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School district looks at revising hate-motivated behavior policy - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

School district looks at revising hate-motivated behavior policy

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Changes could be coming to your child's school policy on bullying and what is called hate-motivated behavior. 
 
During Tuesday night's San Luis Coastal Unified School District meeting, the board will consider two major changes to that policy. 
 
"Hate-motivated behavior is behavior or statements that would degrade an individual based on groups they identify with," said District Assistant Superintendent Kimberly McGrath. "For example, their gender or their class or their origin."
 
One possible change to the policy will allow a student's parent or guardian to report that their child has been a victim of hate-motivated behavior.
 
"Some of the thought behind that, perhaps, especially if it's a younger student, (he/she) may not have the articulation or the ability to express what's happened but maybe they talked to their family about it," McGrath said. 
 
Currently, only a student can make that report. 
 
Trea Sullivan says she hasn't heard her second-grade son discuss bullying but says it's fantastic it's on the district's radar. 
 
"I think schoolwide, I think it's important that everybody understand what bullying is and just that it's made more well known and that kids are able to talk about it," Sullivan said.
 
In 2015, about seven percent of students 12 to 18-year-old reported being the target of hate-related words, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
 
"We always want to encourage either students or families if they hear a concern, if they have a concern, to report it to the school," McGrath added. 
 
Another possible change, a complaint must be filed within six months of the incident. 
 
The policy was last revised in July of 2010. McGrath says the possible revisions are not in response to anything in particular, just legal suggestions. 
 
The meeting is at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Los Osos Middle School. 
 
The board will either approve the policy or bring it back for a second reading. 

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