Rhode Island schools have some of the lowest rates of reported bullying in the nation. That’s according to a report published by education advocacy nonprofit, Rhode Island Kid’s Count.
However, about 40 percent of middle school students say they have experienced bullying. Kid’s Count Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant says there’s still work to do.
“This is an area where Rhode Island is doing well- comparing states across the country. But that said there's a face behind all of these bullying victims and we need to just do our best to prevent bullying across the districts.”
State Education Commissioner Ken Wagner says the harsh tone of the presidential election makes the issue more important than ever.
“And we have to use that as a teachable moment after the election to help children understand how to model good behavior and to move through difficulty not by punching people in the face but by working through difficulty, with words and by engaging with each other."
The report highlights ways of reducing bullying, including the hiring of more social workers and teacher training. Burke Bryant says schools with high parental involvement have seen a decrease in reported incidents.