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Lewis County BOE reviews bullying, harassment policies

August 9, 2011
By John Clise - Special to The Inter-Mountain , The Inter-Mountain

Lewis County Board of Education members reviewed three policies regarding bullying and harassment and forwarded all three to a first reading.

According to Administrator Chris Derico, because of changes on the state level to address bullying and cyber bullying, county policies are being updated and changed to include the new language aimed at better defining all types of bullying.

"The state Legislature made definitions of cyber bullying," Derico said, noting the current policy does include bullying or cyber bullying specifically.

"We also want to include bus stops and busses as part of the school setting," he said.

Derico said the current policies will be struck from the books with parts included in the new policy, which is based on a model policy developed on the state level.

"Bullying is not specified in the current policies, but is well documented in the proposed policies," Derico said.

"We are very pleased with the proposed policy. It clears up definitions," he said.

In the proposed policy, harassment and bullying are defined as repeated offenses.

In other action, on a motion from board member Sylvia McNeish, seconded by board member Paul Derico, the group entered into a nine minute executive session to discuss requests from three high school students for exception to the attendance requirements to attend college classes during part of their senior year of high school.

After discussing the requests in private session with Lewis County High School Principal Tim Derico, members reconvened into regular session and approved the requests.

"It appears Mr. Derico has spoken to all parents and students and it meets with their best interests," Cline Craig said of the requests.

Board members also approved a new buildings and grounds usage contract on a motion from Buck Probst and a second from Derico.

The new contract better defines what is expected from individuals and groups using school buildings and grounds.

Primarily the changes deal with parking situations that were either damaging to grassy areas, vehicles inside fenced areas that were deemed public safety hazards and the use of utilities that cause increased costs to the school system by lights being left on or water sources being left running and not checked at the end of the event by groups or individuals using the property.

According to Joe Mace, superintendent of Lewis County Schools, there have been several incidents of doors being left unlocked, lights being left on and messes not being cleaned up after use of buildings and grounds. This policy will curb these issues, he said.



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