Nevada fights bullying with online reporting system

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WASHOE COUNTY, Nev. (KOLO) - The state of Nevada is taking a stand against bullying with an online reporting system called Bully Free Zone.

The National Education Association estimates thousands of kids nationwide stay home from school each day because they are scared of being picked on.

8-year-old Starr Abundis of Carson City knows the pain of bullying first-hand.

"He pushed me and cracked my water bottle," Starr said. "The one thing I want to happen in school is to stop bullying, and to have fun with your own friends."

The National Education Association reports roughly 1 in 4 kids has been taunted or beaten up at school; and 1 in 10 kids eventually drops out because of repeated bullying.

Director of The Office of Safe and Respectful Learning Christy McGill, says the state has taken notice of the bullying problem in Nevada schools.

"The legislature made the reporting system possible," McGill said. "They took a real hard look at the bullying that had gone on in the past in our schools and they decided enough is enough."

In 2015 the legislature provided the Nevada Department of Education funding to create The Office of Safe and Respectful Learning. The office is responsible for maintaining a 24-hour, toll-free and statewide hotline and internet site so anyone can report bullying.

To report bullying, parents or students can go to It is a safe way to address the problem without students having to confront their bullies.

"If you think back to when you were bullied, your worst fear is to meet your bully head-on," McGill says.

Once the report is made the school investigates.

The Office of Safe and Respectful Learning is now working on an app to make reporting bullying easier for students and parents. It is expected to launch sometimes early next year.