Fostering a culture of respect among the city’s youth has long been a consideration of HISD. In 2006, the district strengthened its Code of Student Conduct to reflect more severe penalties for bullying, and in 2008, the Board of Education expanded its definition of bullying to include comments or teasing about a child’s weight.
Now, the district has taken steps to protect the emotional and physical well-being of its adult team members, by passing one of the first comprehensive anti-bullying policies in the nation for public school employees.
The HISD Board of Education approved the new policy at its regular monthly meeting in August, and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten praised the district for its work with Houston Educational Support Personnel President Wretha Thomas during a Sept. 12 visit.
“It does seem obvious, that notion [of] ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,’” said Weingarten, “but unfortunately, many times that Golden Rule is breached.”
“The passage of this policy demonstrates the collective desire of employees and the district to provide the students of HISD with an optimum learning environment,” added Community Partnerships Coordinator Iman A. Garrett-Price, “where employees as well as students are free from bullying, intimidation, and threats.”