V-48: Prohibition of Bullying, Hazing, and Retaliation

North Sanpete School District
Statement of .............  

Board Policy with Guidelines

Policy Number:  V-48
Effective Date:  01/19/2010
Revised Date:
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Subject: Prohibition of Bullying, Hazing, and Retaliation

DISTRICT POLICY

  1. North Sanpete School District prohibits bullying of students or employees by other students or employees at school/work, while on school or District property, at school/work-related activities and events, on a school bus, at a school bus stop, or while the student or employee is traveling to or from a school/work-related activity or event. The District encourages all victims of bullying, and all persons with knowledge of bullying, to report the incident(s) immediately.
  2. North Sanpete School District prohibits the hazing of students or employees by other students or employees at any time or in any location. The District encourages all victims of hazing, and all persons with knowledge of hazing, to report the incident(s) immediately.
  3. No student or employee may engage in retaliation against a student, employee, investigator, or a witness of an alleged incident of bullying, hazing, or retaliation. No student or employee may make a false allegation of bullying, hazing, or retaliation against a student or employee. The District encourages all victims of retaliation, and all persons with knowledge of retaliation, to
    report the incident(s) immediately.

PURPOSE AND PHILOSOPHY

The Board of Education is committed to provide all students and District employees with a safe and secure learning and working environment. Bullying, hazing, and retaliation for reporting incidents of bullying or hazing reduce a student's ability to achieve academically and reduces an employee's ability perform their job responsibilities. In addition, bullying, hazing, and retaliation can directly affect a student's or an employee's health and well-being, and may contribute to excessive absences, physical illness, mental and emotional anguish, and long-term social and psychological consequences. The Board encourages educators and employees to develop procedures to stop and prevent bullying, hazing, and retaliation and procedures for reporting incidents of bullying or hazing in North Sanpete School District.

DEFINITIONS

  1. "Bullying" means any behavior that is intended to cause personal harm or distress exists in situations or a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power or strength, and may be repeated over time. It is intentionally or knowingly committing an act that endangers the well being, health, or safety of a student or employee. Bullying may be physical, verbal/written, or psychological. The conduct described in this policy constitutes bullying, regardless of whether the person against whom the conduct is committed directed, consented to, or acquiesced in the conduct.
  2. "Physical Bullying" involves physical activity that endangers the health and safely of a student or employee that includes, but is not limited to, pushing, grabbing, pinching, whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, shoving, poking, tripping, kicking, hitting, placing a harmful substance on the body, exposure to the elements, and/or destroying
    property. Bullying may involve coerced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance. It may also involve the physical obstruction of a student's or employee's freedom to move if done for the purpose of creating fear of physical harm to the student or employee or to the property of the student or employee.
  3. "Verbal/Written Bullying" includes, but is not limited to, name calling, mean teasing, spreading false rumors, intimidation, sexual comments, harassing, and threatening comments and behavior that is communicated verbally or in writing, including the use of electronic media (i.e.," cyber bullying").
  4. "Cyber Bullying" means using e-mail, web pages, text messaging, blogs, instant messaging, three-way calling or messaging, or any other electronic means for aggression, intimidation, or harassment against another person. Examples include, but are not limited to sending mean, vulgar, or threatening messages or images; posting inappropriate pictures of or sensitive, private information about the victim; pretending to be someone else to hurt that person; rude comments; lies; stalking; threats; extortion; harassment; and transmission of unflattering or embarrassing photographs.
  5. "Psychological Bullying" includes, but is not limited to, socially isolating an individual, demeaning or sarcastic comments, gestures, and threatening comments and behavior.
  6. "Hazing" involves physical activity that endangers the health and safety of a student or employee that includes, but is not limited to, pushing, grabbing, pinching, whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, shoving, poking, tripping, kicking, hitting, placing a harmful substance on the body, exposure to the elements, and/or destroying property. Hazing may involve coerced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance. It may involve the physical obstruction of a student's or employee's freedom to move if done:
    1. for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, holding office in, or a condition for, membership or acceptance, or continued membership or acceptance, in any school or school sponsored team, organization, program, or event; or
    2. if the person committing the act knew that the student or employee is a member of or candidate for, membership with a school, or school sponsored team, organization, program, or event to which the person committing the act belongs to or participates. The conduct described in this policy constitutes hazing, regardless of whether the person against whom the conduct is committed directed, consented to, or acquiesced in the conduct.
  7. "Retaliation" means an act or communication intended as retribution against a person for reporting bullying or hazing; or to improperly influence the investigation of, or the response to, a report of bullying or hazing,

COMPLAINTS

A student victim of bullying, hazing, or retaliation should inform his/her teacher or any of his/her schools administrators. An employee victim of bullying, hazing, or retaliation should inform his/her supervisor. A parent, teacher, or any other individual who is aware of bullying, hazing, or retaliation at school should inform school administration, A school teacher or administrator to whom a complaint is made shall, as soon as is reasonably possible after receiving the complaint, report it to the principal or his/her designee. If a victim of bullying, hazing, or retaliation so chooses, he/she may be allowed to report such incident(s) anonymously.

INVESTIGATION

The principal/supervisor, or his/her designee, to whom a complaint of bullying, hazing, or retaliation is reported shall promptly investigate the complaint. Procedures set forth in District Policy-IV-61, pages 4-7 serve as a guide for investigating complaints. In the event the principal/supervisor or designee finds that bullying, harassment, or retaliation has occurred, he/she shall take prompt, appropriate action to end the bullying, hazing, or retaliation and address its effects on the victim. The principal/supervisor or designee may refer the victim of bullying, hazing, or retaliation to the school counselor as applicable. All acts of bullying, hazing, or retaliation that constitute criminal activity will be promptly reported to law enforcement. To the extent permitted by federal and state law, District policies, confidentiality and privacy rights, and to assure the integrity of the investigation and corrective action, parents or legal guardians of a student perpetrator or victim will be involved in the process of responding to, and resolving conduct, prohibited by this policy.

DISCIPLINE

  1. Any student who engages in bullying, hazing, or retaliation, as described herein, is in violation of this policy and shall be subject to disciplinary action. Consequences should be firm and fair and correspond to the severity of the severity of the infraction. A
    continuum of consequences should be utilized. Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, suspension; expulsion; exclusion or loss of extracurricular activities; dissolution of a team, organization, or other group; probation; alternate educational placement; and/or a referral to law enforcement authorities. In imposing such discipline, all facts and circumstances of the incident(s) shall be taken into account. Formal disciplinary action may not be based solely on an anonymous report of bullying, hazing or retaliation. Disciplinary due process procedures shall be followed as set forth in North Sanpete School District Policy(s) V-2-Student Discipline, V-3--Safe Schools. To the extent permitted by federal and state law, District policies, and confidentiality and privacy rights, the parents or legal guardians of a student who is a victim of bullying or hazing are to be informed of the actions taken against the perpetrators of the bullying or hazing.
  2. Any employee who engages in bullying, hazing, or retaliation, as described herein, is in violation of this policy and shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including employment termination. Consequences should be firm and fair and correspond to the severity of the infraction. Professionally licensed employees may be referred to the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission (UPPAC), along with any and all evidence, for investigation and possible disciplinary action against professional licensing. Illegal acts will also result in referral to law enforcement authorities. Disciplinary due process procedures shall be followed.

DISSEMINATION OF POLICY

This policy may be posted on the District's Web site and published in student registration materials, student and employee handbooks, parent information guides, and other appropriate school publications as directed by the District.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

North Sanpete School District recognizes the importance of educating its employees and students regarding the prevention of bullying. To these ends, the District will provide ongoing training and education in this area. Notice of this policy will be distributed and training will be conducted for employees and students of the District.

FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS

Nothing contained in this policy is intended to infringe upon the right of a student or employee to exercise their First Amendment right of free speech.

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