Penn Hills beefs up hazing policy
School officials in Penn Hills approved changes to the district’s hazing policy that will require all school employees to report hazing incidents.
District spokeswoman Teresita Kolenchak said no recent events prompted the action, but district officials are in the process of updating many policies.
The school board approved revised policies in a 7-0 vote at the Oct. 27 meeting. Board members Donald Kuhn and Joseph Bailey were absent.
Changes to the hazing policy specify the reporting and investigation procedures.
The revised policy requires all school employees to report all hazing incidents that they are aware of to the building principal.
The revised policy now includes an outline of investigation procedures, which might include an interview with the complainant, the accused and others with knowledge of the incident.
The school principal now is required to prepare a written report summarizing the investigation and recommending disposition within 15 days, unless additional time is needed.
The policy requires the complainant and the accused to be informed of the outcome of the investigation.
Language requiring the district to take “prompt, corrective action” to any hazing incident to prevent further hazing now is included in the policy.
Changes to the foreign-exchange-student policy also were approved, but the changes are significantly smaller.
Policy changes specified that the school board can limit the number of foreign-exchange students admitted to the schools only based on space availably and qualifying criteria.
The policy now gives the superintendent the responsibility of recommending admission of any foreign-exchange students to the board.
Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.