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Austintown BOE addresses bullying, teachers contracts



Published: Wed, February 20, 2013 @ 12:06 a.m.

By Susan Tebben

stebben@vindy.com

AUSTINTOWN

Staff and school-district officials said goodbye to Woodside Elementary while addressing public issues of bullying and teachers contracts.

Woodside Elementary is one of the schools that no longer will be used by the district when construction of the new buildings is complete and the elementary schools are consolidated.

Superintendent Vincent Colaluca, board members Dr. Tom Stellers and Dave Schnurrenberger and Timothy Kelty, former principal at Woodside, all said their goodbyes. Stellers and Colaluca talked about their time as students there as well.

The Austintown Board of Education on Tuesday also heard from Barb Tomic, teachers union president, who spoke about negotiations. The teachers’ contract expired, and the union has been in negotiations with the district since August 2012, Tomic said.

“We are still continuing to work under an expired contract,” Tomic told the board and audience. “I am confident the association will continue to bargain in good faith with the district.”

The teachers instituted a “work to rule” plan in January, under which the teachers only work the hours and duties explicitly defined in their previous contract.

Colaluca said the negotiations are going well and that the district can only work with the funds it has while under continuing budget cuts from the state and federal governments.

In other business, a parent also brought up bullying and the safety of district children. She said her children have been bullied to a degree that is causing her to consider pulling them out of Austintown Middle School and Lynn Kirk Elementary to homeschool them. She also questioned the security of the students.

“We have to fill out a form saying who can pick up our children from school,” Stacy Huff said. “But no one is checking the identification of these people who are picking up the kids.”

Bullying and safety issues come down to the individual schools, Colaluca said.

“The first thing I’ll do is meet with the principals,” Colaluca said. “There’s always two sides to the story, and it’s got to go back to the school level.”

Educational programs are in place for students to learn about the effects of bullying, and the district has been at the forefront of dealing with the topic, he said.


Comments

1AtownParent(562 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

While they may think they are addressing the problem in the schools, the bullying is out of control because some of the kids are out of control. It also needs to start in the classroom. The teachers need to report it and handle it, not just see it and ignore it and expect the principals to handle it after it has already caused damage to the kid.

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2nipsy(133 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Mr.Colaluca says " Educational programs are in place for students to learn about the effects of bullying, and the district has been at the forefront of dealing with the topic". Nicely chosen words Mr.Superintendent, but teaching children about the effects of bullying doesn't solve the problem. It is the responsibility of the Superintendent, Principals, teachers and aides to make sure that bullying is not going on and that when it does there are consequences, NOT EXCUSES!!!!! School workers must be more observant and proactive to nip these problems in the bud...Just because you hang a large banner accross the front of a school doesn't mean that you are truly BULLY FREE, It takes a commitment from the staff to make that happen. Of course with your teachers implementing a WORK TO RULE plan I guess we better hope that stopping bullying is in their job description or they will be no help....Open Enrollment is good for the books (financially) but it might not be good for the real books(education).

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3redeye1(4560 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Bullying should be addressed by the parents at home. After all the parents are ones that should be setting the examples and rules for their kids.. But most parents want someone else to do their job. My dad wouldn't be happy if he was told that we were bullying someone for no reason. There was consequences if we didn't heed his rules.

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4RU4Real(1 comment)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

I have two children that attend Watson Elementary and the education they have received has been nothing less then exemplary. They deserve to be treated fairly and with more respect for the excellence that they obtain for their students. Nipsy you are wrong for suggesting that it is the schools responsibility alone for controlling the bullying problem. Why do we always forget the parental responsibility for our children's behavior and learning and success? Some parents are bigger bullies than thier children and often encourage it. And when parents aren't home or just don't care about what their kids are doing as long as they don't have to bother with them, you expect teachers to do miracles. And the work to rule has been difficult for many of the teachers. Teachers do WAAAAAY more than what is in their job description that they never expect to get credit for, but the general public and teacher-haters never see or think about that. Austintown teachers have been working way too long without a contract or the respect from the superintendent. Kas-ass has pretty much destroyed public education funding in favor of his cronies, and it has been hard financially for every school district. But the Austintown teachers deserve more.

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