New anti-bullying policy creating concern in Columbia Public Schools

1 year 1 month 6 days ago Tuesday, December 13 2016 Dec 13, 2016 Tuesday, December 13, 2016 6:33:00 PM CST December 13, 2016 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
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the final moments leading up to Friday's midnight deadline, Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 5:00:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The FBI recently opened an inquiry into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, two US officials told CNN, as he... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:19:05 PM CST January 19, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A visiting MU researcher is working to fight cancer with blueberries - specifically the extract of the fruit.... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 8:06:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some facilities in the state may be required to hang posters with information about human trafficking by the... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 6:43:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri offered Amazon nearly $2.5 billion in incentives over 10 years in a bid to... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 5:25:09 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that 80 percent of state students who needed treatment for... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 4:09:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Campaign finance reports revealed Governor Eric Greitens' campaign operation has been leasing space in the same complex as... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 4:03:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The annual blood drive for fallen officer Molly Bowden came at a time when collecting blood is vital. ... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 3:56:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA- A federal judge sentenced a man to more than 20 years in prison Friday for exploiting several children under... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:37:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- While the government heads toward a possible partial shut down many government agencies in mid-Missouri will remain open. ... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:23:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Dean Dohrman, (R-La Monte) has introduced House Bill 1528 to the Missouri Legislature. The bill requires... More >>
16 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:21:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Governor Greitens' attorney said Friday the rumors about Greitens possibly resigning hold "zero truth". Rumors of... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 1:21:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Property restrictions based on race and ethnicity are not a thing of the past, in fact, they can... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 11:37:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — An 18-year-old staying at a Missouri ranch for homeless boys has been charged with killing a woman... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:56:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two Kansas City brothers have been charged with killing a man and then dumping his... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:11:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - "From the early 1900s to the 1960s, the Sharp End business district was a city within a city... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 7:43:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who was thousands of dollars in debt from a drunken driving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 5:32:30 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Deputies booked two men into the Boone County Jail on suspicion of various charges, including an apparent plan... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 10:45:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 35°
8am 39°
9am 41°
10am 42°
11am 44°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today Weekend
8:30a
Naturally, Danny Seo
9:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Championship Wrestling From Hollywood
8:00a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition
8:30a
Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan: Family Edition

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld