DANVILLE (KRON) — Parents and students in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District are calling for a zero-tolerance policy for bullying after a recent incident involving a student video recording a classmate who was using the restroom.
Although the student was arrested for invasion of privacy, the student was allowed to return to school after a short suspension.
This is the latest in a string controversial incidents dating back to 2016 that some view as bullying, racially insensitive, and Islamophobia in the district.
“Is there a zero-tolerance policy? Parent Landon Edmond said. “Can you make a definitive statement about what happened? And to-date, I have not been made aware of any changes. Obviously, the district made statements confirming it’s abhorrent for racially-type incidents, and I know that there have been other issues surfacing at San Ramon Valley Unified School District, and my son is at Pine Valley Middle school. There has been incidents, and certainly, there has been responses, but I think this incident is like an angry serpent. If you don’t cut its head off, it will come back to bit.”
On Tuesday, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District released a statement on their website regarding these bullying incidents.
Dear SRVUSD Staff and Parents,
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District is committed to being transparent with our community with information about events that take place in our schools. You may have seen recent news reports regarding a bullying incident that took place at San Ramon Valley High School several months ago. There has been widespread press and social media coverage regarding this incident. Due to the ease with which information spreads via social media, it is important to know that not all of the information that has appeared is factual or accurate. It is also important to know that while the District strives for transparency, we are, at times prevented from communicating all of the facts because of federal laws that protect student privacy. In the hope of keeping you informed about incidents that impact our schools, we will share with you the details that do not violate student privacy.
The San Ramon Valley High School administration immediately partnered with the Danville Police Department to investigate a report of a bullying incident involving two San Ramon Valley High School students when it was reported in April. The school investigation led to disciplinary action at the site. The Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and California Education Code protect the confidentiality of all students. These laws prevent the District from disclosing details regarding the discipline as it would be in violation of student privacy. The results of the Danville Police investigation were documented and forwarded to the juvenile justice system. This pending law enforcement matter further restricts the information that the District can share related to this incident. As is appropriate with the Board’s role as the appeal body in such cases, the Board is partnering with the District to review this matter and the decisions that have been made to date.
The San Ramon Valley Unified School District is committed to protecting students. We have policies in place that prohibit the bullying of any student or employee. SRVUSD takes reports of bullying very seriously, and site administration investigates them immediately. We encourage students, employees, parents and community members to report suspected incidents of bullying directly to staff as well as through an online form and a safe schools tip-line.
This District is committed to teaching our students about character education and the terrible harm that can be created through online bullying or bullying of any kind. We will continue to support the many programs that we already have in place to educate students, staff and parents about bullying and bullying prevention. These programs include a Digital Citizenship initiative led by a large committee comprised of staff, parents and community partners. As part of this effort, our schools are achieving Common Sense Media certifications that demonstrate that they are teaching digital citizenship at school. We recognize that Digital Citizenship involves a joint effort with parents and staff and have therefore partnered with the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs on parent outreach. To protect our students, all staff are required to go through annual trainings on harassment, which includes online harassment.
We are very fortunate to have a community of students, staff and parents who partner with us as we continue to create an environment where all students and staff feel safe and accepted. Thank you for your support of SRVUSD and its schools.
Mark Jewett, Board President
Ken Mintz, Board Vice President
Rachel Hurd, Board Clerk
Denise Jennison, Board Member
Greg Marvel, Board Member
Rick Schmitt, Superintendent
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