Pasco starts school year with new anti-bullying procedures - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco starts school year with new anti-bullying procedures

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PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

For administrators and teachers in Pasco County, it was a summer of work. They spent months at the drawing board, looking for ways to combat bullying, an issue that's crippled the district. After years of bad press from a bus beating to students taking their own lives after being endlessly taunted, the district sat down to make some changes.

"We've taken the approach that the way to solve the problem of bullying is to create a different culture and climate in our school building," Ray Gadd, the assistant superintendent, said.

Gadd, along with others, has been leading the charge against bullying. The district's implemented pages and pages of policy changes. The words spell out how teachers should react to situations and how bullies should be punished. Teachers, administrators, and staff members, worked to identify "hot spots" in schools. Now they know where to find the bullies. But Gadd maintains it's not enough.

"If we just chase the bullies around school all day we'd never solve the problem," Gadd said. "This is not a kid problem, but a community problem. We need to look at how adults in the school building talk to each other."

Perhaps the most visible change is the Pasco County Schools website. On the front page, there's a link to report bullying, day or night. The form goes directly to the Principal or Assistant Principal.

"This way, when students are at home, at night, upset, they can report it right away," Gadd said.

Gadd says fighting bullying is, without a doubt, one of the biggest issues of the school year.

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