Morgan County Schools to implement training in response to harassment

Morgan County Schools to implement training in response to harassment
Morgan County Board of Education building

MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - On Friday, Morgan County Schools Superintendent Bill Hopkins said the district will be implementing training at all its campuses in response to a harassment incident in February.

Morgan County Schools to implement training in response to harassment

He said coaches, administrators and third-party counselors would administer the training in an effort to combat future bullying and harassment.

"That's the key to it, we have young individuals that need to learn what is appropriate and what's not appropriate and we also want to make sure that our instructors know what they can provide in regards to supervision and those type of things," he said.

The district is currently disciplining two middle school students for an incident at a Brewer High School junior varsity baseball practice.

Hopkins said the students were in the locker room changing when the incident took place, but declined to elaborate further.

No coach was present at the time of the incident.

The district was notified of the incident in May and brought in the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Human Resources investigate.

Hopkins said he did not believe there would be any charges in the case, based on the evidence in the districts possession.

Hopkins said the training will improve how incidents are reported and handled.

“That’s kind of disturbing to us, is that we had an incident that happened in February, yet we don’t get any information about that until the end of school,” he said.

The training will take place throughout the year and establish standards for the districts athletics teams.

Huntsville psychologist Kenneth Sullivan said the district's ability to make those standards and consequences clear will determine the effectiveness of the training.

"The general rule is the severity of the punishment is not the effective factor, it's the certainty of it and the timing of it being right after the thing that happens," he said.

Sullivan said clear expectations and immediate punishment will help ingrain positive behavior in young students.

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