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Restraining Orders:
How Can Schools Respond?
Share A 16-year-old Boston girl has a restraining order against two students who posted threats to her on the school's e-mail system. One of the offending students was expelled; the other was suspended and will soon return to school. How would your school respond to this situation?

Join a discussion of this hot news story on a new Education World message board Restraining Orders: How Can Schools Respond?

MAY 16, 2000 -- In Boston, the family of a 16-year-old girl felt compelled to request a restraining order to protect the girl from two students who had made threats. The order prevents the two students from communicating with the girl or from being within 100 yards of her. According to a Boston Globe news story, the school expelled one of the students and it suspended the other; the suspended student is due back to school soon.

See the complete Boston Globe story, Restraining Orders Illustrate Greater Focus on School Safety.

Restraining orders in a school setting might not get much press, but they are more common than most of the public might believe. The publicity given this story in Boston provokes many questions. How far can schools go to protect students? What school policies should be in effect to help prevent harassment? With a restraining order in place, how can school officials monitor the movements of students to ensure that the order is enforced?

Gary Hopkins
Copyright © 2000 Education World

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