Meeting on SAD 44 bullying policy postponed

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BETHEL — An informational meeting on the new SAD 44 bullying policy has been postponed until Thurs. Jan. 11, because of the incoming snowstorm. The meeting, originally scheduled for Jan. 4, will take place in the Helen C. Berry auditorium at Telstar Regional Middle/High School at 6:30 p.m.

“Between three portions of presentations, we plan to cover the school’s legal requirements regarding bullying, what the DOE expects and how they support the implementation of those expectations, and what we do locally, in order to implement the new policy that was approved earlier this fall,” said SAD 44 Superintendent David Murphy.

Attorney Melissa Hewey of Drummond and Woodsum in Portland will be there to give an overview of the Title 20 Maine statute, which defines bullying, encourages “alternative discipline” such as counseling and community service instead of suspension or expulsion, and more.

Sarah Ricker, the student assistance coordinator for the Maine Department of Education, will go over the state’s expectations, requirements and initiatives regarding bullying.

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In addition, district administrators will explain their new policy on bullying.  According to Telstar Regional High School Principal Cheryl Lang, all school administrators, K-12, will be in attendance, and each will do a portion of the presentation.

“It’s a much more specific policy; a much more comprehensive policy than the one before, and that’s true across the state. There are different reporting forms and different reports administrators have to make,” said Murphy.

The meeting will include time to answer questions at the end.

“The goal is to explain what bullying is and how it’s handled, and to give folks an opportunity to ask any follow up questions,” said Murphy. “We thought having the legal portion, complimented by the DOE piece and the local piece, would give a good understanding.”

emarquis@sunmediagroup.net

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