Nov 27, 2012 7:01 PM by Erin Steuber

LPSS Bullying Policy Changing with Intent to Better Protect Students

The bullying policy in Lafayette Parish is changing with the intent of better protecting students. The changes are coming after the state passed a law, earlier this year, requiring all districts to adopt policies. Lafayette Parish currently has a policy, but as KATC's Erin Steuber found out it's lacking structure.

Administrators, teachers and staff will be required to have four hours of training to help them recognize bullying behavior. By January 1st, school districts across the state will be required to implement the training, report incidents and intervene properly.

"Really the biggest change is that it brings structure to the reporting process of bullying, and holds some accountability to the reporter, parents of that student, potentially, as well as, the administrative staff and the school system," said LPSS Director of Health and Wellness, Bradley Cruice.

Lafayette Parish School Systems teamed up with the Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning to create an online, on demand training program.

"Basically online, on demand, means it would be accessible 24/7 to any educator within this region," said Picard's Project Manager Dr. Holly Howart. "They'd be able to access it and do it either during their planning time, or possibly in the evenings. It leaves the teachers and other staff in the classroom working with kids on learning."

The new law requires new forms, deadlines and communication with parents. For example, parents must be notified the same day an incident occurs. And now, by law, investigations must be complete within 10 days of the initial report, whereas today there is no timeline.

"Our expectations coming out of it is that we can have decrease instances of bullying," said Cruice. "With a greater awareness we can have a focus on prevention as opposed to the outcomes and doing the discipline actions."

If the school board approves the new policy tomorrow, it'll go to final vote next month.

For more details on how the policy will change click here.


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