Tom Terrell (center), Indian Springs Middle School counselor, along with fellow counselor Dawn Michel (not pictured) are working to educate students on the reporting process for harassment and bullying. School districts across the state are now required to provide extra education on the subject due to new legislation. Post & Mail photo / Nicole Ott
COLUMBIA CITY â€” Legislators have worked to change bullying laws within school systems to address harassment.
Changes in this legislation may necessitate changes in board policy â€” a topic that was brought up at Mondayâ€™s Whitley County Consolidated School Board of Trustees meeting.
Per the new laws, all staff, volunteers, students, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, etc. must be formally trained about bullying.
Coesse Elementary School Principal Dr. Laura McDermott had a presentation for the school board.
â€śCounselors will be laying out what bullying looks like for everyone involved,â€ť McDermott said.
Some board members were concerned with the added strain being put on the schoolâ€™s counselors.
â€śItâ€™s going to take a tremendous amount of time, and its an unfunded mandate,â€ť said Brooks Langeloh, board member. â€śEvery year we get unfunded, mandated legislation, while theyâ€™re cutting our budget.â€ť
Though the new legislation puts more strain on the schoolâ€™s staff, Columbia City Police Detective Chip Stephenson said it gives law enforcement officials more leeway to investigate bullying with children.
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