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El Dorado Union HSD |  BP  5131.2  Students

Bullying   

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The Governing Board recognizes the harmful effects of bullying on student learning and school attendance and desires to provide safe school environments that protect students from physical and emotional harm. District employees shall establish student safety as a high priority and shall not tolerate bullying of any student.

No individual or group shall, through physical, written, verbal, or other means, harass, sexually harass, threaten, intimidate, retaliate, cyberbully, cause bodily injury to, or commit hate violence against any other student or school personnel.

(cf. 5131 - Conduct)

(cf. 5136 - Gangs)

(cf. 5145.3 - Nondiscrimination/Harassment)

(cf. 5145.7 - Sexual Harassment)

(cf. 5145.9 - Hate-Motivated Behavior)

Cyberbullying includes the creation or 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 communications 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.

(cf. 5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression)

Strategies for addressing bullying in district schools shall be developed with involvement of key stakeholders , including students, parents/guardians, and staff, and may be incorporated into the comprehensive safety plan, the local control and accountability plan, and other applicable district and school plans.

(cf. 0420 - School Plans/Site Councils)

(cf. 0450 - Comprehensive Safety Plan)

(cf. 0460 - Local Control Accountability Plan)

(cf. 1220 - Citizen Advisory Committees)

(cf. 1400 - Relations Between Other Governmental Agencies and the Schools)

(cf. 6020 - Parent Involvement)

As appropriate, the Superintendent or designee may collaborate with law enforcement, courts, social services, mental health services, other agencies, and community organizations in the development and implementation of joint strategies to promote safety in schools and the community and to provide services for alleged victims and perpetrators of bullying.

(cf. 1020 - Youth Services)

BULLYING PREVENTION

To the extent possible, district schools shall focus on the prevention of bullying by establishing clear rules for student conduct and implementing strategies to promote 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 engaging in bullying.

(cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)

As appropriate, the district shall 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.

(cf. 6142.8 - Comprehensive Health Education)

(cf. 6142.94 - History-Social Science Instruction)

(cf. 6163.4 - Student Use of Technology)

(cf. 4131 - Staff Development)

(cf. 4231 - Staff Development)

(cf. 4331 - Staff Development)

Based on assessment of bullying incidents at school, the Superintendent or designee may increase supervision and security in areas where bullying most often occurs, such as classrooms, playgrounds, hallways, restrooms, and cafeterias.

INTERVENTION

Students are encouraged to notify school staff when they are being bullied or suspect that another student is being victimized. School staff who witness an act of bullying shall immediately intervene to stop the incident when it is safe to do so. They shall also report the incident to a site administrator. (Education Code 234.1)

When appropriate based on the severity or pervasiveness of the bullying, the school administrator shall notify the parents/guardians of victims and perpetrators and may contact law enforcement.

The school administrator may refer a victim, witness, perpetrator, or other student affected by an act of bullying to a school counselor, school psychologist, social worker, child welfare attendance personnel, school nurse, or other school support service personnel for case management, counseling, and/or participation in a restorative justice program as appropriate. (Education Code 48900.9)

(cf. 6164.2 - Guidance/Counseling Services)

REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO COMPLAINTS OF BULLYING

Any complaint of discriminatory bullying shall be investigated and resolved in accordance with law and the district's uniform complaint procedures specified in AR 1312.3 if the informal/initial complaint, investigation and resolution process fails to remedy the situation.

INFORMAL/INITIAL COMPLAINT PROCESS:

Any student, parent/guardian, or other individual who believes that a student has been subjected to bullying or who has witnessed bullying may report the incident to a school administrator.

The school administrator shall, within 10 school days, thoroughly investigate and determine the appropriate steps to resolve a report of bullying. When necessary, the administration shall take interim measure to protect the safety of the victim and/or witnesses pending the results of the school's investigation.

The school administrator shall investigate all reports/complaints of bullying in a thorough manner that includes a diligent search for evidence and the questioning of witnesses. The identity of the victim and/or reporter should be kept as confidential as possible while still allowing for an appropriate investigation to take place, as well as the ability to take appropriate disciplinary action. The investigation should proceed in a prompt fashion, depending on the severity of the situation and potential harm to the victim. In any case, the investigation of peer bullying shall be conducted and concluded and appropriate actions taken within 10 school days of the report/complaint. School administration shall document and maintain a file of the nature of the report/complaint and who reported it, the investigation process used, including witnesses interviewed, and the action taken to resolve the issue or concern.

When it is determined that bullying has occurred, corrective actions shall include: (1) taking steps to end and prevent the recurrence of what was reported, (2) taking steps to mitigate any harm that may have been inflicted (i.e., providing counseling, arranging for course makeup work, etc.), (3) taking appropriate corrective action with the perpetrator, (4) taking immediate steps to prevent retaliation to the reporter or witness.

Personnel policies and regulations (Board Policy and Administrative Regulation 1312.1: Complaints Against Employees) shall be used to investigate and resolve reports/complaints related to charges of bullying by school staff members.

If the parent/guardian of the student who they feel was the victim of bullying feels the issue/concerns have not been resolved, they may appeal to the site principal. Within ten (10) school days of receiving an appeal, the principal shall ensure that a thorough and diligent investigation was conducted and that corrective actions were adequate to resolve the matter. They shall conduct additional investigation and/or design additional corrective actions if necessary.

APPEAL/COMPLAINT TO DISTRICT/ADMINISTRATION

A parent/student may file a written appeal/complaint with the District Superintendent or designee if they feel the site level written appeal to the Principal did not resolve the issue/concern they had with resolving the purpose of their initial report/complaint.

The appeal/complaint shall state the following:

1. A brief description of the alleged original report/complaint

2. If applicable, a description of what the school administration failed to do in terms of investigating the complaint

3. If applicable, a description of what the school administration failed to do in terms of bringing about a satisfactory resolution to the report/complaint

4. What the parent/student would like to have happen in regard to bringing about a satisfactory resolution to the report/complaint

The superintendent or designee shall investigate the complaint and provide a written response to the parent/student indicating the findings of the investigation and proposed resolution(s) to the situation. The investigation and response will be conducted within 10 school days of the receipt of the district level complaint.

UNIFORM COMPLAINT PROCEDURE

The Uniform Complaint Procedure may be utilized and nothing in this policy is intended to limit the complainant's right to file a uniform complaint.

RESPONSIBILITIES WITHIN SCHOOL DISTRICT

School principals or designees are responsible for ensuring federal, state, and district regulations relating to bullying are implemented on their school sites and providing the necessary information/postings to parents, students, administrators, and school staff. They shall also ensure that incidents are appropriately investigated and documented.

The Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources shall be responsible for conducting investigations of alleged bullying of students by school personnel in conjunction with school administration.

The Assistant Superintendent of Student Services shall be responsible for conducting investigations and responses to appeals/complaints made to the District Office administration regarding bullying of students by other students.

DISCIPLINE

Corrective actions for a student who commits an act of bullying of any type may include counseling, behavioral intervention and education, and, if the behavior is severe or pervasive as defined in Education Code 48900, may include suspension or expulsion in accordance with district policies and regulations.

(cf. 5138 - Conflict Resolution/Peer Mediation)

(cf. 5144 - Discipline)

(cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)

(cf. 5144.2 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process (Students with Disabilities))

(cf. 6159.4 - Behavioral Interventions for Special Education Students)

Any employee who permits or engages in bullying or retaliation related to bullying shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

(cf. 4118 - Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

(cf. 4119.21/4219.21/4319.21 - Professional Standards)

(cf. 4218 - Dismissal/Suspension/Disciplinary Action)

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

200-262.4 Prohibition of discrimination

32282 Comprehensive safety plan

32283.5 Bullying; online training

35181 Governing board policy on responsibilities of students

35291-35291.5 Rules

48900-48925 Suspension or expulsion

48985 Translation of notices

52060-52077 Local control and accountability plan

PENAL CODE

422.55 Definition of hate crime

647 Use of camera or other instrument to invade person's privacy; misdemeanor

647.7 Use of camera or other instrument to invade person's privacy; punishment

653.2 Electronic communication devices, threats to safety

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

4600-4687 Uniform complaint procedures

UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 47

254 Universal service discounts (e-rate)

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 28

35.107 Nondiscrimination on basis of disability; complaints

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 34

104.7 Designation of responsible employee for Section 504

106.8 Designation of responsible employee for Title IX

110.25 Notification of nondiscrimination on the basis of age

COURT DECISIONS

Wynar v. Douglas County School District, (2013) 728 F.3d 1062J.C. v. Beverly Hills Unified School District, (2010) 711 F.Supp.2d 1094

Lavine v. Blaine School District, (2002) 279 F.3d 719

Management Resources:

CSBA PUBLICATIONS

Final Guidance: AB 1266, Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students, Privacy, Programs, Activities & Facilities, Legal Guidance, March 2014

Providing a Safe, Nondiscriminatory School Environment for Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Students, Policy Brief, February 2014Addressing the Conditions of Children: Focus on Bullying, Governance Brief, December 2012

Safe Schools: Strategies for Governing Boards to Ensure Student Success, 2011

Building Healthy Communities: A School Leaders Guide to Collaboration and Community Engagement, 2009

Cyberbullying: Policy Considerations for Boards, Policy Brief, July 2007

CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PUBLICATIONS

Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve, 2008

Bullying at School, 2003

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS PUBLICATIONS

Dear Colleague Letter: Bullying of Students with Disabilities, August 2013

Dear Colleague Letter: Harassment and Bullying, October 2010

WEB SITES

CSBA: http://www.csba.org

California Department of Education, Safe Schools Office: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss

Common Sense Media: http://www.commonsensemedia.org

National School Safety Center: http://www.schoolsafety.us

ON[the]LINE, digital citizenship resources: http://www.onthelineca.org

U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov

Policy EL DORADO UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: December 8, 2015 Placerville, California