Report provides figures on bullying in TN public schools - WSMV News 4

Report provides figures on bullying in TN public schools

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A new report shows there were more than 7,500 cases of bullying reported in Tennessee's public schools during the 2012-13 school year.

The report was released by the state Education Department. Officials say 5,478 of the 7,555 cases were confirmed after investigation.

Of the cases reported, 321 were based on race, color or national origin, 695 concerned sex or gender-based discrimination and 168 involved a student's disability.

The report was required under anti-bullying legislation lawmakers passed last year.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

The death of Jacob Rogers in 2011 shed light on the issue of bullying in Cheatham County.

"He started coming home his senior year and saying that, 'I don't want to go back,'" said his friend, Kaelynn Mooningham, in a 2011 interview.

Ultimately, Jacob took his own life.

And as the issue of bullying caught more attention, the state took action.

The report caught the eye of the state American Civil Liberties Union, where, for many, it seems to further prove what stories like Jacob Rogers' already did.

"We need legislation that will not only speak to having policies in every single school district," said Hedy Weinberg, with the ACLU of Tennessee. "But we also need to make sure that the policies enumerate - actually target - the most vulnerable."

Some of those could ultimately include LGBT teens, students with disabilities and those targeted because of race, religion or national origin.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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