Bullying is a pattern of abuse over time and involves a student being “picked on.” Bullying includes: physical intimidation or assault; extortion; oral or written treats; teasing; putdowns; name-calling; threatening gestures, or actions; cruel rumors; false accusations; and social isolation. A bullying situation creates an imbalance of power in a relationship.
When a student believes that he/she is being bullied, intimidated, or in physical danger, the student should immediately inform the bully that his/her behavior is unwelcome, offensive or inappropriate. If the unwelcome, offensive or inappropriate behavior continues, the student shall follow the established procedure.
- A student shall report a complaint of bullying to the school principal or a school district employee who shall inform the student of his/her rights and of the complaint process.
- The school principal or designee shall immediately conduct an impartial, thorough and confidential investigation of the alleged bullying behavior, which should include interviewing the bully and the potential victim. Since harassment and bullying are closely related types of behavior, if it is determined that, the student is being harassed rather than bullied; the investigation and other applicable procedures should proceed within the framework of the harassment policy.
- The school leader or designee shall summarize the investigation as per school procedures, recommending disposition of the complaint.
If the investigation results in a substantiated charge of bullying, the school district shall take prompt corrective action to ensure the bullying ceases and will not recur. Such action may include: guidance counseling, change of seating, change of class schedule, other method for separation of the bully and victim, recommending outside of school therapy, detention, suspension, or expulsion. A substantiated charge against a school district student shall subject such student to disciplinary action, consistent with the school Code of Conduct and any other applicable Board policies, and may include educational activities; guidance counseling; a parental conference; detention; suspension and/or expulsion; involuntary transfer to another school or class or bus operated by the school district; or other appropriate forms of disciplinary consequence. In addition, the school may recommend the student participate in anger management and other outside or school therapy programs. Depending on the severity of the incident, the school principal may also take appropriate steps to ensure student safety. These may include implementing a safety plan; separating and supervision the students involved; providing staff support for students as necessary; reporting incidents to law enforcement if appropriate; and developing a supervision plan with the parents/guardians.
If it is concluded that a student has made a false accusation, such student shall be subject to disciplinary action, consistent with the school Code of Conduct.
If the complainant or accused is not satisfied with the school principal’s decision, he/she may file a written appeal to the Executive Director or designee.