• The District strictly prohibits bullying, including hazing, and cyberbullying on school grounds, at any school function, or on District transportation.

    Definitions

    Bullying - Intimidation, unwanted aggressive behavior or harassment that is repetitive or is substantially likely to be repeated and causes a reasonable student to fear for his or her physical safety or property; substantially interferes with the educational performance, opportunities, or benefits of any student without exception; or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school.  Bullying may consist of physical actions, including gestures, or oral, cyberbullying electronic, or written communication, and any threat of retaliation for reporting such acts.

    Cyberbullying - Bullying as defined above through the transmission of a communication including, but not limited to a telephone, wireless telephone, or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager.  The District has jurisdiction to prohibit cyberbullying that originates on a school campus or at a District activity if the communication was made using District technological resources, if there is sufficient nexus to the educational environment, or if the electronic communication was made on the school’s campus or at a District activity using the student’s own person technological resource.

    Anti-bullying Coordinator – The Superintendent will ensure an individual at each school is designated to serve as the anti-bullying coordinator.  All anti-bullying coordinators will be teacher-level or above and a list of coordinators will be kept on file at the District administration office and updated annually.  Additionally, a District anti-bullying coordinator will be designated.

    School Day – A day on the District calendar when students are required to attend school.

    Reporting Bullying or Cyberbullying

    District employees are required to report any instance of bullying of which the employee has firsthand knowledge.  Any employee, substitute, or volunteer who witnesses an incident of bullying must report the incident to the building anti-bullying coordinator within two school days of witnessing the incident.  If the anti-bullying coordinator is unavailable or is the subject of the report, the employee should contact the District’s Compliance Officer.  In addition, all District employees, substitutes, or volunteers must direct all persons seeking to report an incident of bullying to the building anti-bullying coordinator.

    Any individual making a verbal report of bullying will be asked to submit a written complaint to the anti-bullying coordinator.  If the person refuses or is unable to submit a written complaint, the anti-bullying coordinator will summarize the verbal complaint in writing.

    When an anti-bullying coordinator is informed about a possible bullying or cyberbullying incident, verbal, written, or otherwise, the District will conduct a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation to determine whether misconduct, including unlawful conduct, occurred.  The District will implement interim measures as necessary.  When it is determined that bullying or cyberbullying occurred, the District will take appropriate action for violations of District expectations and rules.

    Investigation

    Within two school days of receipt of a report of bullying or cyberbullying, the anti-bullying coordinator or designee will initiate an investigation of the incident.  The school principal may appoint other school staff to assist with the investigation.  The investigation will be completed within 10 school days from the date of the written report unless good cause exists to extend the investigation.  A copy of the written report of the investigation and results will be sent to the District anti-bullying coordinator and included in the files of the victim and the alleged or actual perpetrator of bullying or cyberbullying.  All reports are confidential in accordance with law and District rules.

    Retaliation

    The District prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying or cyberbullying, testifies, or participates in any manner with an investigation proceeding, or hearing.  The District will take appropriate remedial action for any student, teacher, administrator, or other school personnel who retaliates.

    Consequences of Bullying, Cyberbullying, or Retaliation

    When the District receives a report of bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation, interim measures to protect the victim(s) will be taken.  If an investigation determines that bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation occurred, the District will act to end the bullying, cyberbullying or retaliation.  Students who are determined to have participated in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation will be disciplined in accordance with the District discipline policy.

    Consequences may include, but are not limited to, loss of privileges, detention, in- or out-of-school suspension, expulsion, and referral to law enforcement.  Any determination of consequences will consider factors such as the age of the student(s), developmental level of the student(s), degree of harm, severity of behavior, disciplinary history, and other educationally relevant factors.

    District employees and substitutes who violate this policy will be disciplined, up to and including termination.  Volunteers, visitors, patrons, or others who violate this policy may be prohibited from District property or activities, or other remedial action.

    Public Notice

    This policy will be published on the District website and in the Student/Parent Handbook annually.  In addition, the District will:

    1. Provide information and appropriate training to District staff who have significant contact with students regarding the policy.
    2. Provide education and information to students regarding bullying, including information regarding the District policy prohibiting bullying, the harmful effects of bullying, and applicable initiatives to address bullying, including student peer-to-peer initiatives to provide accountability and policy enforcement for those found to have engaged in bullying, cyberbullying, and/or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying.
    3. Instruct school counselors, school and licensed social workers, mental health professionals, and school psychologists to educate students who are victims of bullying on techniques for overcoming bullying’s negative effects. Techniques will include, but are not limited to, cultivating the student’s self-worth and self-esteem; teaching the student to defend himself/herself assertively and effectively; helping the student develop social skills; and/or encouraging the student to develop an internal locus of control.
    4. Implement programs and other initiatives to address and respond to bullying in a manner that does not stigmatize the victim and makes resources or referrals available to victims of bullying.

    Complaints alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in violation of District policy will be referred for investigation to the District Compliance Officer.

    Adoption Date(s): May 18, 2020