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Stratford School Officials React to Ohio HS Shooting

What should be done to ensure a tragedy like this doesn’t happen here?

An Ohio high school student opened fire on his classmates Monday, killing one and injuring four others, according to CBS News.

The suspected gunman was a teenager who a witness to the shooting said was an outcast who had been bullied by his peers, CBS News reported.

Stratford Board of Education Chairman Gavin Forrester said it is always a tragic event when a young person kills another young person.

"It points out how fragile life can be and how difficult [a school shooting] is to anticipate," Forrester said Monday following a school board meeting. "It's a vulnerability all schools have."

To help prevent such a tragedy from happening in Stratford, school officials reviewed and updated its policies on bullying last year, Forrester said.

He said new guidelines took into consideration cyber bullying, which is when someone seeks to do harm to another via the Internet or with a text message or a similar electronic message. Incidents of cyber bullying among students across the nation are on the rise, according to new government data cited by an Associated Press education writer.

"We continue to expand policy to encompass anything that could exist," Forrester said.

The Stratford Board of Education offers cyber bullying tips for parents on its website.

"I feel Stratford is taking the necessary steps and precautions," said school board member Andrea Veilleux.

Veilleux also referenced the new bullying policies. There is now a 'school climate officer' at every school in the district, she said. When a teacher notices a student bullying another, the teacher is encouraged to report it to the school climate officer, Veilleux said.

Former co-president of the Stratford Academy PTA, Veilleux was part of a seminar that invited members of the public to learn about the dangers of student bullying. She said workshops for parents with the PTA could spread awareness.

Before she won a seat on the school board, Veilleux participated in a public forum where candidates at Stratford schools.

The district's amended bullying policy can be read in full as it is attached to this article as a PDF in the photo gallery above.

What do you think should be done to ensure Stratford students are learning in a safe environment? Share your thoughts and concerns in the comments section below.

Jason Bagley February 28, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Here are a few comments left on the Stratford Patch Facebook page: Liz Dederer: "And as stated above, yes, it is a vulnerablity all schools have. Columbine happened at the end of my senior year. A friend and I organized round table discussions in the library for anyone who was interested to come and talk about what had just happened. It was as theraputic as it was educational for the students." Matt DeBernardo: "Arm the teachers." Charity Mays: "Instead of just a 'bunch of committees'...shouldn't they be checking to see WHOM each child has as his/ her SUPPORT group? If these children/ young adults are feeling ISOLATED...then maybe we need to ask each of those children/ young adults WHO they go to when they need help. "Those who don't write down anybody...would be the ones that the school MIGHT need to work with and HELP them find some GOOD MENTORS who will spend TIME with them and communicate with them EVERY DAY. Those who have only one or two...or don't list family as part of their support group might also need that extra help. http://www.facebook.com/StratfordPatch
Tom February 28, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Stop loading the schools with psychopaths and taking mkoney for educating them.
Tom February 28, 2012 at 05:39 PM
IDEA legislation ... you all know it and continue to offer fluff.
Gabriel Kotter February 28, 2012 at 05:51 PM
The school knew this kid had problems. Bullied... DOES IT EVER GET OLD
Matt March 01, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Sadly, because of media overexposure with tragic stories like the Ohio incident, bullying has become a huge topic in the news and therefore, our wonderful lawmakers have jumped into action to save the day, creating more layers of bureacracy for schools to navigate to deal with bullying. Bullying does occur in schools and it is not acceptable, but everyone has a to play a roll in stopping it not just teachers and administrators. The solution has to inlcude parents, other students, the community at large.....and most importantly, bystanders need to speak up and get involved. Ask any bonafide bully if he/she engages in bullying behavior in view of adults/ authority...they will tell you heck no....it can be addressed and stopped if EVERYONE got involved...if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

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