“I think that reminder after reminder after reminder really made a significant difference so we were really happy with that," Syverson said. “We never want to see an increase in bullying incidents but due to the number of schools who reported this year and due to our outreach, it definitely helped so we had more participation.”
The new law also allows IDOE to audit schools if they suspect they’re not telling the truth about bullying.
Syverson said they have not yet done any audits since the law took effect on July 1. But they have received calls from parents encouraged by the new law.
“Parents are very appreciative,” Syverson said.
IDOE wants parents to contact them at 317-232-6610 if they believe their school’s bullying numbers aren’t adding up.
“That’s exactly why we put the audit process in place,” Syverson said. “That’s exactly what they should do, they should let us know.”
Call 6 Investigates found nearly 60 percent of Indiana schools reported zero bullying incidents for the 2016-2017 school year.