Lt. Governor Matt Denn and Deputy Attorney General Patricia Dailey Lewis (Biden is again MIA, but nothing to see there, everything is fine, Biden for Governor) released the state report on school compliance with the new anti-bullying rules. Here is the News Journal lede:
Most public school districts are complying with new state laws aimed at battling bullying, but fewer than half of charter schools have adopted new cyberbullying rules. And some schools are not sufficiently reporting incidents of bullying to parents, according to a report released by Lt. Gov. Matt Denn and the state Attorney General’s Office.
The report looks at how schools are implementing laws passed in 2012 that placed more responsibility with schools for battling cyberbullying and strengthened requirements for reporting incidents to parents and the state. Denn said the report, released Wednesday, was the state’s way of putting schools on notice.
“I don’t want to be overly critical of our schools, because this intensive scrutiny is relatively new,” he said. “But we are telling them that this needs to be an important focus.”
Emphasis mine. Do these Charter Schools, who receive more and more taxpayer money to the detriment of our already existing public schools thanks to dubious legislation passed last year, think state laws and rules do not apply to them? Fewer than half have even adopted the new rules? That’s pretty outrageous.
Now, my title to this post is designed to highlight the Charter School aspect of this story, because I think that lede is buried. Yes, it is right up front there in the first sentence, but Charter Schools are not again mentioned until 12 paragraphs later. The NJ story focuses on how the public schools, who have at the very least implemented the anti-bullying program, are complying with it.
Charter schools were not nearly as consistent, with less than half implementing the policy, the report said. Several others did not tell the state how they had explained the changes to parents.
“We will work with our schools to help ensure that these laws are adopted and enforced so that all of our students are learning in an environment where they feel safe and supported,” Kendall Massett, executive director of the Delaware Charter School Network, said in a statement.
Apparently you are not doing a good job, Ms. Massett. Fewer than half? In school grading parlance, that is worse than an F. Indeed, such rampant non-adoption, when the public schools have nearly all adopted, begs the question of whether there is a concerted effort not to adopt these laws. And if that is the case, we, the taxpayers of Delaware, would like to demand our money back, please.
Here is Lt. Governor Denn in a Facebook post this morning, focusing his comments towards compliance with the law, rather than mere adoption of the policy by charter schools.
We don’t seem to have gotten the basic message across sufficiently to our schools: if your school has a bullying incident, you need to call the parents of the kids involved. Period. It’s the law, and it’s the right thing to do. Second, an alarming percentage of our bullying incidents are based on kids’ disabilities or gender identity, and we need to work with our schools to address the fact that these children are being targeted.
I assume if Mr. Denn is this direct with public school compliance, he was even more blunt in private with charter school adoption. We can only hope.