ANTI-BULLYING COMMITTEE MEETING # 2. OUR PLAN FOR TODAY. REVIEW THE BOARD POLICY TO BE PRESENTED TO THE BOARD FOR REVIEW AND/OR APPROVAL DETERMINE SCHOOL PROCESS FOR HANDLING COMPLAINTS. WHAT WE DISCOVERED SINCE MEETING #1.
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MEETING # 2
General Statements and Definitions
The Bledsoe County Board of Education has determined that a safe, civil, and supportive environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. In order to maintain that environment, the Bledsoe County Board of Education prohibits acts of harassment, bullying, cyber-bullying, intimidation, or any other victimization of students, based on any actual or perceived traits or characteristics. To that end, the Bledsoe County Board of Education has in place policies and procedures to address incidents of bullying and harassment.
This policy will be disseminated annually to all school staff, students, and parents and may be publicized in student handbooks and LEA/school web sites. This policy is in effect while students are on school property, at any school-sponsored activity, on school-provided equipment or transportation, or at any official school bus stop. If the act takes place off school property or outside of a school-sponsored activity, this policy is in effect if the conduct is directed specifically at a student or students and has the effect of creating a hostile educational environment or otherwise creating a substantial disruption to the education environment or learning process.
When looking at the totality of the circumstances, harassment, bullying, cyber-bullying, or any other disruptive or violent behavior includes conduct such as gestures, written, verbal, graphic, or written acts, including electronically transmitted acts, toward a student which are based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and creates an educational environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:
“Bullying” is conduct that meets one or more of the following criteria:
“Bullying” can be conducted verbally and in writing (teasing, name-calling, taunting, threatening to cause harm) socially/relationally (hurting someone’s reputation or relationship), or physically (hurting someone or their possessions).
“Cyber-bullying” is bullying undertaken through the use of electronic devices. Electronic devices include, but are not limited to, telephones, cellular phone or other wireless telecommunication devices, text messaging, emails, social networking sites, instant messaging, videos, web sites or fake profiles.
Other acts of violent behavior may include:
“Hazing” which involves any intentional or reckless act, on or off LEA property, by one student acting alone or with others that is directed against any other student, that endanger the mental or physical health or safety of that student or that induces or coerces a student to endanger that student’s mental or physical health or safety.
“Hazing” does not include customary athletic events or similar contests or competitions and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any organization.
Reporting and Investigations
The Bledsoe County Board of Education requires the principal and/or principal’s designee, at each school to be responsible for investigating and resolving complaints alleging violations of this policy. The principal and/or principal’s designee is responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. In doing so, the principal and/or principal’s designee, shall conduct a prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of each alleged incident. Within the parameters of the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) at 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, a written report on the investigation will be delivered to the parents of the complainant and accused students and to the Director of Schools.
All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to the principal and/or principal’s designee. All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy. Reports may be made anonymously; however, such complaints may affect the school’s ability to issue formal disciplinary action.
LEA Prevention and Intervention Response
Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for anyone who commits one or more acts of harassment, bullying, or other acts of violent behavior may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, as set forth in the Board of Education’s approved code of conduct.
School administrators shall consider the nature and circumstances of the incident, the age and maturity of the student, the degree of harm, previous incidences or patterns of behavior, or any other factors, as appropriate to properly respond to each situation. Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment, bullying, or other act of violent behavior shall be unique to the individual incident and will vary in method and severity according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student, and the student’s history of problem behaviors and performance, and must be consistent with the Board of Education’s approved code of student conduct.
Remedial measures shall be designed to:
Effective discipline should employ a school-wide approach to adopt a procedure of handling harassment or bullying offenses and the associated consequences. This procedure should reflect appropriate potential consequences in accordance with discipline policies. The Director of Schools shall be responsible for the development and enforcement of this requirement.
Reprisal, Retaliation, and False Accusations
The Bledsoe County Board of Education prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports or assists in any investigation of an act alleged in this policy. The consequences of appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the administrator after consideration of the nature, severity, and circumstances of the act.
The Bledsoe County Board of Education prohibits any person from falsely accusing another of having committed an act of harassment or bullying as means of reprisal or retaliation or of harassment or bullying. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely accused another as a means of reprisal or retaliation or harassment or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension and expulsion.
Are there items in the sample policy that we want to review or changes we need to make before we present the policy to the Board?
The consensus of the Anti-Bullying Committee is: Present the policy revision as it is.
1. Current procedures for reporting HIBC is to report incident to school administrator.
2. Procedure for prompt investigation is based upon severity of threat and priority of other school activities, but try to investigate all incidents within 24 hour time frame.
3. I do not know of any school district process for responding to an act of HIBC other than approved Board policy.
4. Annually publishing anti-bullying policy in BCHS handbook and on school web site, possibly in county newspaper also.
5. Any new policy implementation would be the responsibility of the school principal.
6. Record keeping of HIBC cases would be kept by school administrator taking care of incident that was reported.
7. Person responsible at BCHS to be point of contact would need to be school administrators based upon recommendations and discussions held about NOT using SRO's or guidance counselors.
8. Distribution of policy annually to every student could be in student handbook and means mentioned in #4 above.
9. No school level training for teachers and staff has taken place other than the anti bullying programs presented to students each year.
10. Schoolwide programs to educate students about bullying are given annually and info on school web site at this time.
1. What is their current procedure for reporting an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying? Teachers or other faculty member, parent, student, etc report incidents to teacher or office.
2. What is their procedure for prompt investigation of a report of an act of harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying? School administration will investigate by interviewing all parties, call parents as needed, and report to DOS and/or SRO
3. What is our school district’s process for responding to an act of HIBC? ___________
4. How do principals want to publicize the anti-bullying policy annually? School Handbook and possibly an informative parent night
5. Who at your school will be responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented? School level administration
6. Who is keeping a record of all reported cases of HIBC for the August, 2013 reporting, including the manner of how issues are resolved or if they are still pending? School level administration
7. Talk About It @ BCHS and/or BCMS- are we ready to attempt this again? Who will be the point of contact, the person responsible for intercepting these texts, emails, etc. as they come in? ________
8. How they are distributed the policy annually to every student?
9. How are they ensuring that their staff is adequately trained?
I think that HIBC is a topic of conversation in most schools. However, since all situations are different, it is hard to have a blanket set of rules for this. Each case is usually handled based on the information collected. I do think teachers and all staff should be trained during a countywide in-service.
10. What free bullying and harassment prevention resources are we providing to our staff and students? I had a representative from Avalon come in and do programs with PK-3 and grades 4-5.
1. Report to teacher, guidance counselor, gym teacher
4. Student handbook
6. Principal and guidance counselor
8. Student handbook
1. What is their current procedure for reporting an act of HIBC? Report to Mrs. Pickett and discuss situation, call parents if necessary. Relate information to DOS.
2. What is their procedure for prompt investigation of a report of an act of HIBC? Question all students involved, talk to teacher to gather information and if necessary call Carlos DavisSRO. Report findings to High School and Dir. of Schools.
3. What is our school district’s process for responding to an act of HIBC? Not sure
4. How do principals want to publicize the anti-bullying policy annually? Newspaper, All call, school website and Anti bullying posters in schools
5. Who at your school will be responsible for ensuring that the policy is implemented? Principals and teachers
6. Who is keeping a record of all reported cases of HIBC for the August, 2013 reporting, including the manner of how issues are resolved or if they are still pending? Not sure
7. Talk About It @ BCHS and/or BCMS- we are we ready to attempt this again. Who will be the point of contact, the person responsible for intercepting these texts, emails, etc. as they come in? Not sure
8. How they are distributed the policy annually to every student? Student Handbook and discussion.
9. How are they ensuring that their staff is adequately trained? Discussion for signs of bullying and how to handle different situations and what to look for in the classroom
10. What free bullying and harassment prevention resources are we providing to our staff and students? Not sure
1.Teachers, students, parents, report to Admin, Admin investigates each report, determines consequences, keeps every report in individual student files
2. Same as above
3. I don’t know
4. Newspapers, handbooks, website
5. Principal/Vice Principal
7. Not interested in this
8. Handbook, Website
9. No ‘formal’ training, countywide inservice to all staff
10. Guidance, Open-door policy to administration
Once a school has notice of bullying or harassing incidents, it must take immediate and appropriate action to determine what occurred. The specific steps will vary depending upon the nature of the allegations, the source of the complaint, and the age of the student(s) involved. In all cases, however, the inquiry should be prompt, thorough, and impartial.
How to file a complaint?
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE OF PROCESS: The principal (or designee) shall investigate harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying when a student reports to any principal, teacher, or guidance counselor that physical harm or a threat of physical harm to such student’s person or property has occurred.
1. Appoint an investigator who is organized, discreet, open-minded, non-judgmental, & sensitive. (Have a back up investigator available to ensure no conflicts of interest exist.) This investigator is responsible for overseeing the entire process.