JCPS: 115 calls made to new bullying tipline in six weeks - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS: 115 calls made to new bullying tipline in six weeks

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -– From teasing and name calling to more aggressive forms of bullying, Jefferson County Public Schools has been monitoring calls from its new bullying tipline for about six weeks.

When you dial 888-393-6780 you hear this recording before talking to a specialist: “We will take 10-15 minutes to ask you a series of questions then submit the information you provide to your organization so they can begin an investigation process as warranted.”

JCPS has received 115 calls since the anonymous tipline was launched in January.

Of that number, 52 calls have come from middle schools, 31 from elementary schools, and 25 from high schools, while seven calls have come from buses or the school information was not provided.

“Initially when we launched it, we had kind of a surge in calls," said Allison Martin, a spokeswoman for JCPS. "There were about 59 calls in two weeks. Since then that’s tapered off to be about 10 calls a week."

Superintendent Donna Hargens has lauded the tipline as another tool to ensure that students have a safe learning environment, free from discrimination and harassment.

Some JCPS parents tell WDRB News they think the tipline and the online reporting website are great tools.

“I was bullied, that's what brought me out of my shyness,” said Yuvanne Wilson.

“As a child I've experienced it. I think everyone does at some point,” said Tiffany Tudor.

Wilson says she often talks with her seventh grade son about bullying.

“My son talks about kids in class intimidating. That’s what he called it. I said no, that's called bullying,” Wilson said.

But what happens when the bullying happens outside the classroom?

“Some of the calls that come in, we're not able to address because the issues have taken place online or they've taken place off school property in the neighborhood,” Martin said.

Martin added that JCPS can only handle calls where the bullying occurred on school property. She said if it takes place on social media, the school principal will be notified but no action can be taken.

While she calls the tipline a success based off feedback from parents, some are saying the district needs to do a better job of reminding students they can remain anonymous.

“If they made it really confidential and really, really pressed to the kids that this is going to be something that nobody will know about,” Wilson said.

“Kids don't really want to present their faces normally when talking about bullying. I think doing that just causes more attention to the child and could make it worse,” Tudor said.

JCPS also says 25 percent of the calls have come from students. Parents have made 63 percent of the calls, while 12 percent stayed anonymous.

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