Friday, September 25, 2015

Huntington Beach HS Bully

This fight has made lots of news over the past few days since it is close to home, it involves a student who is nearly defenseless (often happens in fights, but this one is more heartbreaking in my opinion because the student can barely see).

Now, personal opinions, should the student, Cody, who stepped in be suspended from the football team? No. He was standing up for someone and doing something that we would want all people to do. Cody is awesome in my mind because I don't know the victim, but he is standing up for someone who was defenseless.

What does the law say? First, the school, like many, has a zero tolerance policy. Anyone involved in a fight is to be suspended. I could go into the history of the zero tolerance policy within schools, but let's talk about a few things. In zero tolerance cases this acts in conjunction with ed code, and any student involved is suspended regardless of circumstances.

There are other elements the media is not addressing - Filming fights has changed the nature of them. Under zero tolerance, but also state law,  anyone who films or is standing around as a witness is also supposed to be suspended. I wonder if they are in this case.

So as an administrator I would have to put my biases aside because I think that Cody should not be suspended, but the law is what I have to follow:

Cody, the bully, and the victim, under zero tolerance requires that they be suspended under 48900 A

The bully would be suspended under 48900 R, 48900.4B, which would also mean the bully would be referred to the police and most likely cited.

Ed code is below:
48900.  A pupil shall not be suspended from school or recommended
for expulsion, unless the superintendent of the school district or
the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolled determines
that the pupil has committed an act as defined pursuant to any of
subdivisions (a) to (r), inclusive:
   (a) (1) Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause
physical injury to another person.
   (2) Willfully used force or violence upon the person of another,
except in self-defense.

 (r) Engaged in an act of bullying. For purposes of this
subdivision, the following terms have the following meanings:
   (1)  "Bullying" means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal
act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means
of an electronic act, and including one or more acts committed by a
pupil or group of pupils as defined in Section 48900.2, 48900.3, or
48900.4, directed toward one or more pupils that has or can be
reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the
   (A) Placing a reasonable pupil or pupils in fear of harm to that
pupil's or those pupils' person or property.
   (B) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantially
detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health.
   (C) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial
interference with his or her academic performance.
   (D) Causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial
interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit
from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Sometimes as an administrator things happen that you disagree with, but you have to act based on the laws of district and state, and that's how it would have to be handled. And not following those laws puts you out of a job. Decisions like this anger me.

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