one another, leave each other alone. I think that’s what bullying comes down to. This just helps give structure for the administrator,” said Park Ginder, superintendent of SACS.
Fort Wayne Community Schools has a comprehensive bullying policy that was approved by the Board of School Trustees and supported by district leaders and our highly trained staff. With the passage of HB 1483, FWCS only needed to modify terminology in a single section of the current policy. Like state officials, we want to ensure our students have a safe learning environment every day.Fort Wayne Community Schools
The expectations for responding to incidents of bullying which are outlined in HB 1483 are reflective of our current practices.Northwest Allen County Schools
EACS parents of the targeted student and the alleged perpetrator are notified as soon as possible but well before the five days that are required by the new bill. Annually, we report discipline related bullying through the state report.East Allen County Schools