Pasco schools have plan to curb bullying behavior - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco schools have plan to curb bullying behavior

Posted: Updated:
Zachery Gray, before his suicide attempt. Zachery Gray, before his suicide attempt.

Nine months after Pasco County's top educator said she didn't have a bullying issue in schools, her successor has launched a comprehensive action plan to curb that problem.

Last May, a News Channel 8 investigation focused on the attempted suicide of Zachery Gray in 2011.  Gray was a Zephyrhills High senior who tried to kill himself, according to his parents, after relentless bullying by other students that teachers failed to stop. He is now permanently brain damaged.

Another student, Sun Lake High freshman Kiefer Allan, did kill himself after a humiliating assault on a school bus in 2011.

The district did not regard either student as a victim of bullying in official reports to the state.

Pasco School Superintendent Kurt Browning, who took office late last year after an election upset, rolled out his new anti-bullying plan this week in a workshop with the school board.

"We want to make sure our kids are safe and make sure our parents feel they're safe," Browning said. 

During the tenure of Browning's predecessor, Heather Fiorentino, very few bullying incidents ended up in official reports forwarded to the state. Browning told his staff to keep better track, and the number of confirmed bullying incidents soared from four in the 2012 school year, to 75 in 2013. The number of unsubstantiated incidents rose from zero in 2012, to 100 in 2013.

"Certainly, bullying is a problem in the Pasco School District," said Browning.

Browning has shaken up his top staff and put together a team to initiate an anti-bullying strategy that ranges from easy reporting on the district website, to training teachers and staff on how to deal with the problem when it arises.

There is a community forum involving educators, families and lawmakers planned for June.

 

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Outpouring of support for New Port Richey soldier dealing with squatters

    Outpouring of support for New Port Richey soldier dealing with squatters

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:52:26 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community. Many News Channel 8 viewers and Facebook followers are angry about what happened to the soldier.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community. Many News Channel 8 viewers and Facebook followers are angry about what happened to the soldier.
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tampa Theater named one of the world's most spectacular theaters

    Tampa Theater named one of the world's most spectacular theaters

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:54 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:54:24 GMT
    April 23 is, according to some reports, William Shakespeare's birthday. In a nod to the Bard's enduring legacy 450 years on from his birth, as well as the UK's theatrical history, here are a few stages worth seeing, whether a play's being performed or not.
    April 23 is, according to some reports, William Shakespeare's birthday. In a nod to the Bard's enduring legacy 450 years on from his birth, as well as the UK's theatrical history, here are a few stages worth seeing, whether a play's being performed or not.
  • Material on Australian shore not from Malaysia jet

    Material on Australian shore not from Malaysia jet

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:34 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:34:24 GMT
    Australia's prime minister said Wednesday that failure to find any clue in the most likely crash site of the lost Malaysia Airlines jet would not spell the end of the search, as officials planned soon to bring...
    Australian officials said Thursday that after examining detailed photographs of unidentified material that washed ashore in the southwestern part of the country they are satisfied it is not a clue in the search for the...
  • Twins joined at birth travel to meet Clearwater's famous dolphin

    Twins joined at birth travel to meet Clearwater's famous dolphin

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:09:31 GMT
    The star of Dolphin Tale met two of her biggest fans Wednesday. Hassan and Hussein traveled all the way from Ireland to meet Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
    The star of Dolphin Tale met two of her biggest fans Wednesday. Hassan and Hussein traveled all the way from Ireland to meet Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:45:39 GMT
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:08:20 GMT
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.