BULLYING PROHIBITION POLICY
A safe and civil environment is needed for students to learn and attain high academic standards and to promote healthy human relationships. Bullying, like other violent or disruptive behavior, is conduct that interferes with students’ ability to learn and teachers’ ability to educate students in a safe environment. The school district cannot monitor the activities of students at all times and eliminate all incidents of bullying between students, particularly when students are not under the direct supervision of school personnel. However, to the extent such conduct affects the educational environment of the school district and the rights and welfare of its students and is within the control of the school district in its normal operations, it is the school district’s intent to prevent bullying and to take action to investigate, respond, remediate, and discipline those acts of bullying which have not been successfully prevented. The purpose of this policy is to assist the school district in its goal of preventing and responding to acts of bullying, intimidation, violence, and other similar disruptive behavior.
II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
A. An act of bullying, by either an individual student or a group of students, is expressly prohibited on school district property or at school-related functions. This policy applies not only to students who directly engage in an act of bullying but also to students who, by their indirect behavior, condone or support another student’s act of bullying. This policy also applies to any student whose conduct at any time or in any place constitutes bullying that interferes with or obstructs the mission or operations of the school district or the safety or welfare of the student, other students, or employees. The misuse of technology including, but not limited to, teasing, intimidating, defaming, threatening, or terrorizing another student, teacher, administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other employee of the school district by sending or posting e-mail messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings, including blogs, also may constitute an act of bullying regardless of whether such acts are committed on or off school district property and/or with or without the use of school district resources.
B. No teacher, administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other employee of the school district shall permit, condone, or tolerate bullying.
C. Apparent permission or consent by a student being bullied does not lessen the prohibitions contained in this policy.
D. Retaliation against a victim, good faith reporter, or a witness of bullying is prohibited.
E. False accusations or reports of bullying against another student are prohibited.
F. A person who engages in an act of bullying, reprisal, or false reporting of bullying or permits, condones, or tolerates bullying maybe subject to discipline for that act in accordance with school district’s policies and procedures. The school district may take into account the following factors in determining whether discipline is required and if so, the type and extent of discipline:
1. The developmental and maturity levels of the parties involved;
2. The levels of harm, surrounding circumstances, and nature of the behavior;
3. Past incidences or past or continuing patterns of behavior;
4. The relationship between the parties involved; and
5. The context in which the alleged incidents occurred.
Consequences for students who commit prohibited acts of bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension and/or expulsion. Consequences for employees who permit, condone, or tolerate bullying or engage in an act of reprisal or intentional false reporting of bullying may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or discharge. Consequences for other individuals engaging in prohibited acts of bullying may include, but not be limited to, exclusion from school district property and events and/or termination of services and/or contracts.
G. The school district will act to investigate all complaints of bullying and will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other employee of the school district who is found to have violated this policy.
For purposes of this policy, the definitions included in this section apply.
A. “Bullying” means repeated behavior by a student or a group of students that is intended to cause or is perceived as causing another student or a group of students to feel frightened, threatened, intimidated, humiliated, shamed, disgraced, ostracized, or physically abused. The bullying that is addressed in this policy is that which substantially interferes with the targeted student’s or students’ educational benefits, opportunities, or performance. Bullying implies an imbalance in physical, social or psychological power. Bullying can occur via physical, verbal, social/relational, electronic or other forms of interactions or communication. Bullying includes, but is not limited to, conduct by a student against another student or a group of students that a reasonable person under the circumstances knows or should know has the effect of:
1. Hurting another physically by hitting, kicking, tripping, or pushing;
2. Stealing or damaging another person’s property;
3. Ganging up on another person;
4. Teasing another person in a hurtful way;
5. Calling another person hurtful names;
6. Using put-downs, such as insulting another person’s race, making fun of another person because of their characteristics as a boy or girl, or denigrating another person for other personal characteristics;
7. Isolating a person;
8. Spreading rumors or untruths about another person.
9. Intimidating a student or group of students.
B. “Cyberbullying” means bullying using technology or other electronic communication, including, but not limited to, a transfer of a sign, signal, writing, image, sound, or data, including a post on a social network Internet Web site or forum, transmitted through a computer, cell phone, or other electronic device.
C. “Immediately” means as soon as possible but in no event longer than 24 hours.
D. “On school district property or at school-related functions” means all school district buildings, school grounds, and school property or property immediately adjacent to school grounds, school bus stops, school buses, school vehicles, school contracted vehicles, or any other vehicles approved for school district purposes, the area of entrance or departure from school grounds, premises, or events, and all school-related functions, school-sponsored activities, events, or trips. School district property also may mean a student’s walking route to or from school for purposes of attending school or school-related functions, activities, or events. While prohibiting bullying at these locations and events, the school district does not represent that it will provide supervision or assume liability at these locations and events.
IV. REPORTING PROCEDURE
A. Any person who believes he or she has been the victim of bullying or any other person (e.g. witness, parent, colleague) with knowledge or belief of conduct that may constitute bullying shall report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate school district official designated by this policy. A person may report bullying anonymously. However, the school district’s ability to take action against an alleged perpetrator based solely on an anonymous report may be limited.
B. The school district encourages the reporting party or complainant to use the report form available from the principal of each building or available from the school district office, but oral reports shall be considered complaints as well.
C. The building principal, the principal’s designee, or the building supervisor (hereinafter Building Report Taker) is the person responsible for receiving reports of bullying at the building level. Any person may report bullying directly to a school district human rights officer or the superintendent. If the complaint involves the Building Report Taker, the complaint shall be made or filed directly with the superintendent or the school district human rights officer by the reporting party or complainant.
D. A teacher, school administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other school employee shall be particularly alert to possible situations, circumstances, or events that might include bullying. Any such person who receives a report of, observes, or has other knowledge or belief of conduct that may constitute bullying shall inform the Building Report Taker immediately. School district personnel who fail to inform the Building Report Taker of conduct that may constitute bullying in a timely manner may be subject to disciplinary action.
E. Reports of bullying are classified as private educational and/or personnel data and/or confidential investigative data and will not be disclosed except as permitted by law.
F. Submission of a good faith complaint or report of bullying will not affect the complainant’s or reporter’s future employment, grades, or work assignments, or educational or work environment.
G. The school district will respect the privacy of the complainant(s), the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses as much as possible, consistent with the school district’s obligation to investigate, take appropriate action, and comply with any legal disclosure obligations.
V. STAFF EXPECTATIONS
Teachers and staff at Richfield Public Schools are expected to take the following actions in order to prevent bullying and help students feel safe at school:
A. Closely supervise students in all areas of the school and playground;
B. Watch for signs of bullying and stop it when it happens;
C. Respond quickly and sensitively to bullying reports using an appropriate response process;
D. Report bullying to the Building Report Taker;
E. Notify the Building Report Taker when efforts to address the bullying prove unsuccessful;
F. Help create a school culture of respect and kindness by modeling and fostering these traits.
A. Upon receipt of a complaint or report of bullying, the school district shall undertake or authorize an investigation by school district officials or a third party designated by the school district within three school days of the report. This process is overseen by the Building Report Taker.
B. The Building Report Taker may take immediate steps, at their discretion, to protect the complainant, reporter, students, or others pending completion of an investigation of bullying, consistent with applicable law.
VII. SCHOOL DISTRICT ACTION
A. Upon completion of the investigation, the school district will take appropriate action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, remediation, termination, or discharge. The primary purpose of such action is to protect the student(s) who have been the target of bullying behavior and to deter the prohibited behavior in the future. School district action taken for violation of this policy will be consistent with the requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements; applicable statutory authority, including the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act; school district policies; and regulations.
B. The school district is not authorized to disclose to a victim private educational or personnel data regarding an alleged perpetrator who is a student or employee of the school district. School officials will notify the parent(s) or guardian(s) of students involved in a bullying incident of the incident and of action taken, to the extent permitted by law.
C. Referral to Professional School Support Staff. A student who violates this policy may be asked to meet with a school counselor or other staff to work on positive behavioral interventions to help prevent future violations.
D. Referral to available community resources. The involved students and their parents will be given references to community resources and support, as it is appropriate.
E. Where appropriate for a child with a disability to prevent or respond to prohibited conduct, the child’s Individualized Education Plan or Section 504 plan may address the skills and proficiencies the child needs to respond to, or not engage in the prohibited conduct.
G. Staff Consequences. A Richfield Public School employee who fails to immediately and appropriately address bullying may be asked to participate in additional staff training or may be mentored. A staff member’s repeated failure to address bullying behavior may result in discipline up to and including termination or discharge.
The school district will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other employee of the school district who retaliates against any person who makes a good faith report of alleged bullying or against any person who testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation, or against any person who testifies, assists, or participates in a proceeding or hearing relating to such bullying. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, harassment, or intentional disparate treatment.
IX. TRAINING AND EDUCATION
A. The school district annually will provide information and any applicable training to school district staff regarding this policy.
B. The school district annually will provide education and information to students regarding bullying, including information regarding this school district policy prohibiting bullying, appropriate reporting procedures for reporting bullying, the harmful effects of bullying, and other applicable initiatives to prevent bullying.
C. The administration of the school district is directed to implement programs and other initiatives to prevent bullying, to respond to bullying in a manner that does not stigmatize the victim, and to make resources or referrals to resources available to victims of bullying.
D. The school district may implement violence prevention and character development education programs to prevent and reduce policy violations. Such programs may offer instruction on character education including, but not limited to, character qualities such as attentiveness, truthfulness, respect for authority, diligence, gratefulness, self-discipline, patience, forgiveness, respect for others, peacemaking, and resourcefulness.
The school district will give annual notice of this policy to students, parents or guardians, and staff, and this policy shall appear in the student handbook.
Legal References: Minn. Stat. § 120B.232 (Character Development Education)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.03 (Sexual, Religious and Racial Harassment and Violence)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.0695 (School Board Policy; Prohibiting Intimidation and Bullying)
Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-121A.56 (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.69 (Hazing Policy)
Minn. Stat.§121A.031 (School Student Bullying Policy)
Cross References: Policy 103 (Racial, Religious and Sexual Harassment and Violence)
Policy 108 (Hazing Prohibition)
Policy 111 (Weapons on School Premises)
Policy 409 (Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Physical or Sexual Abuse)
Policy 410 (Mandated Reporting of Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults)
Policy 505 (Student Disability Nondiscrimination)
Policy 506 (Student Sex Nondiscrimination)
Policy 541 (Student Behavior)
Policy 581 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records)
Policy 582 (Staff Notification of Violent Behavior by Students)
Policy 742 (Student Transportation Services)
Policy 783 (Video Surveillance)
ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: July 16, 2007
REVISED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: September 4, 2007, August 18, 2014
DISTRICT 280 POLICY AGAINST
HARASSMENT, VIOLENCE AND BULLYING
1. Everyone at District 280 has a right to feel respected and safe. Consequently, we want you to know about our policy to prevent harassment, violence and bullying based upon any kind of legally protected classification.
2. A harasser may be a student or an adult. Harassment may include the following when related to race, religion, sex, gender, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, or any other class protected under the law.
a. name calling, jokes or rumors;
b. pulling on clothing
d. notes or cartoons;
e. unwelcome touching of a person or clothing
f. offensive or graphic posters or book covers; or
g. any words or actions that make you feel uncomfortable, embarrass you, hurt your feelings or make you feel bad.
3. If any words or actions make you feel uncomfortable or fearful, you need to tell a teacher, counselor, the principal or the Human Rights Officer, Craig Holje.
4. You may also make a written report. It should be given to a teacher, counselor, the principal or the Human Rights Officer.
5. Your right to privacy will be respected as much as possible.
6. We take seriously all reports of harassment or violence and will take all appropriate actions based on your report.
7. The School District will also take action if anyone tries to intimidate you or take action to harm you because you have reported.
8. This is a summary of the School District policy against harassment, violence and bullying. Complete policies are available in the Personnel office upon request, or on the District website www.richfield.k12.mn.us.
HARASSMENT, VIOLENCE AND BULLYING AGAINST A PROTECTED CLASS ARE AGAINST THE LAW.
DISCRIMINATION IS AGAINST THE LAW.
CONTACT: CRAIG HOLJE
HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICER
7001 HARRIET AVENUE SOUTH
RICHFIELD, MN 55423
RICHFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOL – I.S.D. #280
HARASSMENT, VIOLENCE AND BULLYING REPORT FORM
General Statement of Policy Prohibiting Harassment, Violence, and Bullying
Richfield Public Schools prohibits harassment, violence, discrimination and bullying in all forms, including but not limited to that which occurs on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, sex/gender (including harassment based on gender identity and expression), marital status, disability, status with regard to public assistance, sexual orientation, age, family care leave status, veteran status, or any other status protected under the law. If you or someone you know has experienced harassment, violence, discrimination, or bullying at school or at any school-related event for any reason, please complete this reporting form to have the incident(s) investigated by the District. Any student, parent/guardian, or district employee may complete this form and return it to any administrator.
Retaliation against any individual who makes a report or who participates or assists in an investigation of harassment, violence, discrimination, or bullying is strictly prohibited.
1. Preliminary Information
Date of Report:
Name of Person Making Report:
Daytime Phone Email
2. Description of Incident:
Date of Alleged Incident(s)
Please provide the name(s) of all persons (including yourself, if applicable) who were the target of the harassment, discrimination, violence or bullying:
Please provide the name(s) and/or descriptions of all individuals (students, school employees, school visitors, or others) who engaged or participated in the alleged discrimination, harassment, or bullying (if known):
Where and when did the incident(s) occur (please be specific)?
List any witnesses who were present.
Detailed Description of Incident (Attach additional pages if necessary.)
By signing below, I am stating that all of the information I have provided is true, accurate, and complete to the best of my knowledge:
Complaint Signature Date
Received by Date
RICHFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOL - I.S.D. #280
HARASSMENT, VIOLENCE AND BULLYING
INVESTIGATION INTAKE AND REPORT FORM
(To be completed by appropriate administrator)
1. Investigation Summary
Date of Intake Review
Person Conducting Review:
2. Initial Category of Claim
Harassment School Related
Violence Outside of School Only
Discrimination Electronic Communication
3. Action(s) Recommended (check all that apply
Formal Investigation Refer to Outside Agency
Refer to Student Services Agency Name:____________________
Report to District Human Rights Officer
Reason for determination of action recommended:
4. Formal Investigation Summary:
Please provide the name(s) of all persons interviewed as part of the investigation
Detailed Description of Incident (Attach additional pages if necessary.)
Final Action Taken (Attach additional pages if necessary.)
Received by Date
Richfield Public Schools
Bullying Prohibition Policy 113
It is the intent of Richfield Public Schools to prevent bullying, and to take action to investigate, respond, remediate, and discipline acts of bullying which have not been successfully prevented. Richfield Public Schools defines bullying as “repeated behavior by a student or a group of students that is intended to cause or is perceived as causing another student or a group of students to feel frightened, threatened, intimidated, humiliated, shamed, disgraced, ostracized, or physically abused. Bullying that is addressed in this policy substantially interferes with the targeted student’s or students’ educational benefits, opportunities, or performance. Bullying takes many forms, and can occur via physical, verbal, social-relational, electronic or other forms of interactions or communication, including cyberbullying, where an imbalance of power is implied. It includes conduct that interferes with the mission or operations of the school district, and also the misuse of technology – committed on or off school district property and with or without the use of school district resources - that hurts or defames a student, students, or employees.
Bullying, by either an individual student or a group of students, is expressly prohibited on all school district property or at school-related functions. This policy applies not only to students who directly engage in the act of bullying, but also to students who, through their indirect behavior, condone or support another student’s or students’ act of bullying.
No district employee or school district volunteer shall permit, condone or tolerate bullying. The consequences for students who commit acts of bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension and/or expulsion. Consequences for employees who permit, condone or tolerate bullying, or who engage in reprisal or false reporting of bullying may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or discharge. The school district will act to investigate all complaints of bullying in a timely manner and will take appropriate action against any student, staff member, volunteer, or contractor who is found to have violated the Bullying Prohibition Policy.
Any person who believes he or she has been the victim of bullying or any other person with knowledge or belief of conduct that may constitute bullying shall report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate school district official designated to receive the reports at school, which is the building principal or his/her designee, or the building supervisor (herein called the Building Report Taker). Reports of bullying are classified as private educational and/or personnel data and/or confidential investigative data and will not be disclosed except permitted by law.
Filing a complaint or report of bullying will in no way affect the reporter’s future employment, grades, or work assignments, or educational work environment. The school district will respect the privacy of all involved parties as much as possible, but the school district shall undertake or authorize an investigation by school district officials or a third party designated by the school district within three days of the report. While this investigation is in process, the Building Report Taker may take immediate steps at his/her discretion to protect the reporter, the alleged victim, students or others. Upon completion of the investigation, the school district will take appropriate action which may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, remediation, termination or discharge. Such action will be consistent with the requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements; applicable statutory authority, including the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act; school district policies; and regulations. This policy protects all those involved in the reporting and investigation from any and all acts of retaliation, including intimidation, reprisal, harassment, or intentional harmful treatment.
The school district will annually provide information and any applicable training to school district staff regarding this policy, and will provide education and information to students regarding bullying, including the information found in this policy about reporting procedures.
For more information on Richfield Public Schools’ Bullying Prohibition Policy, view Board Policy 113 at http://www.richfield.k12.mn.us/page/2710.