WCPS Revising Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation Policy

WCPS Revising Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation Policy

In accordance with the Maryland State Board of Education's recently-adopted, "model" policy to address bullying, harassment, and intimidation, WCPS is forming the Cross-Functional Team to Promote Civil Behavior. The new task force will analyze and recommend changes to the existing WCPS policy, explore prevention and intervention measures, and recommend strategies to enlist the active involvement of the Washington County community.
"Some students experience the demoralizing effects of bullying at the hands of their peers," according to Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, WCPS superintendent. "Although bullying occurs in many settings and is not solely a school-related issue, WCPS is committed to a vision of eliminating incidences on school property and at school-related functions. WCPS has a defined process for dealing with bullying; however we want to align Washington County's approach with the state's new model policy."
Morgan added that staff will work closely with the Cross-Functional Team to Promote Civil Behavior and the Washington County community to refine and strengthen the bullying policy and regulations, and to further research and implement the best practices for preventing acts of bullying, harassment, and intimidation.
The new task force will hold public meetings, during which ideas for a revised policy will be discussed. The community can submit ideas or concerns by e-mailing John Davidson, director of student services, at DavidJoh@wcboe.k12.md.us. Additionally, task force minutes and meeting agendas will be posted on the WCPS website at www.wcboe.k12.md.us.
Reports throughout the nation reveal an increase in the reporting of incidences of bullying. The 2007 Maryland Youth Risk Behavioral Survey, which was completed by students in selected high schools, indicated that over one-fourth of high school students had been harassed or bullied on school property during the previous 12 months of the survey's administration. The new state policy can be viewed at www.marylandpublicschools.org.