(COLUMBUS, IN) - The Bartholomew County School Corporation recently had students complete a survey to gauge bullying at their elementary and middle schools.
Melanie Champion said the survey is part of the domestic violence action team's efforts to increase tolerance in our community.
Champion says once the surveys are completed, the results are in to the corporation within two weeks.
That data is shared with each school's bullying prevention coordination committee to counteract bullying, identify those doing the bullying and ultimately, keep bullying from taking place.
Champion said this is the second consecutive year that the survey was done online.
She says going online increases the amount of data retrieved and helps to identify the bullies and victims, along with so-called "hot-spots" where bullying tends to take place.
She noted that the results of this survey fell in line, to a large degree, with national averages.
While glad that the results did not indicate bullying problems above the national average, champion indicated a bit of disappointment that the numbers were not lower, as schools in BCSC have taken part in bullying prevention efforts.
Champion says one specific area that needs to improve is the mindset of many young people to not speak up and try to help bullying victims.
She says there is a fear among students that speaking up for a victim could lead to them being targeted as well.
Cyber-bullying through social networking sites is also a growing problem.
Some of the bullying "hot spots" mentioned often include playgrounds, hallways and school busses.
Champion says each school works to counteract bullying by increasing teacher presence and taking away tools used by some students to bully others.
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