By Shereen Siewert

In an email to students, Wausau School District Superintendent Keith Hilts on Friday released a set of proposed disciplinary guidelines in dealing with challenging student behavior for students in Kindergarten through fifth grade.

In his letter, Hilts explains that he recently completed a series of listening sessions across the district as pat of the strategic planning process. During those sessions, a consistent concern shared by both parents and staff was that of student misbehavior, Hilts said.

“Students will become adults in our communities, and we need to bring the resources of our whole community to bear in helping children become successful and productive adults,” Hilts wrote.

Hilts pointed to a small number of students who require additional support to be successful and overcome behavioral challenges.

“Sometimes the behaviors are odd,” Hilts wrote. “Sometimes the behaviors are disrespectful, such as swearing or threatening. Sometimes the behaviors are dangerous and may include hitting or throwing objects.”

In response to this concern, the district drafted a set of disciplinary guidelines to help schools and staff address such behavior in a more consistent manner, Hilts said.

The terms of the new guidelines require mandatory parent contact and behavior documentation each time a child shows physical aggression resulting in bodily harm, makes a credible threat to safety, sexually harasses another student, uses inappropriate language directed at another person, shows major disrespect or causes a major disruption where all learning is interrupted. Other responses can include removing the student from school activities and referring the child to social services or school resource officers, depending on the circumstances of each incident.

View the complete set of guidelines here.

The proposed guidelines will be assessed through feedback from schools and staff, Hilts said.