Williamston Discuss Anti-bullying Policy

The Williamston School Board takes a closer look at a proposed bullying policy.

It comes on the heels of anti-bullying legislation that requires each district to hold public hearings and adopt anti-bullying policies but some say the policy is not enough.

In early 2011 Calise Pratt says she lost a piece of her heart when Williamston teen Taylor Smith took her own life after being bullied.

Pratt: “It hurts, it hurts bad, it really does,”

And as she looked over the draft of the district's proposed bullying policy Monday night, Pratt says it doesn't go far enough.

Pratt: “I want the law more at the school.”

She say the policy needs to include police in the hallways.

Pratt: “In the hallways is a big issue not in the classrooms where the teachers are seeing,”

Her daughter Collette and her friends agree, arguing that's where much of the bullying happens.

Collette Pratt, Student: “One of my friends, like, they've gotten threatened in the hallway like if you come near me I'm gonna beat you up like that kind of stuff and the teachers aren't in the hallway they're not gonna hear it.”

But they say its not just in school.

Lauren Brown, Student: “Its also Facebook and twitter.”

Something the school says it takes seriously.

Rhonda Coon, School Board Member: “If bullying is happening, say on Facebook and that sort of thing, if it affects the students learning environment then it will also be something that will be brought to the attention of our faculty.”

But the girls say the policy should include social network monitoring.

Collette: “I have nothing to hide and if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't mind.”

But Collette says what the board really needs to do is involve the students.

Collette: “I think they need to bring in students and ask them what they feel is needed and what actually is going on because they don't see what is actually going on.”

Pratt says Monday night's meeting shows the board still has work to do but she says Taylor would see it as a step forward.

Pratt: “I feel that she's at peace now, I think that she would want us to move on but in the right direction.”

And she says the right direction is one that protects students from facing what Taylor did.

From here the board will discuss making changes to the plan.

It's expected to go to a vote in the end of May.

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