School board to set policy on harassment

June 11, 1993|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

The school board plans to consider a policy on sexual harassment of students and a regulation on dealing with "do not XTC resuscitate" orders from parents of students who have life-threatening conditions.

The policy on sexual harassment follows a study by the American Association of University Women, released June 2, which shows that four out of five teens are affected by sexual harassment by other students, teachers or school employees.

School board President Carolyn Scott said that as the board was evaluating Superintendent R. Edward Shilling this spring, members asked him about a policy on sexual harassment.

"It was on the way," she said. Pupil services staff had already begun drafting the policy.

The board could vote on it as early as the July 21 meeting.

The proposed policy defines sexual harassment as "unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, by student or school employee which [interferes with education] or creates a hostile or intimidating environment."

Examples listed include verbal abuse such as sexual name-calling, spreading sexual rumors, telling sexual jokes, graffiti and gestures.

Also listed are unwanted touching and demands for dates or physical contact.

In the case of student offenders, discipline might range from a student conference to an extended suspension from school.

The school personnel department will address any employees accused of harassment. In cases of suspected sexual or physical abuse, the school would notify state authorities.

An unrelated issue the board will consider next month is an administrative regulation that would refuse to honor requests from parents not to resuscitate a child who is seriously ill.

Edwin Davis, director of pupil services, said no parents have made such a request, although some have inquired about it. He said the schools need to be prepared with a regulation.

Board member C. Scott Stone asked that the proposed regulation be rewritten more sensitively.

The proposed wording says: "DNR [do not resuscitate] orders call for some degree of medical judgment. Further, the board believes that the death of a student on school premises would not only be tragic for the student's family, but would jeopardize a safe and orderly climate and have an adverse effect on students and staff. Therefore, DNR orders for students will not be honored."

The policy adds that school nurses or other employees will try to administer cardio-pulmonary resuscitation if appropriate, but will turn over all care to emergency crews once they arrive.

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