Updated 2:21 p.m. Wednesday with pdfs of the policies
NORWALK, Conn. – Brien McMahon High School students have helped Norwalk Board of Education members write two new policies to improve student life, BOE member Steven Colarossi said Tuesday.
An anti-bullying policy for adults, aimed at providing better role models the students, and a policy dealing with embarrassing or explicit photographs were drafted by the BOE Policy Committee Tuesday night with the input of students from BMHS’s Center for Youth Leadership (CYL), Colarossi said during the Board of Education meeting.
The CYL teens asked for the anti-bullying policy, Colarossi said. The students brought proposals from school districts outside of Connecticut to the committee meeting that preceded the full BOR meeting, he said.
“We put together a straight-forward, easy-to-understand policy,” he said. “The intention is to have the same prohibitions on adult-on-adult and adult-on-student bullying that we now have for student-on-student bullying.”
Board Chairman Mike Lyons asked if the committee had taken care not to undermine the staff members’ authority.
Colarossi said the draft referred to “respectful coaching and counseling,” “justified progressive disciplinary procedures” and tried to distinguish between “passionate loud communications” and bullying.
Board member Artie Kassimis, a member of the committee, mentioned coaches who get heated “in the moment” and said the committee tried to define the fine line.
As for the policy regarding pictures, Colarossi said, embarrassing photographs sometimes include Photoshopped images of teachers.
“We, as a committee, felt that, essentially, we have to help students protect themselves from their own impetuous behavior,” he said. “As a result, because we had students from Center for Youth Leadership with us, we were able to bounce a lot of ideas off of them.”
Both policy drafts will be voted on by the entire board at its April 23 meeting.