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Burlington Schools Expanding Bullying Definition

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The Burlington School District is updating its policy on bullying and harassment.  The changes are based on a recent site visit by the Iowa Department of Education.

Human Resources Director Laurie Hempen says the agency wants Burlington to expand the list of situations that could be considered bullying or harassment.  She says the additions include gender identity, political party, physical attributes, and ancestry.

Hempen says the policy already covered situations including race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.

Penalties for bullying or harassment could include suspension or expulsion of students or termination of an employee.

The policy update must be approved one more time by the Burlington School Board.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.