Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 23, 2013

Lew-Port administrators tackling bullying from all angles

Niagara Gazette — Lewiston-Porter High School Principal Paul Casseri knows bullying is one of the major issues school children face in 2013. He knows it happens in many new ways teachers and administrators aren't always keen to, as well as in potentially violent, face-to-face encounters.

Keeping track of it all is still a requirement under New York's Dignity For All Students Act, though, no matter which form it takes.

"It may have happened from home computer to home computer," he said Tuesday as he delivered an updated code of conduct presentation to the Lew-Port School Board. "Just because it happens at home, a student might be subjected to a less-than-positive school experience. So we still have to address it."

Casseri, along with the middle school team of Principal Dean Ramirez and Assistant Principal Andrew Krazmien, presented the updated policies designed to guide students, employees, parents and visitors in how to act while on campus.

There wasn't much change proposed from the district's operations last year, but the response to perceived and alleged bullying is one of the major updates to the code, which will be adopted next month by the school board.

Casseri said teachers and staff are expected to immediately confront instances of bullying reported as soon as possible. To comply, the high school has two point-people set up to handle all reports and to facilitate whatever intervention is necessary, be it sit-downs or stricter detentions or suspensions.

"If someone brings it to our attention, we have to follow it up," he said. "Sometimes, it's just a meeting. Sometimes, it's more severe. We look at every incident on its face."

Bullying in Lewiston-Porter, Casseri said, has been significantly classified more and more as cyberbullying, which involves social interactions on websites like Facebook, Twitter and Internet blogs or even messaging through cell phones.

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