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Knights Against Bullying push prevention at District 302 board meeting

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 9:33 a.m. CDT

SUGAR GROVE – Members of the Knights Against Bullying group showed up at Tuesday’s Kaneland School District 302 board meeting at Harter Middle School, with a member reading a letter during public comment that urged the board to “take a leadership role” in the issue.

In the letter, read by Leanne Gramley, the group brought up five recommendations made previously and mentioned that “we understand our recommendations have not been discussed.” It was one of two letters read on the subject.

After the letters were read, school board President Cheryl Krauspe assured speakers they had been “heard by the board and taken seriously.” She said board members could not have had such a discussion outside of a board setting, saying it would be a violation of the Open Meetings Act.

Last month, members of the Knights Against Bullying packed the meeting room, with district officials putting together an hourlong forum before the regularly scheduled school board meeting. Members spoke at the forum and the public comment portion of that meeting. In the letter read by Gramley and signed by Knights Against Bullying, the group’s members again listed their five recommendations to the district on the topic.

They urged the district to make bullying prevention a priority, sought the assigning of a prevention coordinator, called for the gathering of a task force, pushed for a districtwide plan, and said officials should implement a system and evaluate it.

Superintendent Jeff Schuler said he had a meeting scheduled this week with members of the group, and it’s possible there could be discussion with the board in the future as a result of that meeting.

The Knights Against Bullying letter brought up that October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

“What a great time to make a commitment to end bullying and hate and to promote tolerance and community,” the letter read. “The first step is to explicitly state your commitment in the form of a board resolution.”

The attendance was down from the previous meeting, but it was still greater than typical meetings, with more than 50 people in the audience.

The letter read by Gramley was geared toward working for change and urging cooperation. It called for the district to acknowledge the spotlight that has been given to the topic and “let this attention, both negative and positive, turn into the catalyst for change.”

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