The following was read at our March 11th Board of Education Meeting by Mr. Fenlong, Board President.
It is the policy of the Gouverneur Central School District Board of Education to hear comments from the public during open session at regular board meetings. However, these public comment periods are not meant to be a discussion, and the role of the board members is to listen only and not provide feedback. In some cases, this means the board does not correct false statements or respond to allegations against school personnel or the board. When appropriate, the Superintendent or Board President may follow up with individuals to correct false information or hold a discussion at a later time.
Above all, Gouverneur Central School District strives to protect the safety and dignity of all scholars. The District abides by strict policy procedures when it comes to allegations or concerns of bullying, and all instances are thoroughly investigated.
When a school staff member is first notified of a possible bullying situation, the situation is immediately investigated within 24 hours. School staff may take complaints or reports from parents or other relatives, students, or bystanders. These reports can be made in person, through a written message, email, or via phone call. Each and every report is documented according to NYS law in the parent log, discipline referral, or the completion of the Dignity for all Students Act (DASA) form.
Each building has Board of Education appointed designees called DASA coordinators who are responsible for handling all reports of bullying.
The District uses the following definitions as outlined in Board Policy and the Student Code of Conduct:
- Harassment: verbal threats, intimidation, or abuse that creates a hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or well-being or reasonably causes (or would be expected to cause) a student to fear for his/her safety.
- Bullying: unwanted and aggressive behavior stemming from a perceived or real imbalance of power. Repeated over time, and victim feels helpless to respond.
If a report is investigated through the proper channels and it is determined to NOT be a case of bullying or harassment, the District and school administration will work with those involved to reach a mutually agreeable solution to the problem.