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Atascadero USD |  AR  5131  Students


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Harassment of students or staff, including bullying, intimidation, stalking, so called cyberbullying, hazing or initiation activity, ridicule, extortion or any other verbal or nonverbal, written, or physical conduct that causes or threatens to cause bodily harm or emotion suffering are prohibited.

Types of conduct which are prohibited in the district and which may constitute cyberbullying include, but are not limited to:

1. Posting of harassing messages

2. Direct threats

3. Social cruelty

4. Harmful text or images on the Internet, social networking sites or other digital technologies

5. Breaking into another person's account and assuming that person's identity in order to damage that person's reputation or friendships

Administrators may take appropriate action when information becomes available about student misconduct that originates away from school grounds or school activities that has a direct and detrimental effect on or seriously threatens the discipline, educational environment, safety or general welfare of students, staff and /or administrators of the district. When assessing the impact of conduct or behavior originating away from school grounds on a district school, staff, students, or the educational environment, district administrators will take into consideration the seriousness of the alleged student conduct and the protection of students, staff, and administrators from the effects of violence, drugs, disruption of the educational environment, or other relevant factors. District administrators should evaluate each situation relating to conduct originating away from school grounds on a case-by-case basis. Students conduct originating away from school grounds, which may be subject to discipline as provided herein includes, but is not limited to, electronic acts that result in a substantial disruption to the educational environment, or for which a substantial disruption to the educational environment is reasonably foreseeable under the circumstances.


A copy of the district's Student Conduct policy and regulation shall:

1. Be included in the notifications that are sent to parents/guardians at the beginning of each school year. (Education Code 48980)

(cf. 5145.6 - Parental Notifications)

2. Be displayed in a prominent location near each school principal's office. (Education Code 231.5)

3. Be provided as part of any orientation program conducted for new students at the beginning of each quarter, semester or summer session. (Education Code 231.5)

4. Appear in any school or district publication that sets forth the school's or district's comprehensive rules, regulations, procedures and standards of conduct. (Education Code 231.5)

Investigation of Complaints at School (Site-Level Grievance Procedure)

1. The principal or designee shall promptly investigate all complaints of harassment. In so doing, he/she shall talk individually with:

a. The student who is complaining

b. The person accused of harassment

c. Anyone who saw the harassment take place

d. Anyone mentioned as having related information

2. The student who is complaining shall have an opportunity to describe the incident, present witnesses and other evidence of the harassment, and put his/her complaint in writing.

3. The principal or designee shall discuss the complaint only with the people described above. When necessary to carry out his/her investigation or for other good reasons that apply to the particular situation, the principal or designee also may discuss the complaint with the following persons:

a. The Superintendent or designee

b. The parent/guardian of the student who complained

c. The parent/guardian of the person accused of harassing someone

d. A teacher or staff member whose knowledge of the students involved may help in determining who is telling the truth

e. Child protective agencies responsible for investigating child abuse reports

f. Legal counsel for the district

(cf. 5141.41 - Child Abuse Prevention)

4. When the student who complained and the person accused of harassment so agree, the principal or designee may arrange for them to resolve the complaint informally with the help of a counselor, teacher, administrator or trained mediator. The student who complained shall never be asked to work out the problem directly with the accused person unless such help is provided.

5. The principal or designee shall tell the student who complained that he/she has the right to file a formal complaint at any time in accordance with the district's uniform complaint procedures. If the student wishes to file a formal complaint, the principal or designee shall assist the student in doing this.

(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)

6. In reaching a decision about the complaint, the principal or designee may take into account:

a. Statements made by the persons identified above

b. The details and consistency of each person's account

c. Evidence of how the complaining student reacted to the incident

d. Evidence of past instances of harassment by the accused person

e. Evidence of past harassment complaints that were found to be untrue

7. To judge the severity of the harassment, the principal or designee may take into consideration:

a. How the misconduct affected one or more students' education

b. The type, frequency and duration of the misconduct

c. The number of persons involved

d. The age and sex of the person accused of harassment

e. The subject(s) of harassment

f. The place and situation where the incident occurred

g. Other incidents at the school, including incidents of harassment

8. The principal or designee shall write a report of his/her findings, decision, and reasons for the decision and shall present this report to the student who complained and the person accused.

9. The principal or designee shall give the Superintendent or designee a written report of the complaint and investigation. If he/she verifies that harassment occurred, this report shall describe the actions he/she took to end the harassment, address the effects of the harassment on the person harassed, and prevent retaliation or further harassment.

10. Within two weeks after receiving the complaint, the principal or designee shall determine whether or not the student who complained has been further harassed. The principal or designee shall keep a record of this information and shall continue this follow-up at his/her discretion.


The Superintendent or designee shall take appropriate actions to reinforce the district's Student Conduct policy. As needed, these actions may include any of the following:

1. Following the Progressive Discipline Procedures defined in the Student Handbook

2. Providing staff inservice and student instruction or counseling

3. Notifying parents/guardians

4. Notifying child protective services

5. Taking appropriate disciplinary action. In addition, the principal or designee may take disciplinary measures against any person who is found to have made a complaint of misconduct which he/she knew was not true.


approved: June 28, 2011 Atascadero, California