Juneau School District revises police-reporting procedures

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Juneau School District principals will have the duty of calling the police if students commit crimes during the school day, under a policy revision adopted Tuesday by the Juneau School Board.

The revision was proposed to bring district policy in line with state statutes. As originally written, the local policy required "school personnel who, in the course of their employment, witness students committing crimes" to report those crimes to the principal and to the police.

School Board Vice President Chuck Cohen proposed an amendment that would make principals, rather than individual teachers and staff, responsible for calling the police.

"I think filtering it through the principal allows a certain distance, a certain appropriate decorum in the schools," Cohen said. "The police are going to get notified one way or another. ... The question is who makes the call."

Superintendent Gary Bader told the board he was "a bit troubled" that the amended policy did not exactly parallel the law, but said, "I think the statute stands on its own. I think the policy (gives) the sense of the board."

Bader said the policy uses different practices, but still follows the spirit of the law. "It is for the good of the schools that the chain of command be followed," he said.

The amended version of the policy passed unanimously.

Also Tuesday, at the request of board member Alan Schorr, the board agreed to try to include more middle school counselor positions in the district's budget request for fiscal years 2003-04. Schorr said that was one of the recommendations of the school climate report the board heard last year.

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