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Bullying, health policies okayed at S. Putnam

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The South Putnam School Board got its first look at South Putnam Jr.-Sr. High School's new policies Monday.

The new policies on wellness and bullying presented by Principal Kieth Puckett were created to coincide with the NEOLA versions.

Puckett said that as the former school safety administrator bullying is a hot topic for everyone.

"This policy you can tailor make to your needs," he said about melding the bullying policy and the NEOLA version. NEOLA is a policy review firm that contracts with school corporations to make sure that policies comply with state and federal law.

With the wellness policy, Puckett had several different sources, so a committee was put together. While the committee went with the NEOLA choices and their hands were tied a bit, they all agreed with the idea of not having anything that is not considered pure.

These new policies are "very stern and radical," said Puckett.

Board member at-large, Nancy Wells, asked if she could receive a copy of the NEOLA versions to compare and contrast them to Puckett's policies.

To coincide with Puckett's bullying policy, Dan Bain, newly-appointed assistant principal for the high school and safety administrator, has created a disciplinary ladder that he would like to be added to the high school handbook. Bain later told the BannerGraphic it will get rid of the need for after school detention and Saturday school, and the room needs to be open to all teachers and students to be effective.

He said that it gives teachers the chance to decide if a student should be removed if they have misbehaved, and instead of being sent to the office to wait on the administration, they can be sent straight to In School Suspension. "It is pretty simple," Bain said about the ladder. "Any student can understand it."

Board members questioned who would be overseeing the ISS room. Bain informed the board that right now the study hall teacher oversees the room, but it is unfair to have study hall students stuck with those in ISS. The board asked if that meant they needed to add another position to oversee the room. Puckett said yes and was considering possibly offering the position to one of the aides who lost their position.

The board approved the adjustment to the handbook and hiring an aide for the room on a 4-1 vote.

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