Clay County’s school district has launched a Bullying Hotline.
People can call the hotline to give anonymous tips or report concerns about bullying and harassment inside schools.
The district’s staff is answering calls during weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and responds to after-hour voicemails the following business day.
Clay County District Schools Superintendent Addison Davis said when it comes to bullying, it’s important to have a clear line of communication between the school district and students.
“What this [hotline] allows us to do is really to have our ears to the ground to our learners, to pay attention to mental health, and send that immediately to the school which starts an investigation,” Davis continued, “It allows students to see something, say something.”
Almost 21 percent students have bullied at schools around the country, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.
Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature passed a sweeping education bill to fund more voucher programs and the Hope Scholarship, which in part can help bullied students move from public to private schools.
As students are less likely to report bullying to adults and school officials for fear of retaliation, this new development on anonymous reporting can help the school district better track bullying problems. Davis says this is just a part of the district’s larger and continuous effort to maintain a safe and productive learning environment. The Clay County Bullying Hotline number is 904-336-6799.
Florida's Definition Of Bullying
"Systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment; or unreasonably interfere with the individual's school performance or participation."