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The PISD board approved revisions to the discipline management plan and student code of conduct Thursday. The changes include a new definition for bullying.
“Bullying is becoming a hot topic,” said Mark Hudson, deputy superintendent for curriculum & student services. “The Legislature has responded to that by beefing up the wording significantly.”
The new definition says bullying can physical, written or electronic. It becomes the district’s concern when it takes place “on school property at a school-sponsored or -related activity or in a district operated vehicle.”
To be considered bullying, the behavior must result in harm to a student or his property; place a student in reasonable fear of physical harm or damage to property; or “is so severe, persistent and pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment.”
“This conduct is considered bulling if it exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator(s) and the student victim and if it interferes with a student’s education or substantially disrupts the operation of the school,” the policy states.
Another change deals with expulsion of students in alternative school.
The previous code said a student could be expelled for continuing in persistent misbehavior that violated the student code of conduct while in alternative school.
The new policy says a student may only be expelled from alternative school for engaging in “documented serious misbehavior that violates the district’s Student Code of Conduct despite documented behavioral interventions.”
“It’s going to come as a bit of a shift in the way we deal with students,” Hudson said. “It may result in a lesser number of students who get expelled, although we still have to we maintain order and decorum in our schools.”
In other action, the board approved some new prices for meals.
Breakfast prices for students will go up 10 cents to $1.60 while lunch remains steady at $2.50. For adults, breakfast goes up a dime to $1.85 and lunch up a quarter to $3.25. Reduced meals, which are set by the United States Department of Agriculture, will remain the same at 30 cents for breakfast and 40 cents for lunch.
Paris has not increased its meal prices since 2008.
“The actual revenue generated by the increase is insignificant. You’re talking maybe 2,000 bucks,” Business Manager Tish Holleman said. “We have to legally bring in as much as a free meal brings in. If we don’t increase the prices, we are out of compliance with USDA guidelines.”
If the district failed to raise its prices, it would have to subsidize part of the free and reduced lunch cost currently paid for by the USDA.
“We are a property poor district,” Superintendent Paul Trull said. “We don’t need to be subsidizing.”