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Wednesday, August 18, 2010 - - A101 - - 3:00 p.m.

Present: Mayor Brown, Karen Axvig, Eliot Glassheim, Mary Lien, Cory Mock, Larry Nybladh, John Packett, Janelle Regimbal, Debbie Thompson.

Mayor Brown welcomed student Youth Commission members present in the audience. All present introduced themselves and the agency/school that they represented.

Agency Report
Mock – Has been working with ND Youth Council, which has just finalized their report and will be forwarding that to all for their information.

Glassheim – explained that he has been asked by some constituents to bring forward a measure in the State Legislature to address concerns about bullying and was looking for feedback on the issue.

Regimbal – LSS is working on securing the funding for its BOSS program (Beyond Out of School Suspension). Hope to have the funding to make the program available in the community in October/November.

Thompson – YMCA has been involved in the Wellness Center campaign to raise funds toward the new fitness center and remodel of the YMCA as well as gearing up for fall programs. They are putting in a teen space for youth utilize.

Lien – Besides getting ready for school start, wrapping up the Helping Hands summer volunteer program. This year are anticipating more than 7,600 volunteer hours when all are tallied, Miss ND visited with students in the program and will be taking a model of our program to other communities in the state. Are also continuing to work on a partnership with an organization at UND Live Your Life to provide some programming for youth this year, with input from the Youth Commission and YORS groups.

Nybladh – distributed copies of the school calendar and getting ready for fall school and activities to start up.

Packett – Police Dept is also getting ready for school to start, SRO’s are moving from their summer duties back to their in school duties.

Introduction of Youth Commissioners and Parents
2010-2011 Youth Commission Discussion

About ¼ of the group were present. The students provided feedback on the groups at their schools. Would like to see more youth in YORS at Red River. Valley has very strong participation. Students discussed membership getting the word out about the groups within their schools. Regimbal commented that the Youth Commissioners had heard a presentation about a grant application in the spring and we have not gotten official notification on whether we got the grant or not, but have had some calls with questions on our submission and that is encouraging and have a positive feeling about those contacts.

The first Youth Commission meeting will be on Wednesday, September 8 at City Hall and commissioners from last year will be invited to attend. Membership for this year’s commission will be selected from the YORS group at their school and there may be some change in membership before the October meeting. A parent present suggested that perhaps if there are some schools that have a problem getting participation that it may make sense to let those interested continue on and maybe open up to others in the school to participate instead of current method being used for the groups. Andrew asked if it would be o.k. to put some information out on announcements at school now about YORS so people can begin to think about it. Any school could do this, just make sure that the principal o.k.’s it first.

Other Current Youth Issues in Grand Forks
100 Best Communities for Young People Application

Haga reported that we have submitted our application and thanked all that assisted with gathering the information needed. There is no update, but notification should be out in September.

Bullying Legislation
Glassheim explained that he had been approached by some individuals to bring forward a measure at the state legislature to address the issue of bullying and that in researching the issue has found that over half the states have legislation on this issue. He asked for feedback on the bullying issue, is it an issue in our community, and what is currently being done to address it. Nybladh and Lien shared that the school district has policies in place and discussed some of the education programs that are used both with staff and for students. Reports are growing, problem is how to address those behaviors that happen outside of the school building and hours. Students present shared some of their experiences and suggestions for what has worked and what issues still need more work. Regimbal suggested that including discipline is one side of the issue, but also need to work with the two parties involved to try and heal the relationship, as they will still be in the same school and need to try and set things up to not continue. She shared an example of a program that is being used in the Bismarck school system. Nybladh commented that it is not a surprise that the statistics are growing and highlights a problem, some of the behaviors are learned from adults and need to keep educating them as well. He continued that there is a federal mandate for schools on the bullying issue, which seems to be biggest at the middle school level.

Mock asked how cyberbullying factors into what we see in our community. Comments were that it seemed to be more electronic bullying in the high school grades and that middle school were more prank phone calls and face to face bullying. There have been some cases of “sexting” which school has been asked to get involved with. Packett stated that the Police Department does conduct GREAT and DARE programs within the schools and do see an increase in the amount of reporting just after those programs conclude. Glassheim asked if any of the bullying breaks laws. Packett stated that there have been cases where youth has been charged based on the activities that they have been involved with, but not always at the level where law is broken. Mock asked if youth can lose eligibility for programs like sports for bullying behavior, as that has proven to be a deterrent for some with drug and alcohol use. Nybladh responded that so far bullying is not addressed under the athletic participation statewide rules.

Next Meeting
Next meeting will be at 3:00 p.m. on September 8, 2010.

Meeting adjourned.

Sherie Luundmark
Admin Spec Sr.