Washington Elementary School

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Counseling » Harassment & Bullying Policy

Harassment & Bullying Policy

Harassment, intimidation or bullying of students at school is prohibited.

Harassment, intimidation or bullying means any intentional gesture or any intentional written, verbal or physical act occurring or received at school or at a school function, as defined below, that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know will have the effect of:

  • Harming a student physically or emotionally, damaging a student’s property or placing a student in reasonable fear of per- sonal harm or property damage;

  • Insulting or demeaning a student or group of students causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of school; or

  • Is so sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environ- ment for a student or group of students.

  • “Written” acts include, but are not limited to handwritten or typed communications, e-mails, text messages, blogs and other forms of electronic communications.

  • School as used in this policy includes a classroom or other location on school premises, a school bus or other school related vehi- cle, a school bus stop, an activity or event sponsored by a school, whether or not it is held on school premises, and any other pro- gram or function where the school is responsible for the child.

  • Students shall conduct themselves according to the rules and policies of the school and school district, and shall conduct them- selves in a respectful manner toward staff and other students.

  • Students who engage in bullying, harassment or intimidation shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension or expulsion.

  • Students who witness harassment, intimidation or bullying of another student shall report that conduct to a teacher, principal or other school staff member as soon as possible. The staff member who receives the complaint shall request that the student make a written report describing the conduct they witnessed, including but not limited to the date, time and location of the incident, and the names of the students involved, to the extent possible. If the complaining student chooses not to file a written report, the staff member shall ask the student to verbally describe the incident, including the information described above. The staff member shall inform the student a report will be made. The staff member shall then forward that information, including the written report, if any, to the building principal, who shall immediately investigate the complaint, or designate another staff member to investigate the complaint. Students may anonymously report any harassment, intimidation or bullying. Anyone making or receiving an anonymous report shall provide or collect as much information as possible, including but not limited to a description of the conduct, the date, time and location of the incident and the names of the individuals involved. Disciplinary action shall not be taken against a student based solely on the basis of an anonymous report. Once a staff member receives a report of harassment, intimidation or bullying, the report shall be immediately given to the building principal, who shall initiate an investigation or designate another staff member to investigate the complaint. During the investigation, the principal or his/her designee shall individually interview witnesses, including, but not limited to the alleged victim and the student(s) alleged to have engaged in the harassment, intimidation or bullying. The person conducting the investigation shall prepare a written report of the findings and conclusions of the investigation. If the person who conducts the investigation determines that a student or students engaged in harassment, bullying or intimidation, the building principal shall take appropriate disciplinary action toward the student or students.

Retaliation or reprisal against a student or other individual who makes a good faith report or complaint of harassment, intimida- tion or bullying is prohibited and shall not be tolerated. Anyone who engages in such retaliation or reprisal against an individual who makes a report of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension or expul- sion.

When a student reports that he or she has been harassed, bullied or intimidated in violation of this policy, the principal, or his/ her designee, shall inform the student, student’s parent(s), the student’s teacher(s), and other appropriate staff members as determined by the principal, of steps or strategies to protect that student from additional harassment, intimidation or bullying and from retaliation.

Any student who is found to have made a deliberate or intentional false accusation, report or complaint is subject to discipline, up to and including suspension or expulsion.

At the start of each school year, every teacher shall be required to review the district’s harassment; intimidation and bullying policy with the students in his/her class and discuss that policy with them. This policy shall be included in the student manual or handbook and shall also be available to the public on the school district’s web site in a manner to be determined by the superin- tendent or his/her designee. The school shall provide copies of the anti-bullying policy to parents in a manner and method to be determined by each principal, which may include distribution of the student handbook to parents.

The school district shall incorporate training and education on this policy in its professional development programs and the policy shall be provided to volunteers and other noncertified employees of the district who have significant contact with students.