We see it all the time in the news and online: more and more promising young people are taking their own lives and families are suffering due to bullying at school and online.
With a wide range of life-long negative effects for both the bullied and the bully, bullying is finally being recognized as a profound and serious issue, and more emphasis than ever is being placed on the viciousness of bullying and how to combat physical and emotional harassment. In today’s age of technology, schools can now utilize data gathered from incident reports as an effective tool in the fight against bullying.
School districts and administrators are turning to data compiled through proper incident reporting to fully understand the level of bullying present in their schools. Data analysis and statistics are helping identify trends, such as when and where bullying is most likely to occur, enabling schools to determine what actions are necessary to reduce and prevent harassment among students.
To combat bullying and violence in their schools, the New Jersey Department of Education now requires school districts to report all incidents of violence, vandalism, weapons offenses, and substance offenses as well as instances such as harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Based on the data the NJDOE receives from the schools, anti-bullying grades are assigned to represent the safety and supportiveness of each school district. Since the conception of anti-bullying grades several years ago, one school district was able to decrease all reports of harassment, intimidation, and bullying by 16%, creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment for students.
Clearly, this New Jersey school district utilized incident report data and statistics as well as the anti-bullying grade to measure the level of bullying present within their district and drive the implementation of preventative measures. Unfortunately, some school districts are not properly reporting bullying incidents, don’t review bullying statistics on a recurring basis, or don’t even have a bullying reporting procedure in place. This is unfortunate, as today it’s easier than ever to automate, report, and maintain reported incidents and analyze the collected data.
Current technology simplifies data analysis and provides schools with a clearer view of the most important metrics. Reporting software like Omnigo’s allows segmentation of incidents based on time of occurrence, location, and who was involved. Access to this kind of data enables schools to gain deeper insight into the bullying landscape of their campuses and take proactive action to prevent bullying situations from ever arising.