Carthage R-IX

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P 2655 Bullying

The District is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment free of any form of bullying or intimidation toward District personnel or students on school grounds, during the school day, at any school sponsored activity or in any school related context.  Bullying of students and District personnel is prohibited on all school property, during any District-sponsored activity, and on all District school buses.

“Bullying” means intimidation, unwanted aggressive behavior, or any other unwanted negative action 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 acts of bullying.    

Bullying occurs when a student:

Cyberbullying means bullying as defined above through the transmission of a communication including, but not limited to, a message, text, sound, or image by means of an electronic device including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone, or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager.

The District shall have jurisdiction to prohibit cyberbullying that originates on a school’s campus or at a District activity if the electronic communication was made using the school's technological resources, if there is a 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 personal technological resources. The District may discipline any student for such cyberbullying to the greatest extent allowed by law.

Anti-Bullying Coordinator

The Superintendent shall, on an annual basis, appoint a District employee who is teacher-level staff or above at each school to serve as the Anti-Bullying Coordinator.

The list of District Anti-Bullying Coordinators shall be kept on file at central office, along with this policy.

Reporting

District employees are required to report any instance of bullying of which the employee has first-hand knowledge. District employees who witness an incident of bullying are required to report the incident to the school Anti-Bullying Coordinator within two (2) school days of the employee witnessing the event, unless the Anti-Bullying Coordinator is unavailable or is the subject of a report. In that case, the report should be made directly to the District’s Compliance Officer (see Board Policy 1310).

All District employees shall instruct all persons seeking to report an incident of bullying to communicate directly with the Anti-Bullying Coordinator.

If a verbal report is made, the person will be asked to submit a written complaint to the Anti- Bullying Coordinator. If such person refuses or is unable to submit a written complaint, the Anti-Bullying Coordinator will summarize the verbal complaint in writing.

Even if a written complaint is not directly filed, if the Anti-Bullying Coordinator otherwise learns about possible bullying or cyberbullying, the District will conduct a prompt, impartial, adequate, reliable, and thorough investigation to determine whether unlawful conduct occurred and will implement the appropriate interim measures, if necessary. The District may take action upon finding a violation of law, District policy, or District expectations even if a complaint is not directly filed.

Investigation

Within two (2) school days of receiving a report of an incident of bullying, the Anti-Bullying Coordinator, the school principal, or his/her designee shall initiate an investigation of the incident. The school principal may appoint other school staff to assist with the investigation.

The investigation shall be completed within ten (10) school days from the date of the written  complaint of bullying, unless good cause exists to extend the investigation.

Retaliation

The District prohibits retaliation against any person who files a complaint of bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation, and further prohibits retaliation against any person who testifies, assists, or otherwise participates in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing relating to such bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation. The District will discipline or take other appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, or other school personnel who retaliates against any such person.

Consequences and Remedies

When the District receives a report of bullying, cyberbullying, and/or retaliation, the District will take appropriate interim measures to protect the alleged victim(s). If, after investigation, it is determined that bullying, cyberbullying, and/or retaliation did occur, the District shall take prompt, effective, appropriate action reasonable calculated to end the bullying, cyberbullying, and/or retaliation and to protect individuals from further such bullying, cyberbullying, and/or  retaliation.

Students who are found to have violated this policy will be subject to the following consequences: loss of privileges, classroom detention, conference with teacher, parents contacted, conference with principal, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, expulsion and/or law enforcement contacted. Consequences imposed shall depend on factors such as: age of student(s), degree of harm, severity of behavior, and number of incidents, etc.

The District will discipline or take other appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, or other school personnel who is found to have violated this policy. Patrons, contractors, visitors, or others who violate this policy may be prohibited from District property or otherwise restricted while on District property.

Public Notice

The Superintendent or designee will continuously publicize the District’s anti-bullying policy and will disseminate information to employees, parents/guardians, and students, as well as to  newly-enrolled students and newly-hired employees, regarding how to report incidents of bullying. This policy shall also be published in District student handbooks.

In addition:

  1. The School District shall provide information and appropriate training to District staff who have significant contact with students regarding the policy;
  2. The School District shall give annual notice of the policy to students, parents/guardians, and staff;
  3. The School District shall provide education and information to students regarding bullying, including information regarding the School District policy prohibiting bullying, the harmful effects of bullying, and other 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, reprisal, or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying);
  4. The administration of the School District shall instruct its school counselors, school social workers, licensed social workers, mental health professionals, and school psychologists to educate students who are victims of bullying on techniques for students to overcome bullying’s negative effects. Such techniques shall include, but not be limited to, cultivating the student’s self-worth and self-esteem; teaching the student to defend himself or herself assertively and effectively; helping the student develop social skills; or encouraging the student to develop an internal locus of control; and
  5. The administration of the School District shall implement programs and other initiatives to address bullying, to respond to such conduct in a manner that does not stigmatize the victim, and to make resources or referrals available to victims of bullying.

All complaints of violation of this policy will be promptly investigated by the District, and appropriate action will be taken. Complaints alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in violation of Board Policy/Regulation 1310, 2130, or 4810 shall also be referred to the Compliance Officer for investigation pursuant to the application board policy/regulation.


Board Approved Date: October 17, 2016
Last Updated: January 2017