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What is Bullying?

What is Bullying?

"Bullying" means engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, or in a vehicle operated by the District and that:

1. Has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or of damage to the student's property; or
2. Is sufficiently severe, persistent, and pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.

The conduct is considered bullying if it:

1. Exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator and the student victim through written or verbal expression or physical conduct; and
2. Interferes with a student's education or substantially disrupts the operation of a school.

How to Report Bullying

Reporting Procedures:
To obtain intervention and assistance, any student who believes that he or she has experienced bullying or believes that another student has experienced bullying should immediately report the alleged acts to a teacher, counselor, principal, or other District professional employee.

Any District employee who suspects or receives notice that a student or group of students has or may have experienced bullying shall promptly notify the principal or designee.

A report may be made orally or in writing. If a report is made orally, the principal or designee shall prepare a written report from the oral information.

Investigation of Report:
The principal or designee shall determine whether the allegations, if proven, would constitute prohibited conduct under FFH(LOCAL), Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation. If the allegations constitute prohibited conduct, the matter shall be referred to the appropriate District official, as set out in FFH(LOCAL), for processing in accordance with that policy; if not, the principal or designee shall conduct an investigation based on the allegation of bullying. If appropriate, the principal shall promptly take interim action calculated to prevent bullying during the course of the investigation.

If the District official determines that the alleged conduct, if proven, would not be a violation of this policy or of policy FFH, the District official shall so notify the complainant/reporter in writing and shall dismiss the complaint.

Concluding the Investigation:
Absent extenuating circumstances, the investigation should be completed within ten District business days from the date of the report; however, the investigator shall take additional time if necessary to complete a thorough investigation.

The investigator shall prepare a written report of the investigation. The report shall include a determination of whether bullying occurred. If the alleged victim is facing possible disciplinary action based on a physical interaction or altercation with the alleged perpetrator, the report shall include a determination whether the victim used reasonable self-defense. A copy of the report will be filed with the Superintendent or other appropriate administrator. The principal shall also communicate a summary of the report and it conclusions to the complainant.

Notice to Parents:
If an incident of bullying is confirmed, the principal or designee shall promptly notify the parents of both the victim and the perpetrator.

The District prohibits retaliation by a student or District employee against any person who, in good faith, makes a report of bullying, serves as a witness, or otherwise participates in an investigation under this policy.

False Claim:
A student who intentionally makes a false claim, offers false statements, or refuses to cooperate with a District investigation regarding bullying under this policy is subject to appropriate discipline.

Timely Reporting:
Reports of bullying shall be made as soon as possible after the alleged act or knowledge of the alleged act, but in any event within 90 calendar days of the alleged act or knowledge of the alleged act. A failure to promptly report may impair the District's ability to investigate.

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National Bullying Prevention Center