School staff address bullying, emergency response at Rotary

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By Peg Wunder

As Rotary met on Monday, Feb. 11, Tim Frederick, superintendent of Mobridge-Pollock School introduced himself with a review of what has been going on at the school in the last several months and how the school has been addressing the problems that have arisen nationwide.
Frederick said the administration has been working to set up a system to handle bullying and cyber bullying. They have also established peer groups dealing with this problem.  There are three phone numbers just to handle bullying, one is for the grade school, one for the middle school and one for the high school.  Students can call in if they are being bullied at school, at home, or anywhere.  The identity of the caller does not show on the caller ID and the students can call in anytime. The calls are routed to one of the three numbers. A code shows rather than the name of the student. Frederick said he feels that this, along with the peer groups, is a good way for the Mobridge-Pollock School to handle problems before they become a crisis.
Frederick also talked a bit about Emergency Response Planning. The planning has been with the police department, the hospital and other personnel. The first 5 to 10 minutes are vital as to preparedness. Frederick said that the teachers know what to do in those first few minutes. When asked about anyone just walking into the school he said that that no longer will happen as doors are locked. Mobridge-Pollock law enforcement can respond much faster because there are police on duty at all times and they can get to the school quickly.
Bills that are presently in the legislature were briefly discussed. Bill No. 1087 allows school boards to approve letting people other than police carry guns in schools. In Frederick’s opinion this should be a matter left to the local school boards. Some schools are located in metropolitan areas where there are a number of police on duty every day, whereas some schools are located in smaller towns where there may not even be a city police force and are covered by county law enforcement. He added that if a school district would want to have someone in the school to be armed, that person would need to have extensive training.
Frederick talked a little about the tax situation and the allocations each district receives.  In 2010 the allocation per student was $4,804 and this year the allocation per student is $4,626.
Michele Harrison, executive director at the Mobridge Chamber announced that it is Business Day at the Legislature on Feb. 21 and people going can ride the bus. People who want to go should contact the Chamber by Feb. 15.
It was also announced that there would be a fish fry at the Catholic Church on Friday evening.
Membership bills were handed out. This covers from January l through the end of June.
For the past 20 years Rotary has been sponsoring the Boy Scout Troop here in Mobridge with Herb McClellan taking care of details and making sure the charter has been kept up to date.  Herb has announced that this is the last year he will be in charge of this and that Tom Collignon will take over those duties next year.
Rotary needs to send someone to the grant training seminar and appoint a foundation chair in the upcoming month.  Overseth would appreciate volunteers for these two positions and if no one volunteers he will appoint people for these two positions.
There will be no rotary next week as it is President’s Day.  Rotary will meet the next week, Feb. 25, at noon at the Moose Club.

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