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YISD Board Approves Bullying Policy Changes As Per State Directives

Texas is getting tougher on school bullies.

The Yselta Independent School District board of trustees approved a set of recommended revisions regarding bullying and transfer policies during a meeting Wednesday.

The agenda items are part of a set of directives from the Texas Legislature calling for all state school districts to toughen up and expand their bullying policies. The required changes must be made by the start of the 2012-2013 school year.

One of the changes is to allow school districts to transfer bullies to a different classroom or campus. Currently, districts are only allowed to transfer bullying victims.

“I believe the intent of the house bill is to give both kids the opportunity to start fresh,” said YISD Associate Superintendent Pauline Dow.

The Texas Association of School Boards gives the following descriptions for what constitutes bullying:

“Beginning with the 2012-2013 school year, state law will define bullying as engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, or in a vehicle operated by the district and that: (1) has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or of damage to the student’s property; or (2) is sufficiently severe, persistent and pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for a student.

Conduct is considered bullying if it (1) exploits an imbalance of power between the student and perpetrator and the student victim through written or verbal expression or physical conduct; and (2) interferes with a student’s education or substantially disrupts the operation of a school.”

The El Paso ISD and Socorro ISD told ABC-7 they are also planning on revising their bullying policies in upcoming school board meetings to comply with the legislature’s directives.

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