No Changes to D159 Bullying Policy—Yet

The Mokena School District 159 Board of Education heard from MJHS Principal Mike Rolinitis and parent Heidi Yergler Herrmann on the district's bullying policy, but held off on any changes.

After months of urging the to confront the issue of bullying within its schools, . At the Wednesday, July 18, board meeting the Herrmann, Principal Mike Rolinitis and the board reviewed the district's bullying policies.

Although there was no action taken on the subject—yet—all of the board members, Rolinitis and Herrmann agreed that the discussion was a fruitful one.

Rolinitas kicked off the discussion by defining several terms on bullying and outlining what procedures the district currently has in place in its student handbook to deal with bullying. He added that the key component in the district for dealing with bullying is first, and foremost, prevention.

“We try to make it so it's not the culture, it's not acceptable in this culture to be a bully,” Rolinitis said. “Where it's OK for another kid to tell another student who's a bully, 'That's not OK. It's not OK to be a bully.”

He added that last year, within the district, there were only four incidents of bullying recorded.

“When you see that, you go 'that doesn't sound quite right,'” Rolinitis said. “There was probably a little bit more than that going on.”

Following Rolinitis, Herrman took a few minutes to address the board and share her findings on the subject, including copies of handbooks from other school districts. She also said that she and Rolinitis agreed that there needs to be a simpler process for reporting incidents and better communication between, students, parents, faculty and the district.

“Some of these complaints are being sent to a teacher, to a sub,to a social worker, they're kind of all over the board,” Herrmann said. “I want to recap by saying having a central location on the web where the form is it goes to one person, or a group of people, so it doesn't get lost in someone's email.”

The board members all agreed with the presentation by Rolinitis and Herrmann, and decided that the matter should go before the Parent Teacher Advisory Committee at its Aug. 18 meeting. If the committee finds any changes or adjustments need to be made to the district's policies, they will forward their findings to the board of education, who would then discuss and vote on the matter. 


Want more school news? More news on bullying policies?

patrick markham July 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Thank you to those that complimented my support on this serious issue. I would like to see the community push for changes not just from the "parent Advisory Committee" and ensuing "handbook" but in school POLICY itself which can only be changed by the School Board. Please keep that in mind to get the proper results we need the school board to act. Do NOT let go of the advances we have made, ensure a user friendly form is on the website, not a mediocre form but one that serves the community. Press the School Board. We have supplied the Administration and the school board with "models" a twelve page comprehensive "policy" that could be enacted or best practices taken and applied to the current mediocre school policy. As far as tracking and measuring effects the form on line and one person in administration and perhaps one board member should oversee all compliants, track, number , ensure resolution and tracking. Just my thoughts and hopes, please come to the school board meetings and push. Patrick Markham
Johnny on the spot July 23, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Rolinitis this guy could 'nt address an empty bag really only one reported bully issues over the last three years !!!are you saying in a public forum that's all you know about????I think you are wrong because i have researched through various groups that work with the schools and have found over 16 bullying cases you failed to resolve or acted upon maybe Mike R. should start looking for a career someone else and soon you liar!!!!!!!
Thoughtful Citizen July 23, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Johnny - It seems that you have an axe to grind against Mr. Rolinitis. If I understand what I was told was that he said, "Many students report bullying and once it is investigated, it falls into another category." That is not to say that bullying is not occurring. He was saying that they often deal with it in a different way. It sounds like the discussion was positive and going in a productive direction. Calling someone a liar is neither positive nor productive. Johnny - come to the parent advisory counsel or board meetings and back up your comments. Or maybe make an appointment to talk to him instead of blasting him in an email.
Johnny on the spot July 23, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I have as have the numerous parents he has not return one phone since March of this year .Thoughtful citizen the district wont even release through freedom of information act request under state law it is a huge cover so he does not look bad or that he is not doing his job .He refuses to answer questions when we all asked after a recent meeting stating he had another meeting to attend way to really side step the issue .
C. Martinez August 01, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Please come out to the school board meeting tonight. Let's get involved, participate and do what's best for our kids. Tonight (Wednesday) 7:00PM MES BAND ROOM. See you there! Unity in community! Come out parents and community members of Mokena!


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