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Sequoia Union HSD |  5000 |  AR  5131.2  Students

Bullying   

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Definition of Terms

Bullying, harassment, cyberbullying and related terms are defined as follows:

1. Bullying means inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. The term "bullying" is further defined as follows:

Unwanted purposeful written verbal, nonverbal, or physical behavior, including but not limited to any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture that causes an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment or causes long term damage; causes discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual's school performance or participation, and is often characterized by an imbalance of power.

Bullying may involve, but is not limited to these non-verbal and verbal behaviors:

a. Unwanted teasing

b. Threatening

c. Intimidating

d. Stalking

e. Cyberstalking

f. Cyberbullying

g. Disseminating inappropriate images

h. Physical violence

i. Theft

j. Sexual, religious, or racial harassment

k. Public humiliation

l. Destruction of school or personal property

m. Social exclusion, including incitement and/or coercion

n. Rumor or spreading of falsehoods

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

a. Places a student 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 either's opportunities, or benefits;

c. Has the effect of substantially negatively impacting a student'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. Cyberbullying is defined as the willful bullying, harassment, discrimination, or intimidation of a person through the use of digital technologies, including, but not limited to these: email, blogs, texting on cell phones, social websites (e.g., MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), chat rooms, sexting, images, instant messaging, or video voyeurism.

4. Cyberstalking means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate or to cause to be communicated the following: 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.

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

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

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

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

(1) Incitement or coercion;

(2) Accessing or reading other users mail or files or attempting to interfere with other users' ability to send or receive electronic mail; or

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

6. Bullying, Harassment, Cyberbullying, Discrimination, and Intimidation also encompass, but are not limited to, unwanted harm towards a student or employee in regard to their actual or perceived: sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability (physical, mental, or educational), marital status, socio-economic background, physical appearance, 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 student who is reported to have committed an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

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

9. Victim is defined as any district employee or student who is reported to have been the target of an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

The Sequoia Union High School District prohibits bullying, harassment, discrimination, intimidation, cyberbullying, and cyberstalking of or toward any student or employee by any student or group of students.

BP 5131.2 and this administrative regulation constitute a focused, coordinated effort designed to support school staff in their efforts to provide awareness, training, and intervention steps when bullying and harassment incidents are reported and/or occur.

Because acts of bullying, harassment, discrimination, intimidation or cyberbullying are not tolerated on any SUHSD school campus or related to school activity or attendance, students and/or staff are expected to immediately report incidents to the principal or designee. Each complaint will be promptly investigated.

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

The District's prohibition of bullying, harassment, discrimination, intimidation, and cyberbullying applies to incidents related to school activity or school attendance occurring within a school under the jurisdiction of the Superintendent of the District. This includes activity on school grounds, on transportation provided by the district, during lunch period, during a school-sponsored activity on or off campus, and to all activity likely to cause a substantial disruption of a school activity or school attendance (including electronic activity). The consequences of bullying, harassing, discriminatory, intimidating, or cyberbullying activity may include a broad range of disciplinary measures, but can include student suspension and recommendation for expulsion in accordance with District policy.

Initial Response and Reporting Expectations

The District requires all employees, if they observe or become aware of an act of bullying, harassment, discrimination, or intimidation to take immediate, appropriate steps to intervene when safe to do so.

The situation must be reported to an administrator for further investigation in writing within (2) two working days.

Investigation and Response

Investigations of discrimination complaints shall follow Uniform Complaint Procedures.

(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)

Any incident reported to administration, which may constitute an act of bullying, harassment, discrimination, intimidation or any other behavior under BP 5131.2 and this regulation, shall be thoroughly investigated.

As part of the investigation process the parent/guardians of all students involved in any incident shall be contacted and may be asked to attend a conference with school officials. Staff will develop a supervision plan with the parents as appropriate. If a parent/guardian does not attend the conference, the site administrator shall send a letter informing the parent/guardian of the action under consideration and notifying parent/guardian of all data pertinent to the action.

The process and timeline for investigation shall be as set forth under the District's Uniform Complaint Procedures, and if the complainant or victim is dissatisfied with the conclusion of the investigation they may appeal following the established procedure.

Consequences for the accused shall be commensurate with the results of the investigation. This may include, but is not limited to, counseling, parent conference, detention, the involvement of law enforcement, involuntary transfer, a formal suspension and/or expulsion. Students may also be required to attend a site program designed to teach anti-bullying behavior or other appropriate intervention.

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

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

The Board prohibits any form of retaliation against any complainant or victim in the complaint process.

The Principal's office or designee will maintain documentation of complaints and their resolution for a minimum of one year.

The school site administration will ensure that appropriate resources will be offered to the victim and victim's family who have been subjected to bullying, harassment discrimination, intimidation, cyberbullying and cyberstalking. These resources may include but are not limited to on-site counseling or therapeutic services if available, peer mediation and referrals to San Mateo County Victim's Service.

Education and Prevention

To ensure harassment and bullying behavior does not occur 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.

Teachers should discuss this BP 5131.2 and this regulation with their students and should assure them that they need not endure any form of harassment.

Each school will adhere to the anti -bullying/anti-harassment procedures to be followed by every student and staff member.

Notification

BP 5131.2 and this administrative regulation shall be posted in English and Spanish in all schools and offices, including staff lounges and pupil government meeting rooms.

At the beginning of each school year, all students and their parents will be notified of BP 5131.2 and this administrative regulation through the school site student handbook.

Regulation SEQUOIA UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

approved: May 2, 2012 Redwood City, California

revised: November 19, 2014