RFSD updates bullying policy, athletic guidelines | PostIndependent.com

RFSD updates bullying policy, athletic guidelines

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. The Roaring Fork School District Re-1 starts the school year with an updated bullying policy and a unified set of guidelines for athletic events.Students still must sign a code of conduct and can be suspended or expelled if they violate it.Two negative events from last year were factors in precipitating the updates. Athletic officials refused to attend basketball games in Basalt for a weekend because of what they said were unruly crowds. And a parent accused Roaring Fork High School of doing nothing to stop a history of bullying there.”We took those two things into consideration when we did our annual review,” Re-1 Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said.The school district includes schools from Basalt to Glenwood.Haptonstall said the changes were mainly done to get things in print consistently across the district and to reiterate expectations.Sports officials refused to work basketball games in February after Basalt Mayor Leroy Duroux was ejected from a game. Some people thought that decision was unfair, but some thought it was representative of larger tensions between officials and Basalt crowds.Haptonstall said other than that incident, there hasn’t really been a problem with unruly crowds in the district.”Every once in a while there’s a spectator that yells at officials,” she said, adding that football coaches and officials were very complimentary of how games have been conducted.There was also a threatened $3 million lawsuit against the district claiming that Roaring Fork High School did nothing to stop pervasive bullying. A notice of intent to sue was filed by a Carbondale parent, but no actual lawsuit was filed within the 90-day required limit after that.Haptonstall said the guidelines for athletic events were in print before but were a little different for each school. Nothing is really new or different about those, she said, the district mainly wanted to reiterate them.The guidelines detail expectations for referees, school officials and spectators involved in athletic events. It says in most cases people will be warned first for inappropriate behavior, but adds, “You understand that officials have the authority to eject you from a game without a warning.”The district also updated its bullying policy. Haptonstall said expectations were added for athletic directors to share among coaches, students and parents.”It also did a better job of elaborating what bullying and harassment looked like,” she said. “We really clarified the level of supervision we expect on buses, in locker rooms, those kinds of things.”According to the bullying policy, athletic directors and principals must meet with coaches and sponsors at the beginning of each year or sport to convey a no tolerance policy for bullying, teasing, harassment or hazing in any aspect of school sponsored programs. Coaches must also attend a clinic to be held at each school before each activity that details expectations for adults who work with students. Coaches and sponsors must then sign an agreement stating they understand the expectations and will uphold them.The policy also says locker rooms and weight rooms will be supervised and cameras – including cell phone cameras – will not be allowed in, and details supervision in other areas.Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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