Fleming School Board tackles bullying

FLEMINGSBURG—Bullying became the subject of discussion at a Fleming County Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

An equity and inclusion report was discussed during the meeting . The report examined the school culture for inclusion and diversity and was given by Dr. Roger Cleveland, president and lead consultant of Millennium Learning Concepts which assessed the school district.

The goal of the assessment, according to Cleveland, is to ensure students have equal access to instruction tools and a positive environment for learning. The report also highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the district.

While the Fleming County School District received many commendations from the evaluation, there were still a few areas which needed to be improved upon.The major issue in the report was school bullying.

According to the report, interviewing students and faculty in both the middle and high school revealed a disconnect between the severity of bullying on campus. Teachers and administrators believed bullying wasn’t a major issue in schools and is under control. Students felt differently, saying bullying is a big problem and punishment for such harassment appeared to be inconsistent among faculty.

Superintendent Brian Creasman was not surprised by the report, saying the issue with harassment was one of the main reasons why he invoked the aid of Cleveland. Creasman said back in December he conversed with Fleming County High School Principal Stephanie Emmons about possible issues in the school.

“Mrs. Emmons had actually started hearing some things here at the high school,” Creasman said after the meeting, “and it just led to some other things that we discovered that was not necessarily wrong, but we needed to update our policies.”

Both Creasman and Emmons believe there are definite discrepancies in equity, harassment and discrimination policies in the district that need to be amended and modernized.

“A lot of the bullying that the report was speaking about and what Dr. Cleveland was speaking about, it’s below the surface,” Creasman said. “So what we’ve got to do as a district and as a school and schools is try to figure out how to bring that out to the surface so we can address it.”

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