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Bullying Data Will Improve Prevention Efforts, Connecticut Says

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Connecticut schools documented 1,431 cases of bullying last year, the first the state required them to track the data, according to a report by the Connecticut Post.

The state's figures, which include a local breakdown, track every reported act of bullying that was investigated by a school in the 2012-13 school year. State officials quoted in the Post story said rates may very somewhat because schools and districts define bullying differently.

The new report was required under a state law:

"Under the law, which was passed in 2011, bullying complaints have to be investigated and documented. School employees must report bullying and share findings with parents of the bully and victim. School districts must have a school climate coordinator on staff and establish safe school climate committees ... the incidents include both in-school bullying and outside bullying that impacts the school day, including bullying through the use of the Internet or other electronic devices."

This presentation, posted on the Connecticut State Department of Education's website, details the law further. It also requires that school climate plans prohibit retaliation against those who report or investigate bullying, accept anonymous reports, and work to protect the "targeted student" from future bullying.

State officials said analyzing the data on a state and local level will help schools identify good prevention practices and find areas that need added attention.

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