A bullying case which involved a disabled student in a Palo Alto school received a tentative approval for the latest procedures and polities targeting the resolving of the violation of the civil rights laws in the district. Provided the entire school board is going to give it’s go on the matter, they will satisfy the 2012 resolution agreement that was signed by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights.
The agreement states the district will revamp its policies regarding the dealing of gender, disability, race, and sexual preference discriminations, among others. However, the Policy Review Committee settled upon the non-adoption of the wider policies for the entire district for those students that are not part of the protected classes. The matter of similar bullying complaints on the previously mentioned topics will be handles by each of the school confronting with them.
More Complaints And Lawsuits Expected
According to Stanford Law School Professor Michele Dauber, the lack of an extra process for the victims of school bullying who are not part of the so-called protected classes will trigger more complaints. The fear is that the entire work and efforts that have been invested into the development of the anti-bullying policies will be entirely lost provided the district will not choose to embrace the uniform procedure for all victims of bullying, no matter if they are part of the protected classes or not. However, some specialists disagree with this idea. Layer Dora Dome is one of them; she says that students who are not protected will still get to enjoy the protection they need thanks to the separate protection structure that still exists for them. The parents of bullied students or the bullying victims can appeal to a teacher or to the principal and in case they are not fully satisfied with the resolution of their case, they are allowed to file a complaint against the principal with the district office. His will automatically trigger the investigation of the respective matter.
People who were pro the introduction of a singular bullying complaint process that will handle the matter of all students have started changing their minds. For instance, Melissa Baten Caswell, a committee member has changed her mind about the respective policy after having talked to teachers and also with the head of the union for teachers. Despite of her strong beliefs that a single process covering all students will suffice, Caswell was convinced differently. Genuine incidents need to be separated from false incidents and the general procedure would not help reach that goal. Protected or unprotected classes, all students must be kept safe at any times and bullying matters should be addressed accordingly by trained class staff.
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