The school principals from the Parker Unified School District attended the meeting of Parents Against Bullying held Sept. 25 at the Parker Public Library. At the September school board meeting, members of the group had invited school officials to attend their meetings. The three principals who were at the Sept. 25 meeting included David Daly of Parker High School, Joanna Hermes of Blake Primary School and Kelly McGuire of Wallace Elementary School.
County Attorney Tony Rogers was also at the Sept. 25 meeting, but he had to leave early.
The three principals were there to explain their schools’ anti-bullying policies. They stated their student handbooks explain what students can and can’t do, as well as the consequences of not following the rules.
McGuire said she and the other principals would be happy to provide a copy of their policies to the group.
Daly said the Parker High bullying policy is explained at a student assembly at the start of each school year. The bullying policy is also posted in every classroom.
The leaders of Parents Against Bullying, Ruthie Davis and Tracy McConnell, said they have heard a lot of complaints about bullying at the junior high level. McGuire suggested they ask for a copy of their student handbook.
Daly said it was important to remember that every incident and circumstances are different.
“You can’t just have a blanket set of punishments for bullying,” he said.
The principals also drew a distinction between bullying and one-time incidents. They said there’s a difference between disputes that lead to fights and bullying, which is a pattern of repeated abusive behavior by one individual or a group towards another individual or group.
“I see a lot of one-time incidents,” Daly said. “That’s not bullying on a daily basis.”
The principals told the group that, if they are not satisfied with how officials at one of the schools are handling a bullying situation, they should take their concerns to Superintendent Brad Sale or Assistant Superintendent Paul Olson.
Davis stated the group is there to find solutions and not point fingers.
“We want to help,” she said.
The next meeting of Parents Against Bullying will be in late October, with the date and time to be announced.