BULLYING REDEFINED: Legislation changes procedures, policies in schools

COLUMBIA CITY — Legislators have worked to change bullying laws within school systems to address harassment.Changes in this legislation may necessitate changes in board policy — a topic that was brought up at Monday’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.“Counselors will be laying out what bullying looks like for everyone involved,” McDermott said. Some board members were concerned with the added strain being put on the school’s counselors.“It’s going to take a tremendous amount of time, and its an unfunded mandate,” said Brooks Langeloh, board member. “Every year we get unfunded, mandated legislation, while they’re cutting our budget.”Though the new legislation puts more strain on the school’s staff, Columbia City Police Detective Chip Stephenson said it gives law enforcement officials more leeway to investigate bullying with children.To read the rest of this story, see the Aug. 22 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.