The following board policies outline the district’s philosophy and procedures for handling bullying and harassment issues.
Anti-Bullying/Harassment Policy (Board Policy 104)
Harassment and bullying of students and employees are against federal, state and local policy, and are not tolerated by the board. The board is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. To that end, the board has in place policies, procedures, and practices that are designed to reduce and eliminate bullying and harassment as well as processes and procedures to deal with incidents of bullying and harassment. Bullying and harassment of students by other students, by school employees, and by volunteers who have direct contact with students will not be tolerated in the school or school district.
The board prohibits harassment, bullying, hazing, or any other victimization, of students, based on any of the following actual or perceived traits or characteristics, including but not limited to, age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status. Harassment against employees based upon the employee’s race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion, creed, sexual orientation or gender identity is also prohibited.
This policy is in effect while students or employees are on property within the jurisdiction of the board; while on school-owned or school-operated vehicles; while attending or engaged in school-sponsored activities; and while away from school grounds if the misconduct directly affects the good order, efficient management and welfare of the school or school district.
If, after an investigation, a student is found to be in violation of this policy, the student shall be disciplined by appropriate measures, which may include suspension or expulsion. If after an investigation a school employee is found to be in violation of this policy, the employee shall be disciplined by appropriate measures which may include termination. If after an investigation a school volunteer is found to be in violation of this policy, the volunteer shall be subject to appropriate measures which may include exclusion from school grounds. “Volunteer” means an individual who has regular, significant contact with students.
When looking at the totality of the circumstances, harassment and bullying mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:
- Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property;
- Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health;
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s academic performance; or
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
“Electronic” means any communication involving the transmission of information by wire, radio, optical cable, electromagnetic, or other similar means. “Electronic” includes but is not limited to communication via electronic mail, internet-based communications, pager service, cell phones, electronic text messaging or similar technologies.
Harassment and bullying may include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors and circumstances:
- Repeated remarks of a demeaning nature
- Implied or explicit threats concerning one's grades, achievements, property, etc.Demeaning jokes, stories, or activities directed at the student, and/or
- Unreasonable interference with a student's performance
Sexual harassment of a student by an employee means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to the conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of the student’s education or benefits;
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting that student; or
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the student’s academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive education environment.
In situations between students and school officials, faculty, staff, or volunteers who have direct contact with students, bullying and harassment may also include the following behaviors:
- Requiring that a student submit to bullying or harassment by another student, either explicitly or implicitly, as a term or condition of the targeted student’s education or participation in school programs or activities; and/or
- Requiring submission to or rejection of such conduct as a basis for decisions affecting the student.