State Rep. Kim Williams Looking To Change “Good Cause” School Choice Options For School Bullying

Delaware State Rep. Kim Williams introduced a bill yesterday concerning school bullying and when a student can transfer to a different school when “good cause” has been established with school bullying.  The current law does not specify what category of bullying can trigger such a transfer.  Rep. Williams legislation would create a new law requiring the bullying to be a substantiated incident.  This would mean an official bullying complaint would need to be filed by the parent or guardian at the school, who would in turn have to rule bullying did occur.  All Delaware schools are required to report this information to the Delaware Department of Education.

This bill would prevent parents from just switching out students without a valid good cause, which unfortunately happens at times in Delaware.  The current law does not protect the schools and the loss of funds when these events occur.  While some parents may take issue with this due to schools not ruling a bullying incident as substantiated (which is a whole other issue which I would like to see improved), there are other options for parents to take should a school not agree with the complaint.  All Delaware schools are required to have the website and contact information for the Delaware Ombudsman for Bullying Prevention through the Department of Justice.

In 2014, then Lieutenant Governor Matt Denned issued a statement regarding the responsibilities of schools reporting bullying incidents:

“It is encouraging to see the progress our schools have made in keeping parents informed about bullying, because that was one of the primary goals of the 2012 legislation,” said Attorney General Denn who co-authored the 2012 legislation as Lieutenant Governor. “But our schools clearly have more work to do in letting parents know what recourse they have when bullying does occur, and the state needs to do a better job accurately tracking bullying incidents so we can accurately monitor our overall progress.”

All bullying complaints, whether substantiated or not, are required to be reported to the Dept. of Education and it is the school’s responsibility to enter the information on a system called E-School.  I have always encouraged parents to request a copy of their child’s E-School report.  This can be done at a school or district level in most situations.  To read the legislation, please see below:

Congratulations To Delaware State Rep. Kim Williams!

Delaware State Representative Kim Williams continues to astound me during the 148th General Assembly, and we aren’t even two months into it!  She has introduced several education bills, is the Vice Chair of the House Education Committee, and she is very active in education.  This is just another reason why Kim is awesome!  This was taken from the Delaware House Democrats email called Legislative Insider:

Rep. Williams to serve on disabilities panel

Rep. Kim Williams has been appointed to the Community Advisory Council of the University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies. The CAC is composed of individuals with developmental disabilities and related disabilities; family members of individuals with developmental disabilities; representatives from disability-related training, service, and advocacy organizations; representatives from state agencies; and other disabilities advocates.

Rep. Williams has been active in education for 25 years as a parent, local PTA leader, Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education vice president and currently vice-chair of the House Education Committee. She also serves on the Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium, and is a member of legislative Kids Caucus.

“I’m truly honored and excited to be part of the Community Advisory Council,” Rep. Williams said. “Disabilities studies is something I am passionate about, and I look forward to working as part of the council to improve the lives of Delawareans with disabilities.”​