Lawmakers Point Finger at Westside District on School Bullying Issue

JULY 15, 2004 - Posted at 7:39 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The superintendent of a Jonesboro-area school district where a 1998 shooting rampage took place denies accusations that the district doesn't have an anti-bullying policy.

James Best, superintendent of the Westside School District, said the district adopted its anti-bullying policy in August 2003.  Two boys shot and killed four students and one teacher in a 1998 shooting rampage at Westside Middle School.

Westside was among six school districts that were reported yesterday as not complying with an order to adopt anti-bullying policies.  State Representative Don House of Walnut Ridge told K8 News Tuesday that Westside had never filed an anti-bullying policy with the state, despite repeated requests.

Act 681 of 2002 requires each school district to adopt a policy to prevent student harassment, or bullying, and submit a copy to the state for review.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)