Putting Education Reform To The Test

How Bullying (Temporarily) Disappeared From Alachua County Schools


It's hard to know where the bullies are based on the data.

In 2009 Alachua County schools reported 182 cases of bullying. In 2008 the number was 101.

But bullying disappeared from Alachua County schools in 2010-2011, according to state data.

Except that it didn’t.

Instead, 143 bullying incidents were not reported to the state because of a glitch with the school district’s new computer system, said district spokeswoman Jackie Johnson.

With the mistake, Alachua County school district was the largest of Florida’s 10 districts to report no bullying in 2010-2011.

With the mistake corrected, Alachua County schools had the fourth-highest rate of bullying in the state – with one case for every 192 students. That’s more than twice the state average rate.

The dropped data is just one reason why it’s hard to pin down just how big a problem bullying is in Florida schools – and whether the problem is getting worse.

Johnson said the glitch has been fixed and the bullying data corrected.

The nearly 13,000 student Flagler County school district is now the largest Florida district to report no bullying. We tried to confirm the data with Flagler County schools, but efforts to reach school officials were unsuccessful.


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