By Alex Malm
The School Board was given a presentation regarding the school district’s bullying and cyberbullying policy during its Sept. 25 meeting.
“This walks you, the School Board, through literally what happens every time an allegation could come to an assistant principal or principal and the process they go through,” Superintendent, Dan Black, said about the policy.
Director of Pupil Services, Kim Carpinone, said a lot of paperwork goes into it, which is either housed at the district office or at the school depending on the circumstances.
School Board Chair, Bob Slater, asked if there is training for seeing any bullying or cyberbullying going on.
Black said the conversation of bullying and cyberbullying comes up every year.
“I think we’re always trying to make them better,” Black said about their training.
Carpinone said through their suicide prevention training mandated by the state, there is an entire section on signs of bullying.
“So that is something that the staff all has to do to complete annually,” Carpinone said.
Carpinone told the School Board that new Londonderry High School principal, Rick Barnes, brought an updated tracker for the paperwork to make tracking easier.
“I think what we found is when it’s not done correctly in the past is when we have our biggest problem,” Black said.
He said that all the systems they have have come into play over the years to make sure they do the processes correctly.
She explained that allegations usually start at the assistant principal level and if there is a substantiated claim at the assistant principal level then it is brought to the principal who sends letters to both parties involved parents, but it doesn’t outline any specific discipline actions taken.
“Because that would be protected under FERPA,” Carpinone said.
In substantiated bullying cases, it was noted that the assistant superintendent also receives the documents.
Carpinone said if it is a harassment allegation “that may fall under Title 9 or non-title 9 sexual harassment or discrimination that would come to me as the human rights coordinator.”
School Board member, Amanda Butcher, said she thinks the data collection process is important.
One question raised was what leads to the level of the tracking forms.
Carpinone said the tracking forms are used anytime there is an allegation and referrals are typically made to the administration.
School Board member, Kevin Gray, pointed out that the last time the policy was updated was in 2010 and suggested they look at if it needs to be updated.
“I can’t imagine 13 years [have gone by] and nothing has changed,” Gray said.
Slater asked if there is a way to get updates about how many cases are going on at each school periodically.
Black said they would discuss it as an administration about how frequently they should give updates.