Like bullies themselves, the issue of bullying is not suddenly going to go away in Mokena School District 159. The school board last week approved revisions to the district’s parent-student handbook to include bullying and cyber bullying as behaviors subject to disciplinary measures.
It states that the district “prohibits” acts of “harassment, intimidation or bullying,” including any gesture or written, electronic, verbal or physical act that harms a student, damages a student’s property, or insults or demeans a student in such a way as to be disruptive to a student’s ability to learn or the orderly operation of the school.
Cyber-bullying became a new entry, separately defined as the use of electronic information — texting, emails, cell phone calls, blogs, chat rooms — that “deliberately threatens, harasses or intimidates” or places an individual in “reasonable fear of harm.” Such behaviors are subject to disciplinary action that may include detention, suspension or expulsion, according to the policy.
The board also amended a policy to call for all students — previously it was fourth- through eighth-graders — to be taught violence prevention and conflict resolution “provided it can be funded by private grants or the federal government.” It says students should be taught age-appropriate Internet safety, including cyber-bullying awareness and response.
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