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New bullying policy set for review

Original post made on Mar 11, 2014

The Palo Alto school district's Board Policy Review Committee (BPRC) will consider a new proposed [Web Link bullying policy] at a meeting Wednesday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to noon at 25 Churchill Ave.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 9:50 AM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Duveneck mom
a resident of Duveneck School
on Mar 11, 2014 at 11:08 am

Thank you for this story, it is very helpful. It has been hard to follow the tortured history of this policy, even though I have tried. I think the district should have stuck with the policy that they almost adopted in December, and even better would have been one policy for all students. The current proposal for students who are not on IEPs or minorities might as well not be adopted at all, since it doesn't provide any guidance or time limits for parents to rely on. It almost seems like a fig leaf to cover up for the fact that the school board promised the community a policy that would 'non-protected-class' students but isn't delivering one.

Thanks to the community members who wrote the letter to the school board committee. It makes it clear the changes that should be made, and the problems with the current draft. I wish the PTA had taken more interest in this. Bullying is an issue that doesn't affect all children, but I can speak from experience that when it happens to your child, it can be devastating.

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Posted by Edmund Burke
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2014 at 2:10 pm

This story is excellent. I also have a new blog post on this subject, which readers can find here: Web Link

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Posted by village fool
a resident of another community
on Mar 11, 2014 at 4:08 pm

This is VERY interesting.
It so happened that I posted last night my take on the Bullying Policies long and windy road. My post also includes my uneducated suggestion for Bullying Policies and best practices - Web Link

I did not know that PAUSD board will address this issue tonight. I did check the agenda past weekend, apparently I overlooked this agenda item.
I have been following Mr. Burke, closely, in the past months, trying to keep up with this issue.
On Jan 27th, the Weekly published an article (Web Link) letting us know that the board will address Bullying Polices on Jan 28th.
I paid close attention to the January 28th PAUSD board's meeting. I was appalled by the incident that had Angela cut of the mike. I posted my impressions here - Web Link noting that I did not watch the meeting post midnight.
Ms. Gaona-Mendosa commented, letting me know that the bullying policies issue was not addressed until way after mid-night.
Long story short, it is pretty clears that I should give up and realize that bullying policies cannot be followed, not to mention understood by fools. Clearly, it takes a fool to take so long to understand that.

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Posted by Getting worse
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 11, 2014 at 7:45 pm

This story is scary. It doesn't indicate anything near excellence in Kevin Skelly as the superintendent, Charles Young as the compliance officer (does Young's past performance spark confidence in any of you?), or any of the board members. This is utter failure and mediocrity. Nice point about Teri Baldwin and teachers union blessing the new policy. That says a lot. Can this get any worse?

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Posted by Wow
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 11, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Fascinating. This is the paragraph that leaps out at me:

"Teri Baldwin, president of the Palo Alto Educator's Association (the teachers' union), said she has reviewed several drafts of the bullying policy, including the December 2013 policy and more recent versions, and told the Weekly she had no specific concerns based on the language in any of these drafts. Baldwin said that her only concern was a general one, focused on making sure that "little day-to-day learning experiences" would not trigger or require a major process. She said this concern arose "more from conversations she was having with parents and others" than from any policy language she had seen proposed."

This is directly contradictory to what Skelly and board members have said to justify the sharp change in direction. Melissa Caswell for example said that it was opposition from Baldwin to the December draft that caused her to withdraw her support. But Baldwin now says that she had no concerns with the language in the December draft, and instead a general concern that small incidents not trigger the process. Presumably that could have been handled with some clarifying language in that draft.

Who does support the draft policy? Baldwin says it "looks fine to her", hardly a ringing endorsement. Sigrid Pinsky and PTAC seem to have no memory of having actually seen it. Members of the most of the groups that provided feedback apparently sent a letter opposing it. It seems this baby has no parents.

So why did the draft approved by OCR, CSBA, and the CA Dept of Education get yanked in December? Perhaps because the district wanted one more try at a policy that wouldn't comply with federal civil rights law, since the same problems that OCR objected to last spring apparently resurfaced in the February 2014 draft. But then, "Subsequent revisions made in the two March drafts brought back a sharper delineation around the mandated role of the Uniform Complaint Procedure for discriminatory bullying complaints." Where did those revisions come from? Community feedback? OCR again?

Time for some more reporting. Or (dare we hope) some transparency from 25 Churchill?

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Posted by Cut the Mike!
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Getting worse,

This story is scary. It doesn't indicate anything near excellence in Kevin Skelly as the superintendent, Charles Young as the compliance officer (e board members. YES YOU ARE RIGHT NO EXCELLENCE IN ANY ADMISTRATOR. IT IS VERY SCARY, DISAPPOINTING AND FRUSTRATING.

(does Young's past performance spark confidence in any of you?), or any of the board members. [Portion removed.] PAUSD and their administrators are getting famous for the wrong reasons. At least I heard that Damian Huertas is leaving, let's wait and hear how many people will cry because he is leaving. Hope the new super really cleans house.

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Posted by tracey Chen
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 12, 2014 at 6:15 am

[Post removed.]

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Posted by Zack L
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Bullying can result in reluctance to go to school and truancy, headaches and stomach pains, reduced appetite, shame, anxiety, irritability, aggression and depression. We must take action on the eradication of this issue in our community. Giving also additional protection to kids is not bad, monitoring their location would be very great here a safety application on the phone that parents can use to help and add safety to their children. Check this site out for information: Web Link

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