June 7, 2012

Education meeting looks for solutions

Education meeting looks for solutions
By Jerry W. Kram

Although the meeting held May 30 was called to inform parents and the community about the New Town School District’s new bullying policy, it became a wide ranging session about the schools’ problems and how teachers, parents and the broader community could work together to solve them.
New Town School Superintendent Marc Bluestone started with a review of the bullying policy. He said the revision of the policy was necessary because the state Department of Public Instruction rejected the districts current policy. Bluestone said the state approved of the district’s discipline measures but insisted that the district have a clear and transparent investigation requirement.
“So we rewrote the policy to change some key points on how we investigate complaints,” Bluestone said. “The changes will insure there will be transparency for both the student and parents and will make sure that the school follows through on complaints.”
The key to the system will be forms that will be available in the school handbooks and the district web site. Once a student or parent fills out the form it will go to the Superintendent who will be the only person to see the form. That will preserve student confidentiality. The superintendent will brief the principal of the school the student attends who will work with the parents of all the students involved to seek a resolution. Bluestone said this will not prevent parents from taking additional action if necessary.
“This will not prevent any parent from going to the police,” Bluestone said. “Plus, enforcement for violations will stay the same as in the old policy. If a situation is serious enough, it can lead to a student bei


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