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Glendora Unified Seeks Board Policy Revision on Cyber-Bullying

Cyber-bullying is the focus of the revision to a policy that is nearly 18 years old.

In an effort to better provide a positive learning environment and one that is free from cyber bullying, the Glendora Unified school board began discussion on revising policies on student conduct during Monday's meeting.

This is the first reading and discussion of the proposed revisions and the board will provide much input before any finalized policy is approved.

The district began preparing to update this policy beginning in the summer, according to Michelle Hunter, assistant superintendent of educational services.

The last time Board Policy 5131 was revised was in 1993, according to Hunter.

"Technology has changed significantly since 1993," Hunter said. "The scope of student conduct has been broadened to encompass the whole cyber-bullying issue as well."

Hunter said that the last time this policy was updated, it only addressed cell phone usage and pagers.

Since cell phones have evolved to incorporate a host of other features that go beyond talking, cyber bullying needed to take a different emphasis in this policy, Hunter said.

The Glendora Unified board agenda provided a look at the proposed changes:

  • When a student is suspected of or reported to be using electronic or digital communications to engage in cyberbullying against other students or staff, or to threaten district property, the investigation shall include documentation of the activity, identification of the source, and specific facts or circumstances that explain the impact or potential impact on school activity, school attendance, or the targeted student's educational performance.
  • Students shall be encouraged to save and print any messages sent to them that they feel constitute cyberbullying and to notify a teacher, the principal, or other employee so that the matter may be investigated.

went to the forefront of many people's minds in late October when it was revealed that a 12-year-old special needs student at Sandburg Middle School had a photo secretly taken of her as she undressed in the school's locker room.

Despite denying that bullying was the motivation behind the October incident, Sandburg Principal Scott Bell applauds the work to improve the parameters of allowable cell phone usage at school.

"I am all in favor of a policy that is more specific in dealing with the use of cell phones at school," Bell said. "It is important to help students and their families learn appropriate use of cell phones and the consequences for using them to disrespect, bully or threaten others."

The California School Boards Association drafts templates of board policies that districts use as a guide to model their own policies after.

Board policies are revised on an ongoing basis, according to Hunter.

As issues or situations unfold, it becomes clear that there may be times when current policies might be inadequate and need to be updated to be more comprehensive, Hunter said.

Other revisions proposed include plagiarism, use of abusive language, inappropriate attire, tardiness and possession, use, or being under the influence tobacco, alcohol, or other prohibited drugs.

CHuck Aholic November 17, 2011 at 07:13 PM
A very intelligent move by the school administrators. Hopefully, other schools will follow as we need them to be fully responsible in all of their student's welfare. And as they are still in the process of amending the policies, they might need to check the book called lol…OMG!: What Every Student Needs to Know About Online Reputation Management, Digital Citizenship as one of their bases because this book has a thorough study on whats really going on in the cyber world and why cyberbullying exists.
just my opinion November 19, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Cyber bullying is bad at GUSD...but what about actual students being beat up ON campus with witnesses and bruises to prove it? Thats what needs to take precedence....get our students from being afraid to go to school ....get the bullies out..then get to cyber bullying!!!! Coming from a parent whos child was hit, kicked, punched in the back and adminstration did Nothing. My son is now at a private school. I heard all three of his attackers are all at a alternative school...you think GUSD woulkd have called with an apology???? Cyber is extreme, but an actual two or three on one ON Campus beating a child...takes presedence, but I'm sure GUSD is getting some great feedback for implementing this, as thy should, but lets not forget about the kids getting physically hurt also.

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