Education

Dallas ISD Trustee Flores on Why District Needs a New "Comprehensive" Policy on Bullying

While we're on the subject, perhaps some required reading?
On Thursday, the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees will take a closer look at a proposed policy: "Freedom from Bullying." District officials say this morning it was an idea proposed, separately, by trustees Edwin Flores and Bernadette Nutall; Flores tells Unfair Park this morning that the district's code of conduct "arguably" covers bullying, but he and Nutall -- "independently," he adds -- felt it didn't go far enough. Hence, he says, the need for something more "comprehensive."

Says the agenda item, the proposed policy receiving its second reading on Thursday "empowers the district to address the needs of the victim and perpetrator with positive interventions to prevent bullying and the negative impact it has on the victim as well as the school environment." The current code of conduct defines bullying, but, Flores says, it doesn't go far enough.

"There's nothing specific, like cyberbullying," he says. "So as we were adopting this year's code of conduct in June, we tasked the administration to come up with something on the issue and do some research, and this is what we came up with."

And by "this," he means this: two pages' worth of definitions, reporting procedures and punishments to be doled out responsible. It even offers examples of bullying:
Bullying of a student may include, but is not limited to threats, taunting, teasing, confinement, assault, demands for money, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, name calling, rumor spreading in any form or medium, and ostracism.
This is only a briefing read-though; the board will vote on the policy October 28. "But this thing has a 9-0 percent chance of passing," Flores says. "I mean, who's against stopping this?"

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky