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Flint Community Schools establishes anti-bullying hotline

Flint Community Schools has set up a telephone line dedicated solely to receiving reports of alleged acts of bullying committed by and against district students.

The phone, which goes live on Jan. 31, adds another access point for help for students who may feel victimized by a classmate but unsure of where to turn or reluctant to report in person.

"The hotline provides another avenue for our students," said Larry Watkins, pupil personnel services director. "Of course, we urge all of our students to notify a teacher, a principal, their parents, a safety advocate or even a maintenance worker if they're being threatened or bullied in school. But if for some reason those options aren't suitable for a student, we now have a hotline for that student to call us directly.

"Recognize it, refuse it and report it. That's our motto when it comes to bullying prevention."

The anti-bullying hotline, (810) 391-3989, will be staffed by a district employee from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. Callers will be asked a few questions about the nature of their complaint and their comments will be entered into a report.

The report will then become the basis for an investigation by the office of pupil personnel services into the alleged offense. The pupil personnel services office will also contact the parents or guardians of both victim and perpetrator in the case.

Anyone who calls outside the regular business hours to make a report will be able to leave a voice message. The district will follow up with the caller on the next regular business day, if possible. Anonymous calls and complaints will also be accepted, but the caller should be willing to provide enough detail to facilitate an investigation.

The idea for an anti-bullying hotline originated during the planning stages of the district's 2011 Bullying Awareness Week held Nov. 13 to Nov. 19. The campaign theme is Band Against Bullying: Recognize It. Refuse It. Report It.

(Note: This report is provided as a service to our readers and a service to the group or individual mentioned in the release. Usually, only minor editing is done. The group or individual is responsible for all information provided.)

 

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