The policy defines bullying as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act that may include one sided, unfair communication to hurt, frighten, threaten or exclude another person or group of people. The definition extends to written and electronic communication. The policy also gives a list of bullying examples. Board member Laura Petelle was part of the committee drafting the policy. She says the goal was to make it clear and thorough.
“We wanted to capture the many different types of bullying because bullying is very insidious and it can take a lot of different forms, and sometimes you can tell a child’s being bullied but it really doesn’t fit in definition. So we tried to make a broad enough definition to catch all of these problematic kinds of bullying, and give flexibility to the teachers in the classroom who are seeing these things going on and want to deal with them.”
Petelle says students may be subject to disciplinary action even for internet activities that occur at home and do not use school networks or websites. The policy will go before the board again for final approval June 17th.