Board includes adults in anti-bullying policy - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Board includes adults in anti-bullying policy

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"We had a pretty robust policy that covered student-on-student activity," Birmingham Superintendent Craig Witherspoon told ABC 33/40, but the school system did not have an anti-bullying policy covering the adults working for the system.  The board adopted its first policy in 2009 providing guidelines on bullying, harassment and threats of  violence for students.  Tuesday afternoon, the board revised it.


"Employee against employee, employee against student, student against the employee. Everybody is being covered," said Alana Edwards, vice-president of the school board.  She also chairs the Policy Committee and says with the changes, the system's policy now complies with state law and will help legally.  "A lot of times when our attorneys have cases, and they go to court, then they'll come back to the Policy Committee and make some revisions and some adjustments, and say, 'This would be better off with Birmingham having it this way.'"

But no one will say what case or incident of bullying or harassment if any prompted the change.

"I can't give you any specific incident," Dr. Witherspoon stated, "but I know sometimes adults can have issues or concerns that they might can't work out in a professional manner.  We wanted to make sure that our policy reflects the appropriate way to deal with those issues."

The revision also holds managers and supervisors accountable.  Those who know about on-going harassment and do nothing, will be disciplined and possibly fired.