BOISE — On Monday at the monthly Boise School District board meeting, a first reading to update policies on harassment and bullying took place.
Bullying on school grounds is not something the district takes lightly, according to board president A.J. Balukoff.
“We try to have a safe environment for all of our students, safe not only physically but emotionally and mentally,” said Balukoff.
At Monday’s meeting, KTVB learned a parent brought her complaint all the way to the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho.
The woman, who did not feel comfortable releasing her name, said she has three children in Boise schools and she believes more needs to be done. Her bullying claim involves a member of the faculty harassing her child.
Monica Hopkins is the Executive Director with the ACLU of Idaho and said in the last 6 months up to ten different complaints have been made to their agency concerning bullying or harassment in Idaho schools.
Hopkins said in many cases, the parents do not feel comfortable enough to follow through with a complaint for fear of retaliation.
“In some of those other school districts the parents didn’t come forward because they feared retaliation, because they feared they wouldn’t be taken seriously,” she said.
Monday was just the first reading for the policy change and the board is looking specifically into clarifying language in the existing policy.
Balukoff said, they want to make it known that the bus and bus stops are considered school property--so any harassment happening in those places, goes against the rules.
The Boise School District has always had a no bullying tolerance, and Monday evening, the ACLU commended the district for their proactive approach on the issue.
In addition to that--the Boise School District will make reporting--bullying more official by allowing students and parents to fill out a complaint form.
The board will vote after a second reading, in one month.