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Coopersville Schools Consider Anti-Bully Policy

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(Coopersville, MI - WHTC News) - Three years after a hazing incident rocked Coopersville High School, the district is considering an anti-bullying policy.

It’s only a first reading tonight, so the Board of Education of the northern Ottawa County school district won’t be able to cast a final vote on the matter until next month. A committee considered several sample policies before recommending one submitted by the state Department of Education. It includes a customized rule prohibiting “passive” bullying from supporting bystanders.

In May of 2007, reports of sexual hazing of younger players on the Broncos’ junior varsity baseball team surfaced, including an incident involving a 15-year-old boy in the squad’s locker room. The coach was forced to resign, the season was cancelled on the spot, and four players were suspended, subsequently expelled, and convicted of gross indecency charges.

Lawsuits filed by the families of two alleged victims against the district in federal court, with each family seeking five million dollars in damages, were settled out of court. It took more court action for a Freedom of Information Act request to be honored by the district in which it was disclosed that each family received 150 thousand dollars.

-Gary Stevens, WHTC/WYVN News

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