The agenda was concise but the first meeting at Luther Public Schools of the Bullying Prevention Meeting lasted for two hours, according to Supt. Barry Gunn. He said they covered a lot of ground.
The committee met November 29, in response to an outcry from some parents accusing some administrators of ignoring the problem. The discussion was ramped up after a November incident in which an eighth-grade student was expelled for allegedly writing a “hit list” threatening to harm teachers and students. Administrators were quick to point out that the hitlist incident and the bullying issue were not related, but acknowledged the larger issue of bullying merited more public discussion.
The meeting brought together about 20 persons including Gunn, three principals, teachers from each building, two counselors, two school board members and twenty parents, said Gunn.
CJ Cavin was one of the board members on the panel. Tony Rumpl is the other one. On Cavin’s campaign FB page for his election to a full term on the school board, Cavin said the initial meeting was productive.
“A lot of ideas were discussed and many issues were brought up by teachers and parents. This is an important first and we will be discussing additional ways for community members to get involved,” said Cavin.
One of the actions that resulted from the meeting was the quick implementation of an online “Bullying Form.” Located on the school district’s website, the form asks for data about any bullying incident including dates, locations, and who was involved. The website says the form is confidential.
“The bullying form is just another way to report problems, even if it’ something they were not involved in, but maybe witnessed,” said Supt. Gunn.
He said the committee will meet again in January.