Dublin schools add cyberbullying to district policy
Dublin City Schools will change its bullying policy to add cyberbullying to the list.
Dublin Board of Education members last week heard the first reading of changes to the district bullying policy, changes that came about because of House Bill 166, Deputy Superintendent Michael Trego said.
"H.B. 166 added many new provisions with what we have to do with bullying," he said.
Draft changes to district policy mean the inclusion of electronic bullying or cyberbullying throughout the policy.
According to the policy, bullying is "... any intentional written, verbal, electronic or physical act that a student or group of students exhibits toward another particular student(s) more than once and the behavior both causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s) and is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for the student(s)."
The inclusion of cyberbullying includes cellphones, computers, pagers, personal communication devices or other electronic communication devices.
Trego said the draft changes also apply to any bullying on school buses.
The draft policy also includes disciplinary action for false reports, Trego said.
"Deliberately making false reports about harassment, intimidation, bullying and/or other aggressive behavior for the purpose of getting someone in trouble is similarly prohibited and will not be tolerated," the draft policy states.
"Deliberately making false reports may result in disciplinary action as indicated above."
Board member Lynn May applauded the inclusion of consequences for false reports.
"I appreciate the wording for false reports. It's needed," she said, noting that school policy cannot solve all problems seen on Facebook. "It starts with parents."
Board members will have a second reading before voting with the third reading of the policy.
In other board news, Dublin City Schools will receive $453,000 from a $7-million surplus from Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo this week.
District treasurer Stephen Osborne told board members last week the auditor's real-estate assessment fund, which sets aside property taxes from school and cities to pay for real-estate appraisals, has a surplus.
Dublin will get a piece of the $7-million surplus with $453,000. "It's not shown as revenue," Osborne said. "Instead it's a reduction in expenditures."
Tracey Miller, district director of secondary education, also notified board members last week that the district safety and security plan will be updates.
"Everything is in good shape, but things change," he said.
A safety and security task force will be formed that includes district administration and Dublin police, he said, "to look at procedures and protocols to see if there's a better we can do things."
The task force will meet over the next few months and Miller said he expects to bring a report and recommendations to board members in the fall.