New Bullying Policy
Murphysboro Community Unit School District 186 has updated their Board Policy 7:180. To read the full policy you can find it online on the District Website under Board of Education. However the changes follow the “cyber bullying” law passed last year in the State.
Bullying can be summed up as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct directed toward a student that has or could have the effect including; placing the student in reasonable fear of harm, causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health, substantially interfering with their academic performance, or substantially interfering with their ability to participate in the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
Bullying has not been and will not be tolerated in our district or at our schools. The new policies change expands our ability to deal with these issues. In the past, we were able to deal with bullying that occurred within our buildings. Now, we are able to deal with bullying that occurs through “on-line” means. Cyber bullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication. With Cell phones and the increased use of Facebook, Instagram, etc., we have seen an increase in bullying behavior. It is safe to say that almost all of our fights that have occurred began with an argument or comments made on-line. The new law, and our new policy now allows us to deal with the comments made by students to students through these electronic means. In other words, if a student is being harassed by another individual on-line they can report this behavior to the administration and consequences for these on-line comments can occur.
The world is a different place than when I grew up. If I was having issues with my friends, or having a bad day, I could go home and not be bothered. Today, students don’t have a safe haven unless they separate themselves from their phone. I strongly urge parents to have rules in their homes such as individuals cell phones don’t go into their bedrooms. I strongly urge parents to monitor and review their students’ social media accounts to see what they are saying and what is being said to them. I strongly urge parents to control/supervise/monitor their students’ behavior in the on-line communities as they do within the real world. And finally I strongly urge parents and students to report any incidences of bullying to the schools. Anonymous reports will also be accepted and investigated.