Following individual meetings this week with school and district administrators, each family waived their right to a hearing and agreed to one-year suspensions from school and regular bus transportation. The Greece Central School District is legally required to provide all students ages 5 to 16 with an education, therefore, during the 2012-13 school year, the students who have been suspended will be transferred to the district Reengagement Center, located in a non-school facility. This alternative education program keeps middle school students on track academically while providing a structured opportunity for students to take responsibility for their actions by completing community service hours and receiving formal instruction related to conduct and behavior that prepares them for a productive future. The program includes a strong parent involvement component.
Each student will be required to complete 50 hours of community service with senior citizens and will complete a formal program in bullying prevention, respect and responsibility. In accordance with district policy, if at 30 weeks into the school year the students have completed the conditions of their discipline and are in good standing at the Reengagement Center, they can apply for early readmission to Athena Middle School.
Too much, too little, or just enough? A year’s a stiff sentence for 10 or so minutes of verbal harassment, as nasty as it was, but the school district’s under immense pressure to be strict with the little cretins. And this incident’s playing out, of course, amid growing awareness culturally of how bad the effects of bullying can be. Crack down on this bunch and you send a national message given the spotlight on this case.
Because I know you’re wondering, the donations for Klein now stand north of $668,000. Per the Times, more than 30,000 people have contributed from all 50 states and 82 countries. Two days ago, she finally met the man who came up with the idea. Here’s the vid from WGRZ.