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District bullying policy to get slight update

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KAMLOOPS - Just over a year ago the teachers’ association began a push for an anti-homophobic harassment specific policy and this month the district will instead update the current bullying policy.

The Kamloops-Thompson Teachers’ Association brought forward a request for a discrete anti-homophobic harassment policy last spring, with one teacher saying he felt administration had no idea how to deal with homophobia.

From the start some trustees felt proper training was more necessary than a new policy but then students joined the push with a petition asking for the specific policy. After a survey in the fall showed little concern the board decided a new policy was not necessary and instead tasked administration with creating an updated universal policy, along with a policy to guide teachers and administration in how to properly deal with bullying or harassment as well.

The updated policy, set to be adopted June 23, includes discrimination in the title and several small adjustments to the wording of several regulations. One addition is to include whether the complaint was ‘frivolous or vexatious’ for any written report stemming from a complaint. The details over what constitutes bullying, intimidation or harassment has also been made more specific.

The addition of a bullying policy specific to employees outlines ‘employees must not engage in harassment, bullying or discriminatory conduct’ including through social media and electronic communications. Employees are required to report any conduct they experience or observe as well and investigations will follow the principles set out by WorkSafe B.C.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infotelnews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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