School Board Gets Briefed on Potential Bullying Forum

By Alex Malm

During the Nov. 28 School Board meeting, Superintendent, Dan Black, announced that they were looking at potentially having forums in the near future about bullying.
“After debriefing the start of the School Year, Ad Council is recommending to the School Board we host two separate Parent/Community in person forums later in the school year to address how we handle bullying claims and investigations in our schools,” Black wrote in a memo to the school board.
He explained that they think that it would make sense to have a kindergarten to fifth grade, and grades 6 to 12.
Black said one of the purposes of the proposed forum would be to “explain to parents/ community the process we follow when a bullying claim comes to any staff member in our schools.
Another purpose would be to explain how the district goes about investigating “if a claim does warrant that approach.”
Black said they would also be able to explain the “major laws that provide the foundation for how we handle and address bullying claims and Investigations.”
Black stated that another purpose would also be to explain to parents the resources they have in the schools for parents and students when they have questions or concerns about bullying.
“The scope of the forums could grow from there as we engage more of our staff on this project in terms of school counselors and assistant principals, who know the details of this work very well on the day to day,” Black wrote in a memo.
He said they would be looking to have the forum in the late Winter or early Spring, “when we do not have concerts/performance and major sporting events so that we could potentially have strong parent/community turn out.”
“The forums would start as informational sessions, and we would leave some room towards the end for Q & A with parents to review the finer details of this process,” Black said.
School Board Chair, Bob Slater, said “I think a lot of parents don’t understand what bullying is,” and that they could provide different examples of what it looks like during the meeting.
In personnel news, the School Board accepted the retirements of Jim Hamilton, a teacher at Londonderry Middle School and Susan Spinney, a teacher at Londonderry High School.
The School Board also accepted a number of resignations during the meeting including Courtney Conomacos, a support staff member at Londonderry Middle School, Aallyah Gagnon, a support staff member at Matthew Thornton, and Layna Holk, a support staff member at South School.

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