The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation now has a state-mandated criminal gangs and criminal gang activity policy on the books following action Tuesday night by the school board. Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin says the final draft was a collaborative effort between area administrators, including N.J.-S.P. Interim Superintendent Dr. Robert Boyd.
“This policy includes a statement prohibiting gang activity. It prohibits retaliation against those who report the activity. It defines criminal gang, and it talks about the procedures, reporting that to the principal,” Zupin said.
She also explained the difference between bullying and conflict.
“When two students are having conflict they both participate in poor choices, saying things and doing things that they shouldn’t be, and we need to resolve those conflicts. Bullying is one-sided, continual harassment that’s intended to hurt someone.”
Zupin says the schools deal with both issues.
“You can’t ignore conflict because it’s not bullying. However, how we approach it is different, and that’s because of state statutes saying that we must approach bullying in a different way. So reporting of bullying is reported, and we have to investigate in that way. And we do have to make sure that it is bullying and not conflict.”
Zupin says in order to ensure accurate reporting of bullying instances to the state, students who are bullied or their parents need to notify school officials of every instance. She also suggested the principals hold public seminars to discuss bullying after school starts.