|Tue, Dec 10, 2013 12:10 AM
|Issue of November 27, 2013
August 21, 2013 | 08:56 AM
Two new policies for the North Harrison Community School Corp. had their first reading this month: Use of Seclusion, Restraint and Aversion with Students and Anti-Bullying.
Lisa Jones, principal at North Harrison Elementary School, briefly outlined the Use of Seclusion policy at the Aug. 8 school board meeting, saying that the only time it will be needed is if "a student is acting out to harm" himself/herself or others.
"We have staff members trained in crisis prevention," Jones said. "This policy provides the guidelines to which this is to be done."
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D. John Thomas, superintendent for the school corporation, said the state isn't requiring school systems to have this policy in place until 2014, but "we wanted to go ahead and have the policy in place for the protection of children and others."
The Anti-Bullying Policy comes on the heels of state laws that went into effect July 1.
Thomas said it amounts to investigating "each and every situation" of reported bullying, whether on school property or not, because often bullying outside of the school day "bleeds over" into the school.
"We have to have in place the means of punishment if teachers or administrators fail to investigate," he said.
The state Dept. of Education sent out information about having a policy in place the end of July, Thomas said, after the school corporation didn't receive anything from the General Assembly.
"I'm not saying I agree with it," Thomas said of the law, "but we have to follow the state law ... "
The second reading of the policies, as well as the likely adoption of both, will take place Thursday, Sept. 12, at the next school board meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m.
Also at the meeting, Thomas was given permission to advertise the proposed 2014 budget, tax rate, bus replacement plan and capital projects plan. He anticipates the budget will be adopted at the October meeting.
"I just about have the budget finished," he said. "I'm trying to work out the tax rate to where it needs to be; it's taking some juggling."
During board member communication, school trustee Gary Byrne asked for clarification about another new law, one that bans electioneering on school property as well as forbides the use of school property for campaign purposes.
Thomas said they had a guest speaker on opening day this school year to present the new law to the staff.
"I don't think we're going to have to worry about it here," Thomas said of the misuse of school property for electioneering.