CHAMPLAIN - Bullying has become a hot topic across the country. Now, educators at Northeastern Clinton Central School District are asking parents to fill out an on-line survey to help the district put better bullying policies in place.
According to high school guidance councilor Erin Fleury, eighth, ninth and 10th grade students were recently asked to fill out a survey based on bullying.
"One section asked them specifically, 'Have you been bullied at NCCS?'" she said. "It [also] gave them a variety of choices where they've bullied."
Other questions asked of the students included why the student may have felt they were being bullied, such as being too skinny, too fat, or too wimpy.
"It wasn't anything too intense," Fleury said. "Most of the kids were finished within 15 minutes."
The survey also had students answer questions about the school's response to bullying, whether they had witnessed other students being bullied, and their general thoughts on bullying.
"We have gotten results and we've been sorting and working through those," said Fleury. "I wasn't really taken aback by anything. We know that it's an issue. It's an issue in every school."
Now, the district is turning to the parents for their input.
There is a survey on the high school's Web site, www.nccscougar.org/HS.htm, under the Points of Interest headline.
"The parents survey has a little bit different questions and it's not as lengthy,"Fleury said. "We asked them what their feelings were on how the school has handled bullying situations in the past."
The survey also asks parents to determine how they felt bullying had been handled by the school, either with their own child or with what they had heard about other children from other parents.
Fleury said the main reason for the surveys is to make any changes that may be necessary at the schools.
"Everyone is always talking about bullying as such a huge issue facing our students all across the country and the world," she said. "It's important for us to get their feedback and what their feelings are in order to make school a safer place and a more positive environment for all our students."
The survey for parents deadline is Friday, Feb. 18.
"We just really appreciate their input and their feedback on what they're seeing and hearing," Fleury said. "We just want to improve things for our school."
Although nothing has been planned at this point, Fleury said she felt it may be helpful to have another survey come out at a later date, to see if the school's new policies have made a difference in student bullying.