Superintendent releases statement on anti-bullying efforts

(Editor’s Note: FMCSD Superintendent Erin Slater released the following statement today regarding the school’s new anti-bullying efforts. Slater said no additional interviews would be conducted at this time.)

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the student and her family. School district policy and federal HIPPA laws prevent any discussion of student records. It is a brave choice by her father to make this private medical issue public. It does allow the Fort Madison Community School District the opportunity to inform parents about our student safety services.

Fort Madison Schools employ full time counselors and social workers at all buildings available to students. This is free. Several Fort Madison students take advantage of these free services and have regularly scheduled appointments at no charge.

The Fort Madison Community School District takes the safety of our students as our highest priority.

Bullying in any form is not tolerated in our school district. Unfortunately bullying can be difficult to identify and if a student or parent does not report the incident, staff cannot act. Also, any bullying committed by persons who are not Fort Madison School District students must be reported to the police or sheriff’s department.

I along with three members of our district staff including our Fort Madison Police Department School Resource Officer attended the national school safety conference this past summer.

We will be implementing two new services as a result of this conference. We will establish a districtwide threat assessment team as well as piloting an anonymous tip hotline app to report any safety concern.

Implementation of these initiatives has already begun.

Once again, the Fort Madison community school district continues to be highly committed to the safety and security of our students and staff.

Erin M. Slater, Superintendent of Schools

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