Better support and direction for school districts, a continued focus on social-emotional and character development and examining the current state law are just a few of the recommendations to address bullying presented Tuesday, Dec. 10, to the Kansas State Board of Education.
Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson in April 2019 appointed a Blue Ribbon Task Force to examine issues of bullying in the state’s schools. He asked that the task force return with recommendations to the State Board of Education by December 2019.
The Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying was comprised of 35 members and had its first meeting on April 25 in Topeka. The task force had six public meetings across the state and invited people to make written and oral comments. Meetings took place in Clearwater, Garden City, Salina, Girard, Lawrence and Topeka.
James Regier, superintendent of Remington-Whitewater Unified School District 206, and Dr. Rick Ginsberg, University of Kansas dean of education, served as co-chairs of the task force.
The task force offered seven main recommendations. They are, in no particular order, as following;
The task force was comprised of people from a wide array of backgrounds, Regier said, which allowed for a variety of viewpoints.
“It has been an honor to serve with this group of people,” Regier said. “They volunteered their time to tackle a difficult issue.”
“It made me proud to be a Kansan,” he said. “This is a community that has identified an issue that needed to be addressed. Bullying is an issue in all schools.”
State Board of Education members and Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson thanked the task force for their work on the report.
“This is a world-class report completed by 35 people on their own time,” Watson said.
The State Board of Education is scheduled to take action on the report in January 2020.
For more information about the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Bullying or to read the full report, visit https://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=527.
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