Newport-Mesa USD | BP 5131.2 Students
The Board of Education 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. The Board of Education desires to provide a safe school environment that allows all students equal access and opportunities in the district's academic and other educational support programs, services, and activities. The Board prohibits, at any district school or school activity, unlawful discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, intimidation, and bullying of any student based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression or the perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. District employees shall establish student safety as a high priority and shall not tolerate bullying of any student.
No student or group of students shall, through physical, written, verbal, or other means, harass, sexually harass, threaten, intimidate, 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 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/device and/or assuming a person's identity in order to damage a person's reputation or cause any other harm.
(cf. 5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression)
Strategies for bullying prevention and intervention shall be developed with involvement of key stakeholders in accordance with law, Board policy, and administrative regulation governing the development of comprehensive safety plans and shall be incorporated into such plans.
(cf. 0420 - School Plans/Site Councils)
(cf. 0450 - Comprehensive Safety 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)
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.
(cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)
(cf. 6164.2 - Guidance/Counseling Services)
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.
(cf. 6163.4 - Student Use of Technology)
(cf. 6142.8 - Comprehensive Health Education)
(cf. 6142.94 - History-Social Science Instruction)
School staff shall receive related professional development, including information about early warning signs of harassing/intimidating behaviors and effective prevention and intervention strategies.
(cf. 4131 - Staff Development)
(cf. 4231 - Staff Development)
(cf. 4331 - Staff Development)
Based on an 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, cafeterias.
Students are encouraged to notify school staff when they are being bullied or suspect that another student is being victimized. In addition, the Superintendent or designee shall develop means for students to report threats or incidents confidentially and anonymously.
School staff who witness bullying shall immediately intervene to stop the incident when it is safe to do so. (Education Code 234.1)
The Superintendent, principal, or principal's designee 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 restorative justice interventions as appropriate. (Education Code 48900.9)
(cf. 6164.2 - Guidance/Counseling Services)
When appropriate based on the severity or pervasiveness of the bullying, the Superintendent or designee shall notify the parents/guardians of victims and perpetrators and may contact law enforcement.
Complaints and Investigation
Any student, parent/guardian, or other individual who believes that a student has been subjected to bullying or who has witnessed bullying should report the incident to a teacher, the principal, the District Compliance Officer, or any other available school employee. Upon receiving such a report, a staff member shall notify the principal of the report, whether or not a uniform complaint is filed. In addition, any school employee who observes an incident of bullying involving a student shall report his/her observation to the principal or the District Compliance Officer, whether or not the alleged victim files a complaint.
Upon receiving a report of bullying, the principal shall notify the District Compliance Officer identified in AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures.
(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)
When a student is reported to be engaging in bullying off campus, the Superintendent or designee shall investigate and document the activity and shall identify specific facts or circumstances that explain the impact or potential impact on school activity, school attendance, or the targeted student's educational performance.
When the circumstances involve cyberbullying, individuals with information about the activity shall be encouraged to save and print any electronic or digital messages that they feel constitute cyberbullying and to notify a teacher, the principal, or other employee so that the matter may be investigated. When a student uses a social networking site or service to bully or harass another student, the Superintendent or designee may file a request with the networking site or service to suspend the privileges of the student and to have the material removed.
Investigation and Resolution of Complaints
Any complaint of bullying shall be investigated and, if determined to be discriminatory, resolved in accordance with law and the district's uniform complaint procedures specified in AR 1312.3.
If, during the investigation, it is determined that a complaint is about nondiscriminatory bullying, the principal or designee shall inform the complainant and shall take all necessary actions to resolve the complaint.
Any student who engages in bullying on school premises, or off campus in a manner that causes or is likely to cause a substantial disruption of a school activity or school attendance, shall be subject to discipline, which 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 - Dismissal/Suspension/Disciplinary Action)
(cf. 4218 - Dismissal/Suspension/Disciplinary Action)
200-262.4 Education Equity
220 Prohibition of discrimination
234.7 Student protections relating to immigration and citizenship status
32282 Comprehensive safety plan
32283.5 Bullying; online training
35181 Governing board policy on responsibilities of students
48900-48925 Suspension or expulsion
48985 Translation of notices
52060-52077 Local control and accountability plan
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
Wynar v. Douglas County School District, (2013) 728 F.3d 1062
J.C. v. Beverly Hills Unified School District, (2010) 711 F.Supp.2d 1094
Lavine v. Blaine School District, (2002) 279 F.3d 719
Safe Schools: Strategies for Boards of Education to Ensure Student Success, 2011
Providing a Safe, Nondiscriminatory School Environment for All Students, Policy Brief, April 2010
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: Harassment and Bullying, October 2010
California Cybersafety for Children: http://www.cybersafety.ca.gov
California Department of Education, Safe Schools Office: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use: http://cyberbully.org
National School Boards Association: http://www.nsba.org
National School Safety Center: http://www.schoolsafety.us
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr
Policy NEWPORT-MESA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
adopted: June 26, 2018 Costa Mesa, California