A Northwestern Illinois school district is considering bulking up its anti-bullying protections.
Freeport School District 145 is weighing additions that add considerably to its current policy on aggressive behavior and bullying.
Most significantly, the proposed policy bans discrimination on the basis of race, color nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, age, religion, ability, marital or parental status, among of things.
According District Spokesperson Stephanie Helms, the district has had bullying protections in place for some time. The new proposed policy expands on those protections, last updated in 210.
The new policy defines bullying as "any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act in conduct," including via electronic communications. The policy would also commit the district to educating students on the school's anti-bullying protections annually.
Theresa Hines, equity director in the district, said that overall, bullying has not been a huge problem in Freeport.
"It's not one of our major offenses at all," she said.
The school is updating its protections per state law that requires a review of the policy every two years.
The district's school board is expected to weigh the additions Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. at the Administration Building, 501 E. South St.