Harassment policy, all-day K on agenda


— 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."


AmebaTost 9 years, 3 months ago

Administrators are to far gone to hear a wake up call. They seem to turn a deaf ear every time we've had a problem. Spankings at school were a good thing back in the day!!


grannyrett 9 years, 3 months ago

Portage-Spanking will sure get your attention. It helps a kid open his ears sometimes, so he can hear what you are trying to tell him. It's called positive reinforcement. If you behave, good things happen. If you don't, look out. It sure helped me learn right from wrong when I was a kid.


letomayo 9 years, 3 months ago

Spanking is this state is against the law. Its against district policy too. There can be adequate and appropriate punishment if the district and adminstrators want to end or at least reduce bullying and harrassment. Why wasn't something done when Randall N. was in the middle school. Why after his experience in fifth grade didn't the district put together policies then. Where was the superintendet and the principles and the school board then? What was Howell doing? She and the other adminsitrators let the ball fall to the ground. Lets hope that the current superintendet and board and especially the principles get their act together and get our children to treat each other nicely and with respect. Is that too much to ask.


portagetheyampa 9 years, 3 months ago

Spankings do nothing positive. Why would you hit a student when you are trying to teach respect for self and others?

The school district is way late in responding to the injustices already suffered by Randall Nelson. They should have been confronting this the day that student entered the school system. The administrators, teachers and school board need to be chastised for such racial indifference, themselves.


AmebaTost 9 years, 3 months ago

There were no school shootings back in my day when school spankings were handed out like candy.


justathought 9 years, 3 months ago

granny & ameba, I think you may have something there, "time out" doesn't seem to be working and any kid over the first grade know the school officials have no power what-so-ever, they now have the "what are you going to do about it" attitude. If a principal dares suspend a kid, the parents won't back them up, it's never their kids fault. So why should a teacher stick his/her neck out when they have a better chance of being reprimanded than the kid has of getting any kind of punishment. Why anyone would choose teaching or policing as a profession now is beyond me.

letomayo, [Lets hope that the current superintendet and board and especially the principles get their act together and get our children to treat each other nicely and with respect. Is that too much to ask.], you're damned right thats too much to ask, THAT'S WHAT PARENTS ARE FOR!. Having kids, putting them in day care until you can put them in school and giving them "things" does not a parent make. Instead of expecting "a village" raise your kids try seeing if being a parent might be enough.


ijustlookhi 9 years, 3 months ago

Not so sure about spanking but I understand the point...I agree this whole thing about parents and children...if both parents want to work 40 hours a week...what is the point in having kids...I mean really its not fair to anybody.

Being a parent and not working is totally acceptable if you can muster it on one salary...damn womens lib and our culture for making being a committed parent of small children somehow uncooth...also damn our society for making it so hard to make it on one salary...anybody see 20/20 last week on happiness? I bet Denmark has it figured out.


dave reynolds 9 years, 3 months ago

I know my father and I ..met in the wood shed several times...got spankings at school too..we all turned out O.K...I know this in retrospect if all I had to do was go into time out wouldn't have taught me respect or others and their property let alone detered me away from doing it again


grannyrett 9 years, 3 months ago

letomayo-Spanking is not against the law. It is not abusing your child to give him a swat on his backside. That is what it is for. Leaving a child black and blue is against the law as it well should be. I never needed to beat my child half to death to get their attention. But, a swat on the bottom or a slap on the hand brought them around, and they learned real quick what a good firm "NO" means. If it is done when they are small, they learn wrong from right at a young age, and turn out to be pretty good people. I am real proud of the considerate adults my children have turned into.


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