It's no surprise that the issue of bullying comes at a cost to school districts. The evening news is regularly filled with stories which include the testimonies of tearful students, frustrated parents, lawsuits, and student self-harm. Districts attempt to combat this by establishing school policies, implementing anti-bullying programs, and addressing negative behavior. It's all an effort to decrease incidents and promote a peaceful culture on campus.
One thing that we don't often talk about is the actual price, per report, that schools pay when an report of bullying is made. As federal and state requirements increase demands on how districts investigate, document, and respond to bullying, the costs and time spent per incident seems to grow, weighing districts down.
How Much Does Bullying Cost a District?
Typically a student reports bullying by telling their teacher or reporting the problem at the main office. Other times the report comes from a parent or even an app where students anonymously reports the behavior. Once this happens the school launches into investigation mode followed by intervention and/or response mode. This usually involves meeting with two or more students, calling parents, alerting teachers, school counselors, other administrators, and filing a district record of the behavior, which can be accessed later if needed. All of this uses a vast amount of staff time and resources.
Watch the video below where I reveal how much schools spend, on average, for a single report of bullying. In addition, I'll share a simple shift in programming that can reduce costs, decrease incidents, and empower students to solve their own social problems. It's an incredible approach that builds resilience and promotes peace and civility on campus.