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Indiana Child Advocacy Groups Support Anti-Bullying Bill

PHOTO: Several child advocacy organizations in Indiana are throwing their support behind an anti-bullying House bill (HB 1423) - which calls on school corporations to help increase prevention, education and reporting of bullying incidents.
PHOTO: Several child advocacy organizations in Indiana are throwing their support behind an anti-bullying House bill (HB 1423) - which calls on school corporations to help increase prevention, education and reporting of bullying incidents.
February 18, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS - Bullying remains a problem for many schoolchildren across Indiana, and several child advocacy organizations in the state are throwing their support behind an anti-bullying House bill (HB 1423). It calls on school corporations to help increase prevention, education and reporting of bullying incidents.

Sandy Runkle DeLorme, director of programs at Prevent Child Abuse Indiana, said it's important that bullies learn about the harm they do so the behavior can stop.

"Male bulliers, one in four, when they grow up have issues with domestic violence on their domestic partners, so about 25 percent," she said. "The women, they find, may have a higher incidence of substantiated cases of child abuse."

Runkle DeLorme said the problems associated with bullying include increased anxiety and depression.

"If it's bad enough, you may see chronic absenteeism from students," she warned. "They may have to change schools or go ahead and not go to school anymore and stay at home."

The bill would require school corporations to educate pupils from first grade through high school about bullying, require districts to report the number and nature of bullying incidents, and set up disciplinary action for staff members who fail to take action.

The bill is to be heard today in the House education committee. Representative Greg Porter, who introduced the measure, said young victims of bullying are set to testify about how it has affected their lives. Other organizations supporting the measure include The Villages, the National Association of Social Workers Indiana Chapter, and MCCOY, Marion County Commission on Youth.

More information is at www.in.gov.

Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN