Local News

Orange School Board Considers Bullying Policy

Posted May 4, 2004 1:27 a.m. EDT

— According to the North Carolina Department of Instruction, one in six children in grades six through 10 say they have been bullied.

Monday night, a proposal that would crack down on bullying in Orange County Schools made it through the first round of talks. A former school board member who recently resigned over bullying says the policy is not enough.

Bettie and Tom Davidson's son was bullied so badly, the boy threatened to kill himself.

"He was punched in the stomach, in the back, he was isolated. Lots of name calling," Bettie Davidson said.

Davidson says despite her stature as a member of the Orange County school board and her continuous efforts to tell her son's teachers, principal and superintendent what was going on, the school district did very little to intervene.

"We were almost at the end of the school year -- that's where we were. We had been calling for intervention for nearly three nine-week periods and had not gotten anywhere," Davidson said.

Frustrated, Davidson resigned from the school board and placed her son in private school. Two weeks later, the school board is considering a proposed bullying policy.

"We've been talking about this for a long time," district spokesperson Anne D'Annunzio said.

D'Annunzio says the policy would require schools to report bullying to the state as is done with sexual assault cases or when students bring guns to school.

The policy would also provide counseling to the victim and the bully. There is not timetable on when school board will vote on a policy.

Wake County Schools are also trying to get to the heart of bullying. Next year, teacher and parent handbooks will include a

special section

on the issue.