It is hard to believe that the first grading period is over, but we have begun the second quarter of school and the beautiful fall season is slowly creeping toward winter. Congratulations to the Tri-Valley Marching Band on qualifying for state competition for the 36th consecutive year. Congratulations also to the Scottie football team on a great season and advancing to week 15 in the OHSAA Div. III State Championship. This represents the first TV Football team to ever play for a state championship and the first MVL School since 1987. Titles for the fall sports season were also earned by the girls cross country team, the boys football team, and the boys soccer team. It was definitely another great fall sports season!
There are several state and federal education issues that have been in the news over the last few months that I would like to discuss briefly in this month’s newsletter. One of these issues is Senate Bill 216, which seeks to roll back over 100 mandates that have been imposed on local school districts through state and federal mandates. Many of these mandates are aimed at school districts that have very different demographics than we do at Tri-Valley, but these same mandates have nonetheless imposed arbitrary regulations and reporting requirements on our students.
One of the dominant issues that has been driving legislation over the last few years is bullying. Bullying has become a catch-all term for virtually all negative student behavior. The problem with this approach is that it diminishes the legitimate issue of bullying by overwhelming school officials with mandatory reporting requirements for virtually all behaviors. The Tri-Valley School district policy and definition of bullying are as follows:
Any intentional written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that a student or group of students exhibits toward another particular student(s) more than once and the behavior both causes mental or physical harm to the other student(s) and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s);
It is important to realize that most behavioral issues that have been reported to school officials are neither persistent nor pervasive. They are isolated incidents that are typically handled promptly and efficiently by building administrators. It is important that we do not teach young people to believe that they are always victims. Part of their education both at home and at school is to develop the understanding that how they respond to incidents is within their control… and is often much more important than the incidents themselves.