By ASHLEY AMASON
Board members held a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 18, 2008 to re-organize. Former Vice-Chairman Bill Laird is now the board chairman, with member Sharon Roberts assuming the position of vice-chairwoman.
At the Nov. 18 regular WCSB meeting, Superintendent Carlene Anderson recognized four Sunshine State Scholars who received the honor to represent their school at the district level based on their outstanding FCAT scores in math and science. These students are Gloria Whitley (FHS), Michael Smith (Paxton), Charles Carpenter (SWHS), and Greg Rhodes (WHS). Charles Carpenter will represent the district at the regional level.
Coordinator of Student Services Dianne Hicks presented the bullying and harassment policy to the board, stating, “Our policy was approved at the DOE (Department of Education) level.” Hicks and the board then reviewed and approved verbiage in the policy to ensure the language complies with that which is state-mandated in the bullying and harassment policy.
All reports of bullying or harassment, defined by the policy as “…inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees” must be submitted for investigation in a written report to the district designee Officer Jimmy Macon. Once the validity of a report is established, the information is then submitted to the principal.
Superintendent Anderson responded to concerns about the school principals being completely unaware of a situation until the investigation is complete, saying, “I don’t see it as a bypass. I see it as assistance from the district.” Having a district designee prevents unnecessarily burdening principals with unwarranted claims of bullying and harassment.
Compounding this concern is the fact that anonymous reports of bullying and harassment may be submitted and must be investigated. Board member Mark Davis commented, “I don’t know how you’d investigate it (an anonymous report).” Vice-Chair Roberts interjected, “It’s a dead end from the very beginning.”
The board moved agenda item 5.01 (c), approval of the agreement with the University of Florida for professional services pertaining to the development and implementation of a school concurrency management system, from the consent agenda to the action agenda. The motion carried with unanimous approval.