Choose Civility Washington County
For current information and initiatives from Choose Civility Washington County, click HERE (http://choosecivilitywashingtoncounty.org/).
As part of the Choose Civility initiative in Washington County, a Hagerstown/Washington County Chamber of Commerce Eggs & Issues meeting segued into a Choose Civility Washington County Symposium on Tuesday, March 9, 2010. The keynote speaker was Dr. P.M. Forni, Johns Hopkins University professor and co-founder of the Johns Hopkins Civility Project in 1997. Other speakers for breakout sessions covered issues such as ethics, civility and mediation, character counts, and civility in sports.
An initiative to promote civility in the Washington County community began in the spring of 2009. The Washington County Public Schools began its effort in the following way:
The following words, from Dr. Elizabeth Morgan, superintendant of schools at the time, describe the issues at hand and the charge of the Cross-Functional Team to Promote Civil Behavior:
"A major responsibility of Washington County Public Schools’ (WCPS) staff is to ensure that students learn in a supportive, safe, and secure environment. Acts of bullying, harassment, and intimidation can impede students from learning..... While it is recognized that bullying occurs in many settings and that it is not solely a school-related issue, WCPS is committed to a vision of eliminating incidences of bullying, harassment, and intimidation on school property and at school-related functions....In conjunction with the Maryland State Board of Education’s “model” policy, WCPS will be revising its own policy designed to prohibit bullying, harassment, or intimidation in schools. To support the revision and implementation of the revised policy and the adoption of regulations, I am forming a Cross-Functional Team to Promote Civil Behavior that will analyze this issue, recommend changes to the existing WCPS bullying and harassment policy, explore prevention and intervention measures, and develop a plan that enlists the active involvement of the Washington County community to combat bullying, harassment, and intimidation.....With the support of students, parents, WCPS staff, and community members, I believe that we can influence the culture of our community to promote and embrace civil and respectful behavior for all. Your cooperation and support with this endeavor will be greatly appreciated. "
A series of meetings was held, involving community leaders, educators, service providers, and others who brought expertise, experiences and knowledge that proved valuable in moving forward. Agendas, minutes and PowerPoint presentations from those meetings are provided below.
Revised Policy JFH and Revised Administrative Regulation JFH-R (Harassment) were approved by the Board of Education on June 16, 2009, and the approved policy was submitted to State Superintendant of Schools, Dr. Nancy Grasmick.
Policy JFH (2 page PDF)
Administrative Regulation JFH-R (7 page PDF)
Listed below are the dates and resources related to the meetings of the Cross-Functional Team to Promote Civil Behavior:
Additional topics discussed included evidence based programs, continuum of consequences, and policies on electronic communication, dress code, code of conduct: respect, responsibility, and civil behavior.
The current Harassment or Intimidation (Bullying) Reporting Form (2 page PDF) is posted HERE.
For more information, please call the Office of System Development: 301-766-2937.