No Changes to D159 Bullying Policy—Yet

The Mokena School District 159 Board of Education heard from MJHS Principal Mike Rolinitis and parent Heidi Yergler Herrmann on the district's bullying policy, but held off on any changes.

After months of urging the to confront the issue of bullying within its schools, . At the Wednesday, July 18, board meeting the Herrmann, Principal Mike Rolinitis and the board reviewed the district's bullying policies.

Although there was no action taken on the subject—yet—all of the board members, Rolinitis and Herrmann agreed that the discussion was a fruitful one.

Rolinitas kicked off the discussion by defining several terms on bullying and outlining what procedures the district currently has in place in its student handbook to deal with bullying. He added that the key component in the district for dealing with bullying is first, and foremost, prevention.

“We try to make it so it's not the culture, it's not acceptable in this culture to be a bully,” Rolinitis said. “Where it's OK for another kid to tell another student who's a bully, 'That's not OK. It's not OK to be a bully.”

He added that last year, within the district, there were only four incidents of bullying recorded.

“When you see that, you go 'that doesn't sound quite right,'” Rolinitis said. “There was probably a little bit more than that going on.”

Following Rolinitis, Herrman took a few minutes to address the board and share her findings on the subject, including copies of handbooks from other school districts. She also said that she and Rolinitis agreed that there needs to be a simpler process for reporting incidents and better communication between, students, parents, faculty and the district.

“Some of these complaints are being sent to a teacher, to a sub,to a social worker, they're kind of all over the board,” Herrmann said. “I want to recap by saying having a central location on the web where the form is it goes to one person, or a group of people, so it doesn't get lost in someone's email.”

The board members all agreed with the presentation by Rolinitis and Herrmann, and decided that the matter should go before the Parent Teacher Advisory Committee at its Aug. 18 meeting. If the committee finds any changes or adjustments need to be made to the district's policies, they will forward their findings to the board of education, who would then discuss and vote on the matter. 


Want more school news? More news on bullying policies?

Johnny on the spot July 19, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Mike there was more then four !!!!!! You did not properly document them would you liek me to come to the next board meeting with the my neighbors children alone there was 7 before you talked to any of the children involved and only after the one girls mother threatened Police action because of the obscene and threatening remarks towards her .You have dropped the ball more then a Rookie quarter back on this whole issue !!!! I think it is time we as taxpayers stand up to Mikey and his antics and show him we want him to start take responsibility for his failure to handle the situations ??? The only reason you never handled or properly documented these problems because it would make you look bad ...............You look bad every morning when you look in the mirror go back to Wilmington schools oh that's right they did'nt want you either right ???See you at the next school board meeting and be ready to address this issue and why you failed on so many levels to handle this the right way from the start !!!!!!!
happy and content July 19, 2012 at 02:30 PM
I too know of 4 incidents just off the top of my head from the elementary school alone...
Heidi Herrmann July 19, 2012 at 02:43 PM
You guys really need to show up at the Parent Teacher Advisory Board meeting. Or contact me!!!! We NEED you to get this changed!!!! Mrshherrmann@yahoo.com I am less than impressed with the Parental Support up until now. Please encourage fellow parents, people of the community to come to this meeting. Thank you in advance for your support!
Heidi Herrmann July 19, 2012 at 03:23 PM
1. The District Handbook updated 2. good information  http://ww3.barrington220.org/bullying/frm.asp?type=new  –reporting issues on the website –to one central location so that reports of trouble don’t get lost in “email land” or “ignored” –more accurate stats on what is really going on in the student body. 3.  New Lenox’s Bully Prevention docs -breaking down consequences of false reporting etc.  I really think we should model this document and presence in our own district. I think it supports both parties in a bullying situation. 4.  A seminar for parents regarding bullying (what the school’s stance is) –what resources we have in place –an informational about Rachel’s Challenge – something to get parents, teachers and administration working together on the same page…  Perhaps a local therapist or expert to do an “informational” on the subject… 5.  Create a Parent Resource section on the website. www.stopbullying.gov helpful links that parents can be directed to for information. Providing them with info and encourage their involvement and support in addressing issues 6.   Lisa lisa@gcntraining.com regarding the free add-on piece that is already included in our contract –specifically called “The Community Link” 7. Meteor Coffee - once a month meetings for parents to interact with Principals 8.  I believe we talked about a coordinator of some type, but the position was eliminated 9. Parent/Teacher Advisory Meeting Aug 16
It's me... July 19, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I haven't been able to make the past two meetings due to previous commitments, but I'm hoping to be at the next one. Also, isn't there a law in Illinois about bullying that has to be applied by schools? I thought I heard that, I'd have to look into in further to get the facts. I look forward to being at the next meeting.
R.W.Voter July 19, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I felt that the meeting was productive. I don't agree with some of the procedures now used in schools, maybe because I am old school. I wouldn't try these procedures in Englewood, but I am new to the suburbs. The most important part of this is accountability, and it must be set down as to who is the responsibile administrator to monitor this program. Mr. Markham was very definite in that he wants a form on line so that parents, other students or victims can report these problems. I would like to add that when the report is submitted, a control number be given to the file for proper tracking. If the parents feel that they are not getting satisfaction from the school, in many cases the Police Department could be of assistance. Thank you I must commend Heidi, she has a lot of guts, keep it going kid, you are doing great.
C. Martinez July 19, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Parents and Community members of Mokena. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE come out to these school board meetings and make your presence known. There is power in numbers and we need to make the school board accountable for proactively taking positive measures to improve the bullying policy. We have a several paragraph statement in the student handbook regarding bullying. Actually, if you look in the handbook and look up bullying, it says,"look under harassment." Our policy is quite pitiful, embarrassing and inadequate compared to New Lenox and Orland Park's policies on bullying, And we definitely need better, accurate documentation and counting, on instances of bullying: initial reporting, if resolution was made, if counseling was done, etc. If we were to see accurate numbers, we could see truly what's going on in these schools. So again, please, parents and community, come out to the board meetings, make your presence known. When the school board sees faces, they will make an effort to move this issue forward. Come on Mokena, let's do what's best for our kids and our community. There is a parent/teacher advisory board meeting August 16th and this issue will be brought up so please come out and show your support! Great job Heidi Yergler Herrmann. Thank you for bringing this issue to the forefront and taking a stand. I stand behind you!
patrick markham July 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Thank you to those that complimented my support on this serious issue. I would like to see the community push for changes not just from the "parent Advisory Committee" and ensuing "handbook" but in school POLICY itself which can only be changed by the School Board. Please keep that in mind to get the proper results we need the school board to act. Do NOT let go of the advances we have made, ensure a user friendly form is on the website, not a mediocre form but one that serves the community. Press the School Board. We have supplied the Administration and the school board with "models" a twelve page comprehensive "policy" that could be enacted or best practices taken and applied to the current mediocre school policy. As far as tracking and measuring effects the form on line and one person in administration and perhaps one board member should oversee all compliants, track, number , ensure resolution and tracking. Just my thoughts and hopes, please come to the school board meetings and push. Patrick Markham
Johnny on the spot July 23, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Rolinitis this guy could 'nt address an empty bag really only one reported bully issues over the last three years !!!are you saying in a public forum that's all you know about????I think you are wrong because i have researched through various groups that work with the schools and have found over 16 bullying cases you failed to resolve or acted upon maybe Mike R. should start looking for a career someone else and soon you liar!!!!!!!
Thoughtful Citizen July 23, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Johnny - It seems that you have an axe to grind against Mr. Rolinitis. If I understand what I was told was that he said, "Many students report bullying and once it is investigated, it falls into another category." That is not to say that bullying is not occurring. He was saying that they often deal with it in a different way. It sounds like the discussion was positive and going in a productive direction. Calling someone a liar is neither positive nor productive. Johnny - come to the parent advisory counsel or board meetings and back up your comments. Or maybe make an appointment to talk to him instead of blasting him in an email.
Johnny on the spot July 23, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I have as have the numerous parents he has not return one phone since March of this year .Thoughtful citizen the district wont even release through freedom of information act request under state law it is a huge cover so he does not look bad or that he is not doing his job .He refuses to answer questions when we all asked after a recent meeting stating he had another meeting to attend way to really side step the issue .
C. Martinez August 01, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Please come out to the school board meeting tonight. Let's get involved, participate and do what's best for our kids. Tonight (Wednesday) 7:00PM MES BAND ROOM. See you there! Unity in community! Come out parents and community members of Mokena!


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