TCCS targets bullying

A change in policy will hopefully bring changes to student behavior at Tidioute Community Charter School.

At a recent meeting, the board of trustees approved a new bullying policy.

“The TCCS Board of Trustees, in response to a new State PDE PA School District Requirement of this summer, has adopted this Policy on Bullying,” according to the text of the policy. “Bullying is a serious issue in schools today with most parents dealing with a bullying issues at least once a year. Students “bully” electronically by texting and on social media sites such as Facebook.”

“The policy on anti-bullying is new this year, however TCCS has had an anti-harassment policy for years,” Chief Educational Officer Dr. Doug Allen said. “The difference is that young people recognize the term bullying more than they do harassment.”

The policy defines bullying as a “means an intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or series of acts directed at another student or students, which occurs in a school setting that is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the effect of doing any of the following: Substantial interference with a student’s education, creation of a threatening environment, substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school. Bullying, as defined in this policy, includes cyberbullying.”

“The no bulling policy is clear that we do not want students to hurt each other using words or deeds or physical actions,” Allen said. “Most bullying is in the form of texts.”

The board of trustees will maintain oversight of the new policy by requiring administration to include reports on bullying incidents as well as “information on the development and implementation of any bullying prevention, intervention or education programs” in the Safe School Report.

Administration are planning for this policy to be put into practice, as well.

“We are holding anti-bullying assemblies this year,” Allen noted. “The group SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), led by Amanda Englert at TCCS, will find specialists to lead these assemblies.” He said that one will be held in October and the other in May.

“AT TCCS we are committed to reducing the possibility of bullying and harassment by students,” said Allen. “Last year we dealt with bullying complaints but we are committed to teaching all students about the dangers of such behavior in our cyber world.”