Hawaii News DOE rolls out anti-bullying campaign By Mary Vorsino Oct. 5, 2011 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. The state Department of Education launched an anti-bullying initiative for public schools Tuesday, stressing that efforts to combat bullying in schools will need the community’s support. "Addressing bullying is really a shared responsibility," Steve Shiraki, head of the DOE’s Comprehensive Student Support Services section, said at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday. "We want to ensure that every student has that opportunity to be college- and career-ready." The initiative, which will need about $1 million for training and personnel, includes improved efforts to identify and help kids who are bullied and increased outreach to stop bullying before it starts. ON THE NET » To see a public service spot against bullying, go to vimeo.com/29112847. Jean Nakasato, the DOE’s positive behavior support educational specialist, said schools will be able to adopt whatever anti-bullying program they want but will have to follow key requirements aimed at decreasing bullying and cyberbullying offenses statewide. The work, in the wake of a new state law that requires the DOE to regulate student compliance with its own rules on bullying, comes as the federal government is urging states to do more to tackle the issue. As part of the initiative, the department will require schools to annually collect data on bullying and cyberbullying; work to ensure students who are being bullied get immediate help; and provide interventions to students who have been reported as bullies. The campaign was kicked off with a series of public service announcements, produced by students and featuring University of Hawaii athletes. The spots, funded by First Hawaiian Bank, will air on television stations and sports telecasts starting immediately. BOE Chairman Don Horner said the launch of the initiative represents a "first step" in addressing the problem of bullying in public schools. "We’ve got a lot of work to do," Horner said. BOE member Keith Amemiya, the board’s point man on the bullying issue, added the effort will need everyone’s help because bullying doesn’t just happen at school. "Although the schools are fully committed to curbing bullying, they can’t do it alone," he said. The state released data for bullying and cyberbullying offenses, collected for the first time last school year. The figures show Hawaii island’s Kealakehe complex had the highest number of reported bullying incidents, with 39 offenses in 2010-11. The Keaau complex had the most cyberbullying offenses, with 14. DOE officials warn the numbers might understate the problem because of confusion over what constitutes bullying versus harassment. BOE member Jim Williams echoed those concerns, saying the initial bullying figures appears to be "serious underreporting." Anti Bullying PSA Spot 1 from Searider Productions on Vimeo. Anti Bullying PSA Spot 2 from Searider Productions on Vimeo. Anti Bullying PSA Spot 3 from Searider Productions on Vimeo. Anti Bullying PSA Spot 4 from Searider Productions on Vimeo. Anti Bullying PSA Spot 5 from Searider Productions on Vimeo. Anti Bullying PSA Spot 6 from Searider Productions on Vimeo. Previous Story Hughes Corp. revives plan for Kakaako Next Story In Arizona bull run, danger, yes. liability, no.