Obion County Board of Education
January 14, 2013

Agenda Item: VII.E.

Consider/Approve Amendment to Board Policy #6.304 –
Student Discrimination/Harassment and Bullying/ Intimidation and Cyberbullying

Background Information:

During the last legislative session, Public Chapter 992 was passed that established additional requirements for local education agencies (LEAs) relative to addressing bullying and harassment. Existing policy requirements established under TCA §49-6-1016 remain in effect. In addition to the existing policy requirements contained in the law, Public Chapter 992 requires LEAs to do the following at the beginning of each school year:  

  • Provide teachers and counselors with a copy of the policy required under TCA §49-6-1016 as well as information and training on how the policy is to be implemented, including strategies to address bullying and harassment when it happens.
  • Make available to students and parents information relative to bullying prevention and provide opportunities for discussion with respect to prevention policies and bullying prevention strategies.

Additionally, each LEA is required, beginning Aug. 1, 2013:

  • To annually submit a report to the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) concerning the number of bullying cases brought to the attention of school officials during the preceding year and the manner in which they were resolved or the reason they are still pending.

Finally, principals of middle, junior high or high schools, or their designees, are required to:

  • Investigate harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyberbullying when a student reports to any principal, teacher or guidance counselor that physical harm or a threat of physical harm to such student’s person or property has occurred. Following such investigation, the principal or designee is further required to report the findings, along with any disciplinary action taken, to the director of schools and the chair of the local board of education.
To implement the requirements of the law, TSBA has developed the attached policy. We have addressed the new requirements with our principals. The only changes suggested to TSBA’s recommended policy are on page 2. On line 43, the word suspension needs to be struck and replaced with expulsion. On line 47, the phrase “or the _______________” needs to be struck. Mr. Hollowell and Ms. Hamilton are our Federal Rights Coordinators. The Board’s current policy is attached for reference purposes only.

Staff Recommendation:

I recommend approval of the amendment to Board Policy #6.304 – Student Discrimination/Harassment and Bullying/Intimidation and Cyberbullying, on first reading.