Mayfield school board eyes code of conduct

MAYFIELD – The Mayfield Central School District Board of Education will include measures against bullying and cyberbullying in the district’s new code of conduct.

On July 22, members of the board went through the first reading of the revised code.

High School Principal Robert Husain said the code of conduct had been in place for a number of years, and lawyers have gone through the document to keep it up to date.

Husain said additions to the code include prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression, weight and physical appearance. Husain said these additions were in line with the state Dignity for All Students Act.

“Those are some of the aspects of the new law,” Husain said. “Much of our code of conduct already was represented in that law. We have a really good code of conduct.”

The act, signed into law in 2010, says students are entitled to a “safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment and bullying on school property, a school bus and/or at a school function.”

The measure calls for awareness and sensitivity regarding people of all races, weights, national origin, ethnicity, religions, mental or physical abilities, sexes, sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions.

Chris Wojeski, assistant principal of the high school, said another major change in the code – Section V: Student Safety and Prohibition of Violence, Harassment, Bullying and Cyberbullying – includes measures that cover social media.

“That is an entirely new addition to the code of conduct,” Wojeski said.

Board of Education Member Joan Scannell was curious about when an issue online would become the school’s problem. Wojeski said it becomes a school issue once it begins to affect a child’s education.

Other changes to the conduct policy include removing outdated references to beepers and 5 p.m. detention.

“We don’t have that, and we haven’t had that for at least a decade-plus,” Wojeski said.

Husain said research was done into other districts’ conduct policies.

“A lot of the language is very, very similar,” Husain said.

He said the document will be made available to parents and students.

Further readings will occur at future meetings.

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