State legislation regarding cyberbullying is spurring changes to Glendale Unified's own policies as school officials address the ways in which social media websites and other electronic media have affected their ability to monitor student activities.

Glendale's current policy refers to cyberbullying once among 11 specific conduct rules, but that could soon change. The draft changes unveiled this week — which would add nearly 100 lines of new text to district policies — define cyberbullying and spell out an “electronic act” as transmitting by message, text, sound, image or post on a social network site.

The proposed changes were prompted by three pieces of legislation in Sacramento that define bullying and outline how educators can prevent it, intervene and investigate student complaints.

“We have been dealing with [bullying],” school board President Christine Walters said at a meeting Thursday. “What we're looking at here is very specific to three recently passed pieces of legislation that are requiring some changes to our policy.”

Under the proposed change to Glendale Unified's policy, educators would have authority to monitor the district's Internet system if they suspect harassing behavior online.

Another rule would mandate that the district offer a method for students to anonymously report threats.

Earlier this month, Burbank Unified resurrected an anonymous bullying complaint hotline last used in 2006. Officials there also unveiled a new email address to which students can send anonymous complaints.

There is no such anonymous method in Glendale, but the district's education services director, Scott Anderle, said officials are reviewing options to put one in place by September.

“We're looking at both a call-in system and text messaging service,” he said.

In Glendale, students currently file complaints by filling out forms that go to an administrator at the school site who handles bullying.

School board member Joylene Wagner said she would also like for educators to focus on students' resilience to bullying to help keep them from adopting a victim mentality.

“We'll never catch it all, we'll never stop it all,” she said. “People sometimes behave meanly and I'm afraid that … we as a society are not giving much importance to that resilience training.”

The school board will discuss the policies again at its Sept. 18 meeting.

If the changes are approved, it would be the seventh time student conduct rules have been amended at Glendale Unified since the district's first policy debuted in 1956.

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