Bullying Reporting System Finds Early Success At JPS

The Madrigal Singers previewed their upcoming performance to members of the Jamestown Public Schools Board on Tuesday. The choir will perform this Sunday. P-J photo by Jordan Patterson

The issue of bullying was again addressed at a meeting of the Jamestown Public School Board on Tuesday night.

Superintendent Bret Apthorpe updated the board on the district’s effort to combat bullying. During a previous meeting earlier this year, Apthorpe announced the creation of an anonymous reporting system on each Jamestown schools’ website that allows students to report bullying anonymously.

“I know it’s a big concern to the board, and to my self and to our whole school family the issue of bullying and harassment,” Apthorpe said.

Apthorpe said there have been 85 submissions of bullying on the websites, 33 of which have been found to be an actual bullying incident.

“This is like one of those double-edged swords,” Apthorpe said of the systems’ findings. “It’s good and it’s bad. It’s bad that we obviously have bullying and harassment taking place. The good part of that is we have an anonymous system for this and that counselors and principals are meeting with kids and helping them work their way through that.”

Members of the Jamestown High School tennis team were recognized Tuesday for being selected as recipients of the Chautauqua Cattaraugus Athletic Association Sportsmanship Award. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

Apthorpe also discussed the progress of an anti-bully club in the high school. He said the club will be taking on the duty of assigning the school with a “bullying reporting app.” He said an app to be used by students and kids would be best if it was tested by students and kids because that would be the demographic using the app, as compared to teachers testing the app. The kids in the club will make a recommendation to the superintendent and Mike McElrath, the High School principal

In other news, the board again approved the sale of the Crescent Street property that the community voted in favor of selling on Oct. 30. The bidder who originally agreed to purchase the property said he could no longer assume control of the building. On Tuesday, the board was told the district would not have to seek community approval when a new buyer is found.

Prior to the board beginning the regular meeting, The Madrigal Singers previewed their upcoming performance for the Vespers on Sunday and on Sunday, Dec. 17. The Jamestown High School A Capella Choir is set to perform on Sunday at the 93rd Vespers at the First Lutheran Church at 4 p.m.

Members of the Jamestown High School Tennis’ Team were also recognized for being selected as recipients of the Chautauqua Cattaraugus Athletic Association Sportsmanship Award. A resolution was passed to honor the team, as each player introduced themselves to the board.

“We thank you so much for representing our district the way you do,” said Paul Abbott, president of the JPS Board of Education. “You watch SportsCenter or TV on the weekends and there are a lot of professional athletes that could follow your lead.”