YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) - Nearly every school district in the state has a program in place to prevent bullying. Every year, those program administrators look for new ways to solve the problem. But not every district is in compliance with reporting those incidents.
Each district must submit a report about those efforts to address bullying and many schools are seeing those number decrease.
State law requires schools post the numbers of bullying reports they get online. However, WKBN discovered that not all schools are in compliance.
Argia Allaby said her daughter, Joann, has been bullied for years.
"She's had problems since we moved here. We've been in Boardman for about five years."
Allaby didn't know the school is required to report bullying to the public or if her daughter's case is included in those numbers.
"They're not giving me other information other than, 'I'll talk to the little girl that's doing it,' or whatever the case may be," Allaby said.
Boardman Schools do report bullying statistics, but those numbers have changed over the years.
"Early reporting. We first started reporting any incident of harassment or student disagreement, and that's not the definition of bullying," Superintendent Tim Saxton said.
The district also has several programs in place to keep bullying at a minimum.
"We have a common philosophy that we break down for our kids," said Boardman Center Intermediate School Principal Randy Ebie. "Looking for the best in others, choosing positive role models, treating others in the way you want to be treated."
Boardman is one of the few schools in the area that displays bullying statistics in an easy-to-find location. Several don't have the information at all.
Until recently, Youngstown City Schools did not report bullying on its website.
"We are putting them on now but prior to the last couple of weeks, we didn't," said district spokesperson Denise Dick. "We have this year's on so far."
In Youngstown, there is more of a focus on prevention than ever before.
“Since last year, we’ve changed the bullying form. We have culture and climate teams, so things are a lot different now,” Dick said.
As far as Allaby is concerned, she said she's not sure that knowing bullying statistics would help. She said her daughter sometimes dreads what will happen on the bus or in class.
"I tend to make her go to school and that sounds bad because you shouldn't make your kid, but I make her and this time of year, she just gives up."
More than half of the 42 local school districts had out-of-date records or no bullying reports online at all:
- Austintown Local School District
- Beaver Local School District
- Boardman Local Schools
- Bristol Local School District
- Brookfield Local Schools
- Canfield Local Schools
- Champion Local Schools
- East Palestine City School District
- Jackson Milton Local School District
- LaBrae Local School District
- Lakeview Local Schools
- Leetonia Exempted Village School District
- Lisbon Exempted Village Schools (jr/sr. high school and elementary school)
- Lordstown Schools
- Springfield Local School District
- Niles City Schools
- United Local Schools
- Youngstown City Schools
*While the information was online for the above districts, on some of the district's websites, it was hard to find and navigate.
- Joseph Badger Schools
- Southern Local School District
- Struthers City School District
- Warren City Schools
No summary report:
- Bloomfield-Mespo Local School District
- Campbell City Schools
- Columbiana Exempted Village Schools
- Crestview Local School District (areas for building reports are empty)
- East Liverpool City Schools (a bully tipline is available, but no report)
- Girard City Schools (no bullying information)
- Howland Local Schools (a bullying form is available, but no report)
- Hubbard Exempted Village School District (bullying forms are available, but no report)
- Liberty Local Schools (a reporting form is available, but no report)
- Lowellville School District (information and Parent Advisory Committee, but no reports)
- Poland Local Schools
- Sebring Local Schools
- South Range Local School District
- Salem City Schools
- Wellsville Local Schools
- Maplewood Schools (information on bullying, but no information or reports)
- Newton Falls Exempted Village Schools
- Weathersfield Public Schools
- West Branch Local Schools (form and information available, but no report)
- Western Reserve Local Schools
These details are as of April 27, 2018.
Several schools with missing information were contacted and the superintendents said it was a simple mistake. For example, Niles Superintendent Ann Marie Thigpen said the information was accidentally dropped when the district redid its website. Niles' bullying information is now online.