In the past 24 hours there has been a lot of discussion about bullying and how bullying is handled by the school district. In accordance with state law, bullying is defined as intimidation, unwanted aggressive behavior or harassment that is repetitive or is substantially likely to be repeated and causes a reasonable student to fear for his or her physical safety or property; that substantially interferes with the educational performance, opportunities or benefits of any student without exception; or that substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school. By policy, each building principal is the designation individual to receive or investigate reports of bullying. All school employees, substitutes or volunteers are expected to intervene to prevent student bullying. By policy school employees are required to report any incident to the building principal as soon as possible. Students who have been subjected to bullying, or have witnessed or have knowledge of bullying are encouraged to promptly report such incidents to a trusted adult. A copy of the district policy may be found in the student handbook. The Morgan County R-II School District takes complaints of bullying very seriously.
We are constantly trying to improve our processes in eliminating bullying. Two weeks ago we hosted an assembly for students to discuss the harmful effects and the consequences of bullying. We encourage parents to report concerns to administration or to encourage their children to report concerns to administration. We work closely with law enforcement if allegations of bullying result in threats being issued. I wish to thank our city and county law enforcement who worked very hard yesterday evening running down any new information related to an incident at school a couple days ago. We were relieved that they were able to confirm that there was no credible evidence of a threat to our students. As a parent of two children who attend our school district I would assure you that I would never put our students and staff in a situation if I felt it was dangerous for my own children. In order to ease lingering parent concerns about student safety, our city and county law enforcement will have an increased presence on campus next week.
Dr. Joyce Ryerson