South Carolina gets grant to stop bullying

Molly Spearman of South Carolina Association of School Administrators, talks about the state's bullying initiative.

COLUMBIA (WACH) - A problem for generations of students, the schoolyard bully. South Carolina educators are drawing the line. The state is already receiving money from an $11 million federal grant. Beth Mackinem with the South Carolina Department of Education says part of the money will go toward identifying potential high schools where bullying may take place.

"When school climate is a positive thing, research shows the students will stay and graduate on time," says Mackinem.

School yard bullies also attracting the attention of Richland County State Senator John Courson. The chairman of the Senate Education Committee favors amending the 2006 Safe Schools Act.

"Maybe develop a hotline with the State Department of Education, where people can report bullying acts to the state department anonymously if they like. They can get back in touch with the school districts," says Courson.

The Hazeldon Foundation is also working with the state in some elementary and middle schools with it's own anti-bullying program. Mackinem says the less students have to study in fear, the better they'll do in the class room.

"We really hope the grant will instill within these high schools an ownership of improving their school climate so students will be able to stay, do credit recovery instead of leaving the school and they feel comfortable at the high school level to stay and get their graduation diploma," says Mackinem.