State will track school bullying trends

Mass. state officials are close to passing a bill that would track incidents of bullying in the state's schools. Photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
Massachusetts state officials are close to passing a bill that would track incidents of bullying in the state’s schools. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

To identify trends in bullying, the Massachusetts House today is expected to pass legislation that creates a statewide data reporting system.

Four years after passing an anti-bullying law, legislators believe a reporting mechanism on bullying incidents will allow them and educators to better identity trends and allocate resources.

The data would be culled by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on an annual basis in a report submitted to the Legislature.

“Each plan shall recognize that certain students may be more vulnerable to become targets of bullying, harassment, or teasing based on actual or perceived differentiating characteristics including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics,” the bill states.

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