McLean Co says bullying is no laughing matter - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

McLean Co says bullying is no laughing matter

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By Jasmin Embers - bio | email 
Posted by Kelsey Wheatcroft - email

MCLEAN CO, KY (WFIE) - One school district is taking action by involving the sheriff's department when someone is bullied.

Cherie Brooks has experienced bullying with her own child, and says preventing these behaviors starts with parents.

She says, "If we don't stop it before it gets to the schools, it's going to be hard for the schools to keep a reign on it. A lot of behaviors they're seeing in the schools, I'm sure aren't new to parents at home."

McLean County school officials say they've seen a big increase in bullying over the last three years, especially online.

McLean County School Superintendent Tres Settle says, "So many times in our schools, it's not a physical activity, it's internet chat or blogs."

Settle says they want to stop the negative trend, and hopes the new policy will help teach students and staff, how to better identify and report bullying.

Settle says, "They will investigate and if they feel the incident is to a level that needs law enforcement involvement, then certainly we will contact the sheriff's office at that time."

Settle says now all students caught in a bullying act will get a warning and meeting with parents.

In severe cases, police will step in and students could face felony charges.

The school board says involving law enforcement will let students know bullying isn't a laughing matter.

Settle says, "This enables them to be involved in not only the disciplinary process, but also the training process and education process."

The school board also plans to add anti-bullying courses to the high school curriculum by next school year.

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