KDE Bullying Information

Published: 4/16/2013 1:30 PM

 

 
 

We provide these resources to parents and encourage them to review the resources, to contact school and district leadership to discuss any issues and to share the resources with school and district leadership. We encourage parents to contact law enforcement directly if they believe a threat to their student’s safety is not being addressed by school staff. We also offer to contact school and district leadership on the parents’ behalf, provide notice of the report of bullying and the contact information for the parents to school and district leadership, and request the district contact the parents to discuss and address any bullying issues. We also provide legal aid resources, listed by county at http://www.kybar.org/418, and contact information for Children's Law Center, a non-profit organization in Kentucky which provides legal representation and guidance to families regarding school issues, so parents can access any free legal representation which may be available to them and helpful in resolving any issues. We also tell parents to contact law enforcement and school leadership immediately if the parents believe there is an imminent threat to their student’s or other students’ safety. Finally, we recommend parents/inquirers contact the Kentucky Center for School Safety to access any additionally available information and resources regarding bullying.
 
Though teasing, taunting and bullying are unfortunately all too common in our schools today, all families and all students deserve equal support and protection from those in positions of leadership in our schools. Anything less from our school leaders causes both the parent and child to lose faith in the public school system, and could cause devastating emotional and psychological impacts upon vulnerable youth.  Project Speak Out is a recent effort to educate the public about the reality of bullying and its effects. Project Speak Out has created a video to further these efforts. Project Speak Out is partially sponsored by the non-profit group Lexington Fairness. A description of Project Speak Out and the video can be found in the Lexington Herald Leader news article.
 
KRS 158.6451 provides: “Schools shall reduce physical and mental health barriers to learning.” Any bullying for any reason by other students is covered by the 2008 Kentucky General Assembly’s “Golden Rule Bill” or “Bullying Bill”. This law requires certain actions by school administrators when bullying takes place. You may also access the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) Bullying website
 
If the school officials are not reporting bullying to the local county attorney or law enforcement agency, as required by KRS 158.156, then the parent may want to report these allegations directly to the county attorney, Kentucky State Police or local law enforcement agency. We would encourage the parents to work with the local county attorney, law enforcement and your local school staff to ensure they are fully informed regarding all the avenues of harassment, intimidation, terroristic threatening and/or bullying which are being utilized by the offending student (e.g., threats via the Internet, threats at school). Schools have the authority to remove the students from the school setting if those students are found to present a threat to the welfare or safety of other students or the staff per KRS 158.150. You may also want to request the school ensure that the targeted student and the aggressive student are not in proximity to one another at any time during the school day via changes to any class schedules or room assignments. You may want to contact the Kentucky Center for School Safety (KCSS) at 877-805-4277 to see if there are any other resources available to the parents. The U.S. Department of Education (USED) has released a free, two-part training toolkit designed to reduce incidents of bullying, for use by classroom teachers and educators. The toolkit itself can be reached directly here.
 
Commissioner of KDE's email to school superintendents on October 26, 2010 included a letter from the Office of Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education regarding bullying and harrassment
 
 
Tina Drury
Office of Guiding Support Services/General Counsel
500 Mero Street, 1st Floor CPT
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-4474
Fax (502) 564-9321