Audit results in: District 55 policy report finds few problems

BLACKFOOT — The Blackfoot School Board of Trustees received the results of an audit of the district’s bullying and harassment policies and administrative procedures during their regular meeting Thursday night.
The audit was completed by E. E. Gene Davis, president of Leadership for Organization Effectiveness, a national education consulting firm. Davis, alongside Auditor T. C. Chris Mattocks, analyzed district policy and administrative procedure documents and reviewed the district discipline handbook and the Blackfoot High School student handbook. They also interviewed individuals at the district office and at the high school regarding administrative procedures.
In reviewing the five district policies—Sexual Harassment; Student Harassment; Prohibition Against Harassment; Intimidation and Bullying; Hazing Prohibition; and School Climate—Davis found the policies to be well written, strong and effective.
“It’s very well written and it’s very clear,” Davis said regarding the sexual harassment policy.
Davis also said the dissemination of the information is extensive and well-documented. Specifically regarding hazing, Davis said he believes the athletic department has taken the appropriate actions to educate coaches of the policy.
“In talking to the athletic director, the coaches have had several meetings and they’re documented,” Davis said.
The audit did find that the policies regarding bullying and hazing do not reference appropriate administrative procedures for investigating or filing complaints. The Blackfoot High School Planner also lacks a section on anti-bullying and lacks specific information on how to file a complaint.
Davis recommends the policy be amended to clarify what needs to be done and who a complaint is to be filed with. The audit also found that a draft harassment incident report form is under development by administrators at Blackfoot High School.
Davis recommended to the board to revise the Blackfoot High School Planner to include information on how and where to report an incident, as well as to include specific forms for reporting and investigating reports.
All changes will be determined by the school board as they see fit.
“There are some things in here that will help us strengthen our policies,” Superintendent Scott Crane said. “This will help is strengthen what we’re doing here in the district.”
Also at the meeting, the trustees approved an amended version of Board Policy 647.1 regarding the selection of student speakers at commencement and approved a request to seek bids for paper, general school supplies, risograph supplies and ink and toner. They also voted to permanently move the board’s meeting time from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. beginning with the February board meeting.
Information was provided to the board regarding the MAPP early graduation program, State Superintendent Tom Luna’s Students Come First educational reform plan and the district’s March 8 supplemental levy election.