Waterloo to host community bullying seminar Wednesday

By Rachel Hagenbaugh | Staff Writer Published:

With bullying becoming a daily issue for children, concerned parents in the Waterloo School District decided to sponsor a community bullying seminar at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Waterloo High School Media Center.

"The seminar will go over what bullying actually is and how Waterloo handles it when there becomes a question of it happening," said Superintendent Andrew Hill.

A lot of bullying takes place after school hours, Hill said, and this seminar will help parents recognize bullying and how to address it.

"So much of what's happening now is happening on social media," Hill said. "Even though it's being written and posted outside of school time, it strongly impacts these kids, and they're still upset about it when they come to school."

During the seminar, Waterloo Middle School Principal Matt Montgomery and a school guidance counselor will present the audience with more information about bullying, the district's policies and procedures on it and how parents can help prevent these things from happening.

"We want parents to be clear on what actually constitutes bullying," Hill said. "That word gets thrown around so much."

According to the Ohio Revised Code, bullying is "any intentional written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once."

The behavior must "cause mental or physical harm" that "is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for another student," the ORC states.

The ORC clarifies electronic bullying as "an act committed through the use of a cellular telephone, computer, pager, personal communication device or other electronic communication device."

The seminar is sponsored by the Waterloo Community Action Committee, a group of about 15 parents that also sponsored a similar program on school safety in February 2012 following the Chardon High School shooting.

"We're thankful for our community action committee that continues to work with us and comes to us with ideas from the community on where they think we can have a bigger impact," Hill said.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1123 or rhagenbaugh@recordpub.com

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