Bullying Policy

 

I.   Purpose

 

Bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, and hazing of students and employees are against federal, state, and local policy, and are not tolerated by Soldier Hollow Charter School (SHCS).  SHCS is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. To that end, SHCS has in place policies, procedures and practices that are designed to reduce and eliminate bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and hazing- including but not limited to civil rights violations-as well as processes and procedures to deal with such incidents.

 

School officials have the authority to discipline students for off-campus speech that causes or threatens a substantial disruption on campus, including school activities, violent altercations, or a significant interference with a student’s educational performance and involvement in school activities. If after an investigation, a student is found to be in violation of this policy, the student shall be disciplined by appropriate measures up to, and including, suspension and expulsion, pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 53A-11-904 and SHCS Safe Schools Policy. If after an investigation, a school employee is found to be in violation of this policy, the employee shall be disciplined by appropriate measures up to, and including, possible termination.

 

II.  Definitions

 

A.     According to Utah Code Ann. 53-A-11a-102, “Bullying” means intentionally or  knowingly committing an act that:

 

1.  endangers the physical health or safety of a school employee or student;

 

a.   involves any brutality of a physical nature such as ehipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or exposure to the elements

 

b.  involves consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance;

 

c.  involves other physical activity that endangers the physical health and safety of a school employee or student; or student; or

 

d. involves physically obstructing  a school employee’s or student’s freedom to move; and

 

 

2.  is done for the purpose of placing a school employee or student in fear of:

 

a.  Physical harm to the school employee or student; or

 

b.  harm to property of the school employee or student

 

3.  Bullying is additionally defined as aggressive behavior that is intended to cause harm or distress, exists in a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power or  strength and may be repeated over time.

 

 

a.  Physical bullying may include, but is not limited to, pushing, grabbing, pinching, shoving, poking, tripping, kicking, hitting, and destroying property.

 

b. Verbal/written bullying may include, but is not limited to, name calling, mean teasing, spreading false rumors, intimidation, sexual comments, harassing, and threatening comments which are communicated verbally, in writing, or through electronic media (see “Cyberbullying” below).

 

 

4.  The conduct described above constitutes bullying, regardless of whether the person against whom the conduct is committed directed, consented to, or acquiesced in, the conduct

 

B.    “Civil Rights Violations” means

 

1.  bullying (including cyberbullying), harassing, or hazing that is targeted at a federally  protected class.

 

C.     “Cyberbullying” means:

 

1.  using the Internet, a cell phone, or another device to

 

2.  send or post text, video, or an image with the intent or knowledge, or with reckless disregard, that the text, video, or image will hurt, embarrass, or threaten an individual,

 

3.  regardless of whether the individual directed, consented to, or acquiesced in the  conduct, or voluntarily accessed the electronic communication.

 

D.    “Federally protected class” means any group protected from discrimination under federal law

 

1.  Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race,  color, or national origin.

 

2.  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

 

3.  Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

 

4. Other areas included under these acts include religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

 

E.   “Harassment” means repeatedly communicating to another individual, in an objectively demeaning or disparaging manner, statements that contribute to a hostile learning or work  environment for the individual.

 

F.   “Hazing” means intentionally or knowingly committing an act that:

 

1. endangers the physical health or safety of a school employee or student;

 

a.  involves any brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or exposure to the elements;

 

b.  involves consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance;

 

c. involves other physical activity that endangers the physical health and safety of a school employee or student; or

 

d.  involves physically obstructing a school employee’s or student’s freedom to move; and

 

2. is done for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, holding office in,  or as a condition for, membership or acceptance, or continued membership or acceptance, in any school or school sponsored team, organization, program, or event; or

 

3.  if the person committing the act against a school employee or student knew that the school employee or student is a member of, or candidate for, membership with a school,  or school sponsored team, organization, programs, or event to which the person committing the act belongs to or participates in.

 

4.  The conduct described above constitutes hazing, regardless of whether the person against whom the conduct is committed directed, consented to, or acquiesced in,  the conduct.

 

G.   “Retaliation” means an act of communication intended:

 

1.  as retribution against a person for reporting bullying, cyperbullying, harassing, or hazing: or

 

2.  to improperly influence the investigation of, or the response to, a report of bullying or hazing.

 

 

H.   “School employee” means:

 

1.  school teachers;

2. school staff;

3. school administrators; and

4. all others employed, directly or indirectly, by the school, school board, or school district.

 

III.  Prohibitions

A.   No school employee or student may engage in bullying or harassing a school employee or student:

 

1.  on school property;

2.  at a school related or sponsored event;

3. on a school bus

4.  at a school bus stop; or

5.  while the school employee or student is traveling to or from a location or event described in section A(1) -(4) above.

 

 

B.    No school employee or student may engage in hazing or cyberbullying a school employee or student at any time or in any location.

 

 

C.     No school empoyee or student may engage in retaliation against:

 

1.  a school employee;

2. a student; or

3. an investigator for, or witness of, an alleged incident of bullying, harassing, cyberbullying, hazing, or retaliation.

 

D.     No school employee or student may make a false allegation of bullying, harassing, cyberbullying, hazing, or retaliation against a school employee or student.

 

E.      Any bullying, harassing, or hazing that is found to be targeted at a federally protected class is further prohibited under federal anti-discrimination laws and is subject to compliance  regulations from the Office for Civil Rights.

 

 

IV.     Actions Required if Prohibited Acts are Reported

 

A. Each reported complaint shall include:

 

1.  name of complaining party;

2. name of offender (if known);

3. date and location of incident(s);

4.  a statement describing the incident(s), including names of witnesses ( if known).

 

 

B. Each reported violation of this policy shall be promptly investigated by a school administrator or an individual designated by a school administrator. Formal disciplinary action is prohibited based solely on an anonymous report of bullying, hazing, or retaliation.

 

 

C. Verified violations of the prohibitions noted previously shall result in consequences or penalties. Consequences or penalties may include but are not limited to:

 

1. student suspension or removal from a school-sponsored team or activity including school sponsored transportation;

2. student suspension or expulsion from school or lesser disciplinary action;

3. employee suspension or termination for cause or lesser disciplinary action;

4. employee reassignment ; or

5. other action against student or employee as appropriate.

 

 

D.   School administrators or their designee shall notify a parent (or a student’s guardian) if the parent’s student:

 

1.  threatens to commit suicide, or

2. is involved in an incident of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, hazing, or retaliation.

3.  If a school notifies a parent of an incident or threat as required above, the school shall produce and maintain a record (see “Record of Parent Notification of the Student Threat or Incident” form) that verifies that the parent was notified of the incident or threat.

 

a.  School may not disclose this record including any information obtained to prepare the record to a person other than a person authorized to receive the record or use the record, including any information obtained to prepare the record, for the school’s own purposes, including for a report  or study, a statistical analysis, or to conduct research.

 

b.   Schools may disclose a record described above, including any information  obtained to prepare the record, to the parent or the parent’s student, or to a person as required by a court order.

 

E.   Actions must also include, as appropriate:

 

1.   procedures for protecting the victim and other involved individuals from being subjected to:

 

a.   further bullying or hazing, and

b.  retaliation for reporting the bully or hazing.

 

2.  prompt reporting to law enforcement of all acts of bullying, hazing, or retaliation that constitutes suspected criminal activity.

3.  procedures for a fair and timely opportunity for the accused to explain the  accusations and defend his actions prior to student or employee discipline.

4.  procedures for providing due process rights for accused students and employees.

 

 

V.   Training

 

A.     The training of school employees shall include training regarding bullying,  cyberbullying, harassment, hazing, and retaliation.

 

B.     The training should include training on civil rights violations and compliance when civil rights violations are reported.

 

C.     To the extent possible, programs or initiatives designed to provide training and education  regarding the prevention of bullying, hazing, and retaliation should be implemented.

 

D.     In addition to training for all students and school employees, students, employees, and  volunteer coaches involved in any extra-curricular activity shall.

 

1.  participate in bullying and hazing prevention training prior to participation;

2.  repeat bullying and hazing prevention training at least every three years;

3.  be informed annually of the prohibited activities list provided previously in this  Policy and the potential consequences for the violation of this Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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