Clarification: A summary of the Hauppauge School District Code of Conduct is included in the Back to School mailing at the start of each school year, clarified district spokewoman Trish Auerbach, not a full copy as previous stated.
Last week, Patch readers raised questions and shared concerns over how Hauppauge School District handles student bullying and its Code of Conduct.
The district has a 42-page Code of Conduct posted in its website that defines students' responsibilities, dress code, prohibited conduct, reporting of problems and disciplinary procedures.
Trish Auerbach, a spokeswoman for Hauppauge school district said a summary of the Code of Conduct is included in the district's Back-To-School mailing each fall.
Yet, parents at the Board of Education's Feb. 7 meeting were asking how they could find the district's Code of Conduct and disciplinary policies, following a recent altercation at Hauppauge Middle School.
The following day, reader Beth LaManna posted the question on Hauppauge Patch's Facebook page, "Anti-Bullying programs in your school in the Hauppauge School District, are they working?" Her question sparked a conversation on bullying and what's being done in local schools.
Hauppauge school officials and Board of Education members considered adding a section to the district's Code of Conduct that would define bullying and cyberbullying in August 2010. It is not currently part of the district's current Code of Conduct, according to the Board of Education's page.
The proposed definition of bullying reads: A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative action on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending him/herself.
This definition includes three important components:
- Bullying is an aggressive behavior that involves unwanted negative actions.
- Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
- Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
The proposed addition to the Code of Conduct lists several examples of bullying such as derogatory comments; social exclusion; physical bullying like kicking or shoving; lies and false rumors; having money or items taken; being threatened or force to do things; and racial-, sexual- and cyberbullying.
The proposed definition for cyberbullying starts:
Cyberbullying refers to any harassment that occurs via the Internet, cellphones or other devices. Communication technology is used to intentionally harm others through hostile behavior such as sending text messages and posting ugly comments on the Internet.
Our question asks: How familiar are you with Hauppauge Public Schools' Code of Conduct? Did you know it was available on the district's website?
Also, how do you feel about the district's proposed definitions of bullying and cyberbullying?
Tell us in the comments section below.
Click on the attached PDF to read the district's full and complete Code of Conduct.