Four Corners schools address bullying as new school year gets underway

Posted at: 08/26/2014 5:09 PM
Updated at: 08/26/2014 5:17 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

SHIPROCK, New Mexico -- It's been just a couple weeks into the school year, and students are already seeing a problem that seems to be constantly recurring. Bullying is back, and school districts are taking a stand.

"We want to see students succeed," said James Preminger, spokesman for Central Consolidated School District.

One obstruction to student success is bullying. A Four Corners family came to KOB after they say their daughter was targeted. We reached out to the district to figure out how they planned to handle it.

"We take bullying very seriously, we have a hard policy on it," said Preminger.

In the case of Kirtland Middle School and the other schools in the Central Consolidated School District, the first step is what's called a "bullying contract."

"If a problem is occurring, this can be signed as a measure to help it to resolution," Preminger said.

The contract spells out forms of bullying and harassment, and outlines further action if the behavior continues. Second and third offenses include suspension and expulsion.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 wanted to know if the policy works. "Absolutely," Preminger said. "The students are well behaved; we think it works very well."

But bullying can only be stopped if students can tell a trusted adult about what's happening.

"It's in the students' best interest to try to bring a resolution so the students can refocus and get back on track with the education."