New Superintendent Charles Johns’ policy committee met Sept. 24 to review the policy for possible revisions. The committee is made up of school administrators and two members of the District 225 school board. School districts are mandated by state law to review and re-evaluate their anti-bullying policies every two years to see if updates are needed.
“The draft of this policy directly encompasses cyberbullying among other types of bullying. It also lists detailed response procedures to reports of such instances,” Johns said, in a statement provided to Patch.
“It is our hope that by further communicating this proposed policy update, we can encourage students to be active reporters of bullying, and to act with a little more caution, whether their interactions be online or at school,” added Johns, who succeeded former Superintendent Mike Riggle at the helm of Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South high schools at the start of the 2018-19 school year.
Thehas an expanded jurisdiction. It now covers the “transmission of information from any electronic device regardless of ownership or where it is accessed if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school.” It applies when the administration gets a report of electronic hazing but does not require staff to monitor any extra activities outside of school.
It also updates the definition of bullying, eliminating the definition of “Aggressive Behavior” and replacing it with a new definition — “Cyber-bullying”:
Bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photoelectronic system, or photo-optical system, including without limitation electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. Cyberbullying includes, among other things, the assumption of the identity of another person as the author of posted content or messages if such assumptions creates any of the effects described in the definition of bullying in this Section. Cyberbullying also includes the distribution or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be received or accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects described in the definition of bullying.
The proposed revisions add a bullying or hazing prevention and response place, which encourages students, parents and staff to immediately report any bullying or hazing. It aims to complete investigations within 10 days of reports and keep complaint confidential.
“Reprisal or retaliation (which does not include denial or disagreement, civilly stated) against any person who reports an act of bullying is prohibited. A student’s act of reprisal or retaliation will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions,” it said.
“A student will not be punished for reporting bullying or supplying information in good faith, even if the District’s investigation concludes that no bullying occurred. However, knowingly or recklessly making a false accusation or knowingly or recklessly providing false information will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.”
In response to a public records request last month, District 225 provided the combined number of reported bullying incidents in each of the five years at Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South.
District 225 Communications Director Karen Geddeis told Patch the district works to address bullying through a combination of “prevention, intervention, investigation and resolution.” The district also offers ways to confidentially report bullying.
“We offer Text-A-Tip, the Spartan Concern Form, the Titan Concern Center, and other anonymous reporting tools to help students report incidents or concerns for themselves or others,” Geddeis said.
The board will review the recommended revisions to Board Policy 8480 for adoption at its meeting Tuesday.
Read more about anti-bullying policies at Northbrook and Glenview schools and how Northbrook and Glenview parents responded to our survey for Bullying Prevention Month.
The Menace Of Bullies: Patch Advocacy Reporting Project
As part of a national reporting project, Patch has been looking at society’s roles and responsibilities in bullying and a child’s unthinkable decision to end their own life in hopes we might offer solutions that save lives.
Do you have a story to tell? Are you concerned about how your local schools handle bullies and their victims? Email us at email@example.com or share your views in the comments.
Selected Stories From The Project
- Bullied To Death: When Kids Kill With Words
- I Could Have Been Mallory Grossman
- Bullied Over Homemade T-Shirt, Kid Inspires University Of Tennessee Design
- Howell Teen Runs To Save Lives, Change Statistics On Suicide
- America’s Shameful Truth About School Shooters And Bullying
- Cyberbullying Most Often Affects Girls; These Women Are Trying To Stop It
- Bullying Kids: Straighten Up, Or Your Parents May Have To Pay Up
- Teen Who Killed Himself Wasn’t ‘Worthless,’ Family Tells Bullies
- Menace Of Bullies: Why This Woman Resigned Her 6-Figure Job
- Survivor Of Bullying And Suicide Writes Frankly About Both
- ‘I Will Be Your Friend’: First-Grader’s Shirt Fights Bullies
- Girl-To-Girl Bullying: Why It’s Different, Difficult To Confront
- What Prompts Bullying In This Ohio School
- Cyberbullying In This Michigan City Carries $500 Fine, 3 Months In Jail
- Bully Upstander: Whatever He Said Caused Bullies To Back Down
- Bullying Caused 11-Year-Old To Attempt Suicide, Mother Says
- Bullied 10-Year-Old’s Suicide 8th In School District This Year
- The Menace Of Bullies: Most U.S. States Take On Cyberbullying
- Cyberbullying Is Now Against The Law In Michigan
- Shooting Incident Linked To Bullying At School, Mom Says
- Girls More Likely Than Boys To See Bullying As Harmful: Study
- 13-Year-Old Hangs Herself, But Bullying Killed Her
- Teen Tells Bullies In Video: ‘Every Day, I Wear Your Words’
- ‘The Hero Myth’: Why Expecting Kids To Fight Bullies Is Harmful
- ‘Mr. Anti-Bully’: Reformed Bully, 12, Sets Mistake Right
- Mallory Grossman Bullying Detailed In Wrongful Death Suit
- Malden Schools Were Non-Compliant Through Bullying Saga: DOE
- ‘They All Failed And Changed A Child’: Malden Bullying Detailed
- Mom Speaks About Bullying Heartbreak: ‘I Feel I Failed Him’
- Why These Kindergartners Start Each Day With A Handshake
- The Bully Menace: ‘The Hurt Never Goes Away’
- Bullies And Their Targets The Same: Digital Self-Harm Rising
- Williamsburg Poetry Teacher Helps Bullied Kids Open Tortured Minds
- Bullying Tougher To Confront When It’s Bias-Based: Researchers
- The Bully Menace: 13 Age-Appropriate Reads
- Teen’s ‘I Wear Your Words’ Video Inspires Nashville Songwriters