Bullying in Delaware: What is real and what isn’t?

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn came out with a 2015 report on bullying a few weeks ago.  While he noted a decrease in the amount of bullying substantiated incidents, he also found there to be such a huge decrease that the question of reported incidents is suspect.  Basically, he is stating schools aren’t reporting the reality on the ground.

In looking at the 2013-2014 Annual Bullying Report, as seen below, there are seven charter schools in Delaware with NO substantiated bullying reports.  Of particular interest are two out of the three charter schools that belong to the Red Clay Consolidated School District.  Red Clay authorizes and monitors these charters, and the two charters in this district with no substantiated bullying incidents, Charter School of Wilmington and Delaware Military Academy, do not update their websites with minutes of their board meetings as well.

Once again, in 2012-2013, 8 charters reported NO substantiated bullying incidents.

Out of the local school districts, the following had the biggest decreases between 2012-2013 and 2013-2014:

Appoquinimink: down 67%

Christina: down 42%

Colonial: down 15%

Indian River: down 36%

Lake Forest: down 68%

Laurel: down 22%

New Castle County Vo-Tech: down 22%

But where this gets really interesting is when you take a look at the percentages compared to the entire student body for each district or charter of reported bullying incidents (SBI) in comparison to offensive touching of a student (OTS) and fighting/disorderly conduct (FDC) reports:

Academy of Dover: .64% for SBI, 0% for OTS, .32% for FDC

Appoquinimink: .25% for SBI, 2.1% for OTS, .72% for FDC

Brandyine: .73% for SBI, 5.4% for OTS, 2.2% for FDC

Caesar Rodney: .51% for SBI, 1.0% for OTS, 1.7% for FDC

Campus Community: 2.2% for SBI, 7.7% for OTS, .49% for FDC

Cape Henlopen: .26% for SBI, .20% for OTS, .85% for FDC

Capital: .38% for SBI, 1.1% for OTS, 1.9% for FDC

*Charter School of Wilmington: 0% (970) (School Code Parameter is Missing A Value)

Christina: .23% for SBI, 4.6% for OTS, 4.3% for FDC

Colonial: .37% for SBI, .40% for OTS, .70% for FDC

Delaware Academy of PSS: 0% for SBI, .33% for OTS, 2.1% for FDC

*Delaware College Prep: 4.5% (218) (School Code Parameter is Missing A Value)

*Delaware Military Academy: 0% (568) (School Code Parameter is Missing A Value)

Delmar: .44% for SBI,  .14% for OTS, .16% for FDC

East Side: 1.7% for SBI, 1.5% for OTS, 8.2% for FDC

Family Foundations: .61% for SBI, 1.5% for OTS,  5.1% for FDC

Gateway Lab: 3.8% for SBI, 11.5% for OTS, 4.8% for FDC

Indian River: .26% for SBI, .79% for OTS, .88% for FDC

Kuumba Academy: 0% for SBI, 2.0% for OTS, 2.9% for FDC

Las Americas Aspiras Academy: 0% for SBI, 0% for OTS, 0% for FDC

Lake Forest: .32% for SBI, .48% for OTS, .95% for FDC

Laurel: .84% for SBI, 88% for OTS, . for FDC 2135, 2.6% for FDC

Milford: .62% for SBI, 1.9% for OTS, 1.3% for FDC

MOT: 1.0% for SBI, 0% for OTS, 0% for FDC

Moyer Academy: 0% for SBI, 2.2% for OTS, 17.2% for FDC

Newark Charter: .17% for SBI, .39% for OTS, .11% for FDC

New Castle County Vo-Tech: .15% for SBI, . for OTS, . for FDC

Odyssey: 0% for SBI, .71% for OTS, .14% for FDC

Polytech: .17% for SBI, .17% for OTS, .09% for FDC

Positive Outcomes: 1.7% for SBI, 4.2% for OTS, 1.7% for FDC

Prestige Academy: 5.6% for SBI, 10.1% for OTS, 23.3% for FDC

Providence Creek:  1.1% for SBI,  5.9% for OTS, .28% for FDC

Reach Academy For Girls: .85% for SBI, .85% for OTS, 1.3% for FDC

Red Clay: .80% for SBI, 2.4% or OTS, .23% for FDC

Seaford: .51% for SBI, 1.3% for OTS, 2.8% for FDC

Smryna: .34% for SBI, .68% for OTS, .84% for FDC

Sussex Academy: .24% for SBI, .48% for OTS, 0% for FDC

Sussex Tech: .13% for SBI, .26% for OTS, .07% for FDC

Thomas Edison: .94% for SBI, .13% for OTS, 1.2% for FDC

Woodbridge: .43% for SBI, 1.1% for OTS, 1.2% for FDC

STATEWIDE AVERAGE Substantiated Bullying Reports: .47%

STATEWIDE AVERAGE Alleged Bullying Reports: 1.2%

STATEWIDE AVERAGE Offensive Touching: 2.0%

STATEWIDE AVERAGE Fighting/Disorderly Conduct: 1.9%

While this may seem like very odd data, it tells us many things.  About half the schools report fighting as fighting, while the other half reports it as offensive touching.  So which is it, and why is it not uniform across all schools in Delaware?  Both are reportable offenses in Delaware.  And how many schools aren’t reporting anything?  It sounds like something needs to be put in place to hold these schools in check.  Unfortunately, relying on the Delaware DOE to accurately convey data to the general public is a lesson in futility.  But the schools have a responsibility in this as well.  Parents need to know which schools are safe for their children, and this data is underrepresented and does not give a clear picture.  To be continued I’m sure…











Published by

Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

8 thoughts on “Bullying in Delaware: What is real and what isn’t?”

  1. I find it incredibly ironic that Matt Denn is following in the footsteps of his buddy, Markell by entrusting Mark Murphy’s leadership at the DOE to collect and interpret data on bullying in Delaware schools. Markell, Denn at Lt. Governor and Murphy are some of the biggest bullies in all of Delaware! Combined they have inflicted more psychological damage to Delaware’s children, communities, parents, teachers and ALL Delaware employees than anyone else in the state.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, I think it will be Denn who makes a lot of this transparent. I’ve seen him enough at the IEP Task Force, and he isn’t afraid to go toe to toe with the DOE. But it does start with the schools as well. I think ALL parents who suspect or know their child has been bullied need to see a copy of their child’s e-school report. As well, if you know your child has been disciplined for fighting or “offensive touching”, I would request to see a copy of that as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kevin, you can’t “see” it if the write up/ referral from a teacher was never processed through the system. You will never know unless it is reported by the administration. Too many past problems with the NAACP has many school districts very skiddish about filed reports. There is as much work needed in discipline reporting as there is straightening out reform issues.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. And that, hopeforourstudents, is the elephant in the room. OCR brought changes to what behaviors are unacceptable, and how they are identified, classified, and consequenced.
          Too many referrals un a certain area, for example, late to class, or skipping class, then we STOP writing referrals for those things altogether. A student receives multiple referrals on one day, only the most serious offense is consequenced.
          That’s how we improve student behavior/ reduce referrals.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. There are so many things at play when you are dealing with personalities, lifestyles, gender, parent reactions to reprimands, etc. You can not penalize a school if they have 42 write up for African Americans and 10 white students when on two African American students are responsible for all 42 write ups! Meanwhile, 10 different white students make up the 10 referrals. Yes, each referral counts as separate; doesn’t matter that it is the same child.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. You can be sure, that like so many other statistics in education, is a sham. Bullying is alive and well but is regularly denied by those in power after it is reported. “Unsubstantiated”, “she was a part if it too”, or simply no action.
    When I retire, I’m writing a book.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I hate to bring testing back into the fray of this conversation, but (lol) it is because of high stakes testing that students with real behavior issues are not properly placed in alternative classrooms. Why? If a child is a serious behavior problem, rather than being placed in a Level 4 classroom or Intensive Learning Center or out of district placement, his or her test scores still count towards the HOME school. What sense does that make if the Level 4 classrooms are housed in a different school altogether? None. However, it does keep administrators quiet when they are asked to house these specialized classrooms in their schools when it is their turn to do so. Administrators would rather house a serious behavior problem or mentally unstable child in their home school than send him/her to another school. Why? So that the home school can maintain some sort of influence over that test score because the other school could care less because the student’s score doesn’t count towards their numbers.


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