The Palatine Park District is adopting a formal anti-bullying policy aimed at recognizing, stopping, remedying and -- if needed -- disciplining the behavior if it occurs among district staff.
The park board recently approved the policy after legal counsel signed off. The initiative isn't the result of any sort of systemic problem, according to Executive Director Mike Clark.
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"This is obviously a topic people are more in tune with right now," Clark said. "We want to make sure system controls are in place in case staff encounters situations."
The anti-bullying policy is part of a broader effort to formalize district policies Clark has focused on since coming on board last year. Similar to the manuals he wrote as leader of the Batavia Park District, Clark is developing a board governance policy and administrator procedure manual.
He calls the practice good business 101.
"A lot of what we have is piecemeal, or there are unwritten rules," Clark said. "I'm trying to formalize things."
Clark said the process has been largely collaborative, adding that park district staff and board members have been very supportive. He joked that hopefully the guides will lead to fewer people knocking on his door with questions.
"It's important to empower staff and give them resources to figure things out on their own," he said.