Anti-Harassment Intimidation and Bullying Policy

 

264.1               Anti-Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying PolicyÓ

The following policy must appear in any student handbook, and in any publications that set forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and standards for the School and students.  Information regarding this policy must be incorporated into employee training materials.

The School prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying (including cyber-bullying) of any student on school property or at school-sponsored events.  A safe and civil environment in the School is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards.  Harassment, intimidation and bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, are conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and the School’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment.  Since students learn by example, school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers should be commended for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate bullying.

Harassment, intimidation, or bullying means any deliberate or intentional gesture, or any deliberate or intentional written, verbal, or physical act or threat that a student has exhibited toward another Student or Staff member and the behavior both: (1) has one or more of the following effects:  (a) physically or mentally harming a Student or Staff member; (b) damaging a Student’s or Staff member’s property; (c) placing a Student or Staff member in reasonable fear of harm to the Student’s or Staff member’s person; (d) placing a Student or Staff member in reasonable fear of damage to the Student’s or Staff member’s property; and (2)  is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a Student or Staff member.

The School prohibits acts of cyber-bullying, which is a sub-set of bullying and involves the use of information and communication technologies, including but not limited to e-mail, cell phone and pager text messages, blogs, MySpace, Facebook, Wikipedia, Bebo, the Internet, Xanga, Piczo, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites, and defamatory online personal polling Web sites, to support deliberate or repeated, or hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm, intimidate or harass others on School time or the School premises, at School events, programs or activities or off School time or School premises if such acts affect other Students or Staff of the School.

The School reserves the right to discipline students’ off campus behavior which substantially disrupts the School’s educational process or mission, or threatens the safety or well-being of a Student or Staff member.  Some factors which may be considered in determining whether the behavior warrants discipline include, but are not limited to, the following:  (1) whether the behavior created material and substantial disruption to the educational process or School’s mission due to the stress on the individual(s) victimized or the time invested by Staff in dealing with the behavior or its consequences; (2) whether a nexus to on-campus activities exists; (3) whether the behavior creates a substantial interference with a Student’s or Staff member’s security or right to educate and receive education; (4) whether the behavior invades the privacy of others; or (5) whether any threat is deemed to be a true threat by the administration or Board, using factors and guidelines set out by the courts or by common sense, reasonable person standards.

Some acts of harassment, intimidation, bullying and cyber-bullying may be isolated incidents requiring that the school respond appropriately to the individuals committing the acts.  Other acts may be so serious or part of a larger pattern of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying that they require a response either at the classroom, School building or by law enforcement officials.  Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for students who commit an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying or cyber-bullying range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion.  Due process procedures for suspension and expulsion will be followed, as provided for under R.C. 3313.66.

All School employees, volunteers and students are required to report prohibited incidents of which they are aware to the CAO or his/her designee. Such employees and volunteers shall also report any incidents they are made aware of by students or parents or guardians.  Anonymous communications, if necessary, may be made by telephone, electronic mail, or in writing. The CAO or his/her designee is then responsible for determining whether an alleged incident constitutes a violation of this policy.  In so doing, the CAO or his/her designee shall conduct a prompt, thorough and complete investigation of the reported incident, and prepare a report documenting the prohibited incident that is reported (See attached Form for Reporting Incidents of Harassment Intimidation and Bullying at Appendix 264-A).  Once an investigation is completed, and the reported incident has been substantiated, the parent or guardian of any student involved in the prohibited incident shall be notified and to the extent permitted by R.C. § 3319.321 and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232g) have access to any written reports pertaining to the prohibited incident.  Semiannually, the CAO will provide the Board President with a written summary of all reported incidents. The School will maintain, via the education management information system, information regarding the number of incidents of harassment of Students against other Students, in each building and School-wide, that violates this policy.  All School employees, volunteers and Students shall be individually immune from liability in a civil action for damages arising from reporting an incident in accordance with this policy.

The School prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any victim or person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.  The consequence and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the CAO or his/her designee after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act, in accordance with School policies and procedures.

Nothing in this policy prohibits a victim from seeking redress under any provision of Ohio law that may apply.

The School formed a prevention task force made up of teachers, administration, the school nurse, and parents to go over and help develop this policy. This committee is on-going. Along with helping to develop this policy, this committee also will plan programs to educate students about this policy, such as holding an assembly on harassment, intimidation and bullying for Parents and Students, to raise the level of awareness and help prevent the prohibited conduct.  The School may also provide training, workshops, or courses on this policy to school employees and volunteers who have direct contract with students.

R.C. §§ 3301.0714(B)(1)(p); 3313.666, 3313.667

See also Policy No. 271 Student Code of Conduct; Policy No. 306.2 Definition of Harassment.

 

This Policy was adopted on November 22, 2016 by the STEAM Academy of Warren Board of Education

 

 

Ó© 1999 Amy J. Borman

© 2006 Eastman & Smith Ltd.