At its meeting last week, the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education approved an addition to the student handbook pertaining to bullying and cyberbullying.

In the “Matters pertaining to citizenship” portion, the handbook refers to violations of the code of conduct, saying, quote, ”bullying, harassment, or intimidation means any gesture or written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication, including cyberbullying that occurs in school.” Based on a recommendation by board secretary Roger Myers and trustee Alicia Reid, the words “embarrass, intimidate or cause physical or mental harm” were added to that portion. Superintendent Greg Gray tells WHMI the student handbooks are reviewed annually for possible revisions to keep them up-to-date.

The motion to approve the amended handbook passed on a 7-0 vote. The changes will appear in all of the student handbooks: elementary, middle and intermediate schools and high school. Gray added that the revisions are welcome because it gives the district more latitude when it comes to handling such disciplinary matters. Reid stated that the board needs to start discussing what she called “more serious violations,” an apparent reference to the sexual assaults of three Brighton Twp. girls by a boy who is now 16. The victims were ages 12 and 13 at the time. Both the older girl, now 14, and the boy, are Brighton High School students, and the girl vows not to return to the school if the boy is allowed to come back to class.

He is scheduled for a status conference today in Livingston County Juvenile Court after having fulfilled a 45-day sentence at a Monroe County youth facility. The victims’ parents and other supporters plan a rally in front of the judicial center today at noon to draw attention to what they believe was a glaringly lenient sentence. (TT)