New anti-bullying policy creating concern in Columbia Public Schools

4 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago December 13, 2016 Dec 13, 2016 Tuesday, December 13 2016 Tuesday, December 13, 2016 6:33:00 PM CST in Continuous News
By: Melissa Zygowicz, KOMU 8 News
loading

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Board of Education approved a new statewide anti-bullying policy Monday, but some people are having second thoughts.

The board approved the policy by a vote of 3-1. Board President Jim Whitt chose to abstain from the voting process.

Paul Cushing was the only board member to vote "no" on the policy.

"My biggest concern is for our employees out in the district. If they don't report it in a timely matter, now suddenly they are under the scrutiny of the law and there's no getting around it," Cushing said. 

The new policy is a state-mandated policy all public schools in Missouri have to adopt by next year. The policy requires district employees to report any bullying incident within two school days of witnessing the event. An investigation by the principal should then be completed within ten school days of when the incident was first reported to determine whether or not bullying took place.

Students are also encouraged to report an incident within two days.

District employees who fail to report within two school days face disciplinary action or expulsion.

"It's important for us to really look closely at how we're handling things like this. We can no longer rely on our teachers and principals to interface with parents to do what we should do in that respect. We're essentially creating reporting that goes all the way back to the district office on any incident," Cushing said.

Board Vice President Jonathan Sessions said he reluctantly voted "yes" on the issue.

"It is a policy that was designed to protect students. However, this has happened very quickly, and there are some big concerns about the way the law is written," Sessions said. 

He said the definition of bullying under the new law is too much aligned with the definition of felony harassment.

Session said class A misdemeanors will turn into class E felony harassment starting Jan. 1 due to changes in the state criminal code.

"While bullying is absolutely unacceptable in my eyes, I do not feel a poorly written state law should brand a student with a felony because of poor choices made while that student was an adolescent," Sessions said.

Sessions said the board will end up passing the policy at the next board meeting because it is state law, and the district would have issues with insurance if it did not pass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS — Thousands of workers in St. Louis are preparing to see a jump in pay now that the... More >>
34 minutes ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 4:27:17 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Autopsy results confirmed the body found by the Fulton Police Department Monday is 31-year-old Carl L. DeBrodie, the... More >>
1 hour ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Some Columbia utility customers are complaining because of recent past due notices sent out for the month of... More >>
1 hour ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 3:29:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University’s Board of Curators announced Thursday it will suspend tenure and earned advancements for its faculty.... More >>
1 hour ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 3:24:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Four teenagers were taken to the hospital Friday morning following a vehicle crash on I-70, according to the... More >>
2 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 2:58:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Music enhances and develops the life of 20-year-old Nathan Walton on a daily basis. "I play a... More >>
3 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 2:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Missouri Task Force 1 sent a team to Southern Missouri to help with the possible flooding in the... More >>
3 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 2:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The UM System Board of Curators approved amendments to the University of Missouri-Columbia's collected rules governing faculty standards... More >>
3 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 1:32:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The pollen count in Missouri is the highest it has been in ten years, but that might not... More >>
3 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 1:23:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A pilot program targeting food insecurity wrapped up at Rock Bridge High School Friday. The program, designed by... More >>
3 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 1:06:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri woman has been charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter in connection to a fatal crash late... More >>
3 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 1:02:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Three people have been charged in the stabbing death of a Kansas man who was... More >>
4 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 12:54:51 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state and local agencies held a public meeting Friday to... More >>
4 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 12:53:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A zoo in western Missouri will soon have a saltwater tank allowing visitors to pet... More >>
4 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 12:46:58 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — An education official from Oregon will be interim chancellor for the University of Missouri Science and Technology.... More >>
4 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 12:40:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Nearly 200 animals rescued from a home in southwest Greene County are being prepared for adoption at... More >>
4 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 12:32:22 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The parents of a 10-year-old homicide victim have settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the man charged... More >>
4 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 12:25:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A 6-year-old girl is dead after being struck by a hit-and-run driver in St. Louis. ... More >>
4 hours ago April 28, 2017 Apr 28, 2017 Friday, April 28 2017 Friday, April 28, 2017 12:19:11 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 59°
5pm 60°
6pm 61°
7pm 61°
8pm 60°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:30p
Jeopardy!
5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
4:30p
The Cleveland Show
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
First Dates
8:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
The Originals
8:00p
Reign
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld