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Burlingame SD |  AR  0411  Philosophy, Goals, Objectives and Comprehensive Plans

Anti-Harassment/Anti-Bullying Policy   

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Harassment, bullying and related terms are defined as:

1. Bullying means inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. The term "bullying" is further defined as: unwanted purposeful written, verbal, nonverbal, or physical behavior, including but not limited to any hate violence, threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that has the potential to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment or cause long-term damage; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual's school performance or participation, is carried out repeatedly, over time, and is often characterized by an imbalance of power. Cyberbullying includes the transmission of harassing communications, direct threats, or other harmful texts, sounds, or images on the Internet, social media, or other technologies using a telephone, computer, or any wireless communication device. Cyberbullying also includes breaking into another person's electronic account and assuming that person's identity in order to damage that person's reputation. Bullying may involve, but is not limited to:

a. Unwanted teasing

b. Threatening

c. Intimidating

d. Stalking

e. Cyberstalking

f. Cyberbullying

g. Physical violence

h. Theft

i. Sexual, religious, or racial harassment

j. Public humiliation

k. Destruction of school or personal property

l. Social exclusion, including incitement and/or coercion

m. Rumor or spreading of falsehoods

2. Harassment means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:

a. Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property

b. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's educational performance, or employee's work performance, or either's opportunities, or benefits

c. Has the effect of substantially negatively impacting a student's or employee's emotional or mental well-being, or

d. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school and/or school district work environment

3. Cyberstalking means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic communication, directed at or about a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

4. Cyberbullying is defined as the willful and repeated harassment and intimidation or a person through the use of digital technologies, including, but not limited to e-mail, blogs, texting, social media, chat rooms, sexting, instant messaging, or video voyeurism.

5. Bullying, Cyberbullying, and/or Harassment also encompasses:

a. Retaliation against a student or school employee by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying, harassment, or discrimination

b. Retaliation also includes reporting a baseless at of bullying, harassment, or discrimination that is not made in good faith

c. Perpetuation of conduct listed in the definition of bullying, harassment, and/or discrimination by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause emotional or physical harm to a student or school employee by:

(1) Incitement or coercion

(2) Accessing or knowingly and willingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the district school system; or

(3) Acting in a manner that has an effect substantially similar to the effect of bullying, harassment, or discrimination

6. Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment and Discrimination also encompass, but are not limited to, unwanted harm towards a student or employee in regard to their real or perceived: sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability (physical, mental, or educational), marital status, socio-economic background, ancestry, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, linguistic preference, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or social/family background or being viewed as different in its education programs or admissions to education programs.

7. Accused is defined as any district employee, student, or other person in the school or outside the school at school sponsored events or on school buses who is reported to have committed an act of bullying, whether formally or informally, verbally or in writing, of bullying.

8. Complainant is defined as any district employee, student, or other person who formally or informally makes a report of bullying, orally or in writing.

9. Victim is defined as any district employee, student, or other person in the school or outside of the school at school sponsored events or on school bus who is reported to have been the target of an act of bullying during any educational program or activity conducted by the district.

The Burlingame School District prohibits Bullying, Harassment, Cyberstalking, Cyberbullying, and Discrimination of or toward any student or employee by a Board member, employee, student, parent, contractor, vendor, or any school visitor, regardless of whether such behavior occurs on school district sites, school buses, or outside of school at school-sponsored events.

Harassment, bullying or cyberbullying is not tolerated on any Burlingame School District school campus. Students and/or staff are expected to immediately report incidents to the principal or designee. Each complaint will be properly investigated.

The Principal or administrative designee will respond and intervene to reports of bullying, harassment and cyberbullying and follow procedures established at each school site.

This policy applies to students on school grounds, while traveling to and from school and during a school-sponsored activity on or off campus.

The district will not tolerate any act of harassment or bullying behavior including gestures, comments, threats or actions, either written, verbal, electronic or physical, which cause, threaten to cause or are likely to cause bodily harm or personal degradation on any district campus or at any school activity whether on or off campus. If behavior occurs off campus but affects the student or staff's ability to function at school, the accused may be subject to disciplinary actions.

The consequences of these actions may include a broad range of disciplinary measures but can include suspension and/or recommendation for expulsion.

Initial Response and Reporting Expectations

The district requires all employees, if they observe or become aware of an act of bullying or harassment to take immediate, appropriate steps to intervene.

If, in the opinion of the employee, the matter has not been resolved, the situation must be reported to an administrator for further investigation.

Investigation and Response

Any incident reported to administration, which may constitute an act of bullying, harassment, or any other behavior under this policy, shall be thoroughly investigated.

Consequences shall be commensurate with the results of the investigation. This may include, but is not limited to, counseling, parent conference, detention, involuntary transfer, a formal suspension and/or expulsion.

If the act of harassment or bullying is deemed to warrant a suspension, expulsion, or involuntary transfer to another school, then the matter will be processed in accordance with California Education Code sections 48900, et.seq.

Depending on the severity of the incident, the administrator shall take appropriate steps to ensure campus safety.

Incidents of Harassment and Intimidation Related to Disability, Race or Sexual Harassment

Complainants reporting specific incidents of sexual harassment or harassment and intimidation based on discrimination related to the student's disability or race should be channeled through the Uniform Complaint Procedures.

Education & Prevention

To ensure harassment and bullying behavior does not occur on school campuses or during school events whether on or off campus, the District and school sites shall offer training and intervention programs for students and staff, which will enhance self-esteem, raise student awareness and sensitivity, and foster respect for individuals and their unique qualities. These programs reinforce the school's capacity to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment.

To the extent possible, district and school strategies shall focus on prevention of bullying by establishing clear rules for student conduct and strategies to establish a positive, collaborative school climate. Students shall be informed, through student handbooks and other appropriate means, of district and school rules related to bullying, mechanisms available for reporting incidents or threats, and the consequences for perpetrators of bullying.

The district may provide students with instruction, in the classroom or other educational settings, that promotes effective communication and conflict resolution skills, social skills, character/values education, respect for cultural and individual differences, self-esteem development, assertiveness skills, and appropriate online behavior.

School staff shall receive related professional development, including information about early warning signs of harassing/intimidating behaviors and effective prevention and intervention strategies.

Teachers should discuss this policy with their students in age-appropriate ways and should assure them that they need not endure any form of harassment.


At the beginning of each school year, all students and their parents/guardians will be notified of this policy on an annual basis.


approved: June 26, 2012 Burlingame, California

revised: November 4, 2014