[lg policy] Bullying response language studied

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 6 14:00:50 UTC 2012

Bullying response language studied
Thursday, April 5, 2012
By TRACY SIMMONS ~ tsimmons at t-g.com

Language in a school policy which addresses discrimination and
intimidation of students is being considered for revision by the
Bedford County School Board.

The language is a recommended addition based on a review by the
Tennessee School Board Association and adds provisions against
cyber-bullying. If passed at the April meeting, the change may rescind
a policy last revised in November 2005.

The policy was discussed at a study session last week.


The three-page policy currently reads, "The policy addresses conduct
taking place on school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, on
school-provided transportation, or at any school bus stop immediately
before boarding and immediately following deboarding."

The suggested revision adds "on school or personally provided
equipment" before the word transportation and then adds, "if the act
either physically harms a student or damages his/her property, or
knowingly places the student in reasonable fear of such, causes
emotional distress to a student or students, or creates a hostile
educational environment.

"If the act takes place off school property or outside of a
school-sponsored activity, an act of harassment, bullying or
intimidation occurs if the act is directed specifically at a student
or students and has the effect of creating a hostile educational
environment or otherwise creating a substantial disruption to the
educational environment or learning process. These acts may also take
place through electronic means."

The language reflects to Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-1014-1019,
which went into effect July 1, 2011.


If a student is using a personal computer or smart phone at home in a
way that creates a hostile learning environment, and those uses create
a hostile learning environment for another student -- and the usage
may be documented -- then action may be taken.

According to Dr. Ray Butrum, superintendent, there have not been any
reported incidences of cyber-bullying among students this school year.

"Cyber-bullying is not a huge issue for us in the schools," said
Butrum. "Is it an issue on social networks? Yes. But it's going to be
an issue on social networks forever."

The policy also adds this sentence, "Coaches and other employees of
the school district shall not encourage, permit, condone or tolerate
hazing activities."


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