Bully complaints filed with Corpus Christi Independent School District most often involve elementary and middle school children, according school records reviewed by KRIS 6 News.
Some of those records reveal disturbing details about student behavior on campus, such as students hitting, choking or threatening to kill one another. A few of those complaints include claims of sexual assault and threats involving gun violence.
Many of the complaints are about students who feel harassed or cast out by their peers.
"Everyone takes every one of those very seriously," said Orlando Salazar, director of student services for CCISD.
By law, the district has to provide a way for students, parents and educators to report bully behavior, and each complaint must be investigated.
A review of CCISD’s online bully reporting system showed about 1,500 complaints were filed in the past three years, 2014 to 2017.
6 Investigates obtained the bully reports through the Public Information Act, and it took six months for the district to turn them over. The district removed the names of the students involved to protect student privacy. However, the record showed the district did take some kind of action for a majority of the reported incidents.
"Counseling sessions, interventions for kids,” Salazar said, who described the type of action the district typically takes when a report is substantiated. “There could be disciplinary action that takes place on the part of the student."
For a third of those complaints – the district took no action.
"Sometimes there is a report that is started and it’s not finished, so there’s not enough information for us to be able to go in and investigate that,” Salazar said.
Bully prevention is the best way to stop the behavior before it starts, and Salazar said the school district is working to bring more prevention programs into the classroom.
The bully behavior can start as young as kindergarten, according to school educators.
Margaret Diemart taught kindergarten for 38 years. Even at that age, there can be signs of bully behavior.
"I won’t let you play unless you do what I want,” is how the behavior often begins, Diemart said. “You can understand that they have their friends and they want to be with their own friends and you allow that to happen, but you also make sure that everyone is included in activities."
And if the behavior isn’t corrected?
"You’re probably going to end up taking a path as an adult that is not productive for you,” Diemart said.
Below are the number of bully report incidents submitted to CCISD. The data is sorted by school.