No community members signed up to address the Centerville School Board during a public hearing held Monday evening at Simon Estes Auditorium.
About 20 people attended the hearing, where the board hoped to get feedback on the proposed changes to the Good Conduct Policy. However, the only question raised by the audience was about what changes the board was proposing.
Board member Marty Braster said one of the biggest changes set to go into effect was the addition of a mere presence violation. The current policy does not have such a violation. Mere presence is defined in the proposed new Good Conduct Policy as “being in attendance at a function or party where the student knows or has reason to know that alcohol or other drugs are being consumed illegally by minors or others and failing to leave despite having a reasonable opportunity to do so.”
This is one of several changes that are being proposed. Another change includes adding language to address hazing or harassment of others in person or through electronic means. The new policy gives several instances that could be considered violations of the good conduct policy even if they do not have to rise to the level of violating the school’s anti-bullying to harassment policy to be considered a violation.
Some of the situations mentioned include threats, inappropriate comments about the traits of an individual or group, posting or otherwise sharing potentially embarrassing photos, drawing, video or depictions of others without permission among others.
Board member Tom Lange told the audience that board members also have some difference in opinion about how far reaching the Good Conduct Policy should be, meaning should it extend outside of school property, school events or the school year to affect students even when they are not officially representing the school. The proposed policy would be in affect year round and on and off school property.