Bullying policy in Mercer County school expanded


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Posted Online: May 09, 2013, 5:54 pm
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By Cathy Decker, edecker@mchsi.com
ALEDO -- The Mercer County School Board this week approved changes to the high school handbook that expand the definition of bullying to include actions on internet social sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The action came after three parents or grandparents brought examples of bullying incidents to the board's attention.

They described incidents of name calling by both students and teachers, and physical and verbal abuse they claim have happened on over the past school year. Name calling, elbowing a girl in the chest and urging a student to harm or kill herself were among the examples. One parent has removed her child from the school for home schooling.

High school principal Garon Sronce said there is a fine line between allowing freedom of speech and bullying or harassment. "The problem comes with finding proof," he said.

Two large assemblies were held last year to address bullying, the principal said.

A good number of students have been suspended he told the board. The problem comes with student reporting and reporting accurately. "It gets real difficult to decipher."

Another problem the schools are seeing is cyber bullying. "Kids are very sophisticated on how they do it," he added.

He said the district is working on the problem. "Much more needs to be done."

Board president Marta Tucker suggested the entire community needs to become involved. "It takes more than a school district to solve this," she said. "We have to work together as a society."

Superintendent Alan Boucher added that the district is addressing this problem and said he thinks that "bystanders need to get involved. This is not a simple solution." He said technology has complicated the problem and assured the audience at the meeting that the problem "is not ignored."

In other business the board:

-- Hired Steve Speaker as high school wrestling coach; Cassie Bowen as Apollo 2nd grade teacher; and Elizabeth Chapman as high school science teacher. Additionally, the board accepted the resignation of Emma Downey as junior high volleyball coach and granted maternity leaves to Samantha Duncan and Amy Degelman.

-- Approved a roof bid of Armour Roofing of Galesburg to apply additional foam roofing material to the north section of the high school roof for $18,000.

-- Decided to keep registration fees at the elementary and intermediate schools the same as last year's fees for the 2013-14 school year.

















 



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  Today is Wednesday, July 30, the 211th day of 2014. There are 154 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: After Sept. 1, every small box of matches will be required to have a 3 cent duty Lincoln stamp on it, and every large box will be one cent for every 100 matches.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Rock Island residents had contributed a total of $1,293 to the American Red Cross for the Johnstown flood relief fund.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Capt. Clark Means, new darkhorse twirler for the ARGUS staff, was in great form in his initial contest as a mound laborer. The result was that THE ARGUS trimmed the Union 6-5.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Hunter and Humprey Moody, young Decatur, Ill, brothers, lack only a few hours of establishing a new world light plane endurance record.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Gates of the 110th annual Mercer County Fair swing open tonight at Aledo for a full week of day and night activity. More that $36,000 will be paid in premiums and race purses.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The baseball field carved out of the cornfield near Dyersville, Iowa, continues to keep dreams alive for hundreds of visitors. Tourists from 26 state and France have visited Dan Lansing's farm to see the baseball diamond seen in the hit movie "Field of Dreams."






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