Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs School Board will review the school district's harassment policy tonight, in the wake of a Steamboat teenager's Thursday acquittal of assault and disorderly conduct charges.
Randall Nelson, now a freshman at Steamboat Springs High School, broke the jaw of another boy in February 2007 after allegedly enduring racially motivated taunts from other students at Steamboat Springs Middle School.
Administrators depicted the incident as a wake-up call about harassment in local schools, which prompted a revamp in policies for the Steamboat Springs School District - where 91.7 percent of students are white, according to enrollment figures for the 2007-08 school year.
"As issues come up, we want to make sure our policies address them appropriately," said School Board member Denise Connelly. "One of these policies is the harassment policy, which has obviously been on our minds this week due to what has happened : we want to make sure it is being implemented."
Middle School Assistant Principal Jerry Buelter said Friday that the harassment policy not only covers racial harassment, but also sexual, religious or physical harassment.
Tonight's School Board meeting, a study session with little or no official action, also includes a discussion about the possible implementation of all-day kindergarten. Connelly said the district's all-day kindergarten committee will update board members on transportation, food service, utilities and other implications the School Board will face if all-day kindergarten is implemented.
The all-day kindergarten committee is composed of district stakeholders - including administrators, teachers, support staff, parents and other members of the community - who met for the first time Nov. 2. Tonight will be the first meeting of the entire group before the School Board.
School Board member Lisa Brown said the all-day kindergarten discussion is a good way for new School Board members to practice policy governance principles, such as looking at the issue at a board level, rather than a management level.
"Trying to say how many classes and how many kids are in the classroom is really up to the superintendent and principals," she said. "This is just a chance for the committee to bring some of that feedback to the board as to what the board's future responsibilities may be."