Today’s news and information gleanings from here and there!
Quote of the day … “ A 9-year-old West Virginia boy was found hanged to death in his bedroom in an apparent suicide after family said he was the victim of schoolyard bullying.” – This very recent tragic lead sentence identifies the urgency of identifying and responding to bullying. – New York Daily News
District Magistrate Miles Bixler administered the oath of office to newly appointed school board of directors, Iris Rachael Garrido and Barry Ford, at last night’s Board of Directors meeting in the District’s Administration building in the presence of a packed room of residents and citizens. All the school board of directors were in attendance except for Leo Lutz – the board president granted an excuse for him citing a work conflict.
NOTE: Columbia Borough School Board’s Policies are no longer available at the School Board Website; there is a line that says “Columbia Borough School District Board Policies” – but there is no link to the policies.
- The current school board of directors are: Janet Schwert, Kathleen Hohenadel, Cole Knighton, Vickie Anspach, Keith Combs, Charles Leader, Barry Ford, Iris Rachael Garrido, Leo Lutz. The Website shows Tammy Mattern who, evidently has resigned. Lutz was not at last night’s meeting.
- Ernest Wiker’s comments during last night’s meeting drew enthusiastic approval from the estimated audience of 100 or so persons.
- Garrido’s comments during last night’s meeting contained important messages about working together and parenting and building community. “We are Columbians | keep coming to our meetings.”
- Bullying Policy – The Columbia Borough School District Administration reported that there were no incidents of bullying occurring in the schools in 2009.The school board prohibits bullying by district students and employees. The Board directs that complaints of bullying and harassment shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action shall be taken when allegations are verified. No reprisals or retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith reports of bullying. All Pennsylvania schools are required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school’s website and posted in every classroom. All Pennsylvania public schools must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years.
- Additionally, the district must conduct an annual review of that policy with students. District administration are required to annually provide the following information with the district’s Safe School Report: the board’s bullying policy, a report of bullying incidents in the school district, and information on the development and implementation of any bullying prevention, intervention or education programs. The Center for Schools and Communities works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Pennsylvania Department of Education to assist schools and communities as they research, select and implement bullying prevention programs and initiatives.
- In 2012, Columbia held a bullying forum – Lancaster Online
- Among the more dramatic comments of the many citizens addressing the board last night was a question directed to the former school board director’s president, Tom Strickler, when he was asked, “Did you bully the members of the board?”
- Columbia’s reported 2015 Incidents Involving Local Law Enforcment – http://www.safeschools.state.pa.us
- PA Bullying Prevention Consultation Line -The Office for Safe Schools, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), announces the availability of the PA Bullying Prevention Consultation Line. The Bullying Prevention Consultation Line is a toll free number that will allow individuals experiencing chronic and unresolved bullying to discuss effective strategies and available resources to deal with school-based bullying. This supportive resource has been developed in collaboration with the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (CHPDP), and is available, at no cost, to students, parents/guardians and school districts across the state of Pennsylvania. Messages can be left 24 hour a day, seven days a week, and will be returned Monday-Friday during normal business hours. The Consultation Line number is 1-866-716-0424.