February 27, 2012
Nashville, TN—On February 22, Cheatham County residents delivered three anti-bullying proposals for consideration by the Cheatham County Board of Education at their March meeting. The proposals resulted from ongoing discussions of bullying by Cheatham County residents and youth and equality advocates from Nashville after Cheatham County Central High School senior Jacob Rogers took his life in December. Family and friends say that Rogers was bullied at school for being gay.
Two of the proposals acknowledge steps taken by Cheatham County Schools to address bullying such as a revision of the district’s anti-bullying policy that took place in November and efforts to provide teacher trainings. In the first proposal, Jeremy Rogers of Ashland City recommends that Cheatham County Schools provide a monthly report to the public that would document the number of bullying cases per school and how they were resolved. In the second proposal, Mary Ann Bernicky of Pegram requests that copies of the curriculum used to train teachers on bullying issues be made available for public inspection and that the district provide information on how many teachers have been trained as well as reveal any plans for ongoing certification of school personnel.
The third proposal offered by Kaelynn Malugin of Ashland City suggests a revision of the district’s anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies to include the categories “gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation” in their enumerated classes to improve protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students or those who are perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
The Tennessee Equality Project provided assistance in drafting the proposals and advice in navigating the Cheatham County Board of Education’s policy process.
The next meeting of the Cheatham County Board of Education is March 5.
Contact: Chris Sanders