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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools is starting to put into place a standard anti-bullying policy for all of its schools.
Until now, the response to bullying has varied from school to school, with little direction on how to respond.
The new policy aims to change all that -- this school year.
A group of community activists called CLOUT (Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together) pressured school superintendent Donna Hargens and the school district to develop a consistent policy, based on research from around the country.
The new policy defines bullying -- both in-person and online -- and sets up a specific process to report, track and respond to such cases.
Hargens said that eventually all JCPS teachers and staff will undergo the anti-bullying training.
Top-level administrators and building principals have the binders that outline the new policy and how to put it into place. That information eventually will trickle down to teachers and staff members, in schools and on school buses.
Hargens said it's difficult to predict just how many bullying cases JCPS expects from among its 101,000 students this year.
The policy encourages everyone to report bullying -- and makes a distinction from what's just tattling.
It also includes checklists for reporting and responding to bullying complaints, with feedback to parents. The emphasis is to encourage reporting, especially if someone's safety is at risk.
The school district also is to review bullying reports every two weeks.
Much of the information already is online for parents.
That includes the definition of bullying, forms to report it, and a chart that explains the process from the first complaint to resolution.