Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying

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The board of trustees prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying of a student by students, staff and 
third parties that interfere with or disrupt a student’s ability to learn and the school’s responsibility to educate its students in a safe and orderly environment whether in a classroom, on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, at an official school bus stop, at a school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises, or at another program or function where the school is responsible for the student.

Complaint Procedure
 
A student who feels that he or she has been the victim of any type of discrimination or harassment should report the matter to a school administrator or teacher. 

Complaints may also be filed with Dr. Stephanie Lackey, the district’s designated Title IX Coordinator (397-1024), or Mr. Clif Alexander, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Administration (397-1041).

Click here to download a complaint form.

Code JICFAA

The board prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying of a student by students, staff and third parties that interfere with or disrupt a student’s ability to learn and the school’s responsibility to educate its students in a safe and orderly environment whether in a classroom, on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, at an official school bus stop, at a school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises, or at another program or function where the school is responsible for the student.

For purposes of this policy, harassment, intimidation or bullying is defined as a gesture, electronic communication, or a written, verbal, physical or sexual act reasonably perceived to have the effect of either of the following.

  • harming a student physically or emotionally or damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of personal harm or property damage
  • insulting or demeaning a student or group of students causing substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school

Any student who feels he/she has been subjected to harassment, intimidation or bullying is encouraged to file a complaint in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent. Complaints will be investigated promptly, thoroughly and confidentially. All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to the principal or his/her designee. Reports by students or employees may be made anonymously.

The district prohibits retaliation or reprisal in any form against a student or employee who has filed a complaint or report of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The district also prohibits any person from falsely accusing another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying.

The board expects students to conduct themselves in an orderly, courteous, dignified and respectful manner. Students and employees have a responsibility to know and respect the policies, rules and regulations of the school and district. Any student or employee who is found to have engaged in the prohibited actions as outlined in this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion in the case of a student or termination in the case of an employee. Individuals may also be referred to law enforcement officials. The district will take all other appropriate steps to correct or rectify the situation.

Students, parents/legal guardians, teachers, and staff members should be aware that the district may take disciplinary actions for conduct initiated and/or created off-campus involving the inappropriate use of the Internet or web-based resources if such conduct poses a threat or substantially interferes with or disrupts the work and discipline of the schools, including discipline for student harassment and bullying.

The superintendent will be responsible for ensuring notice of this policy is provided to students, staff, parents/legal guardians, volunteers and members of the community including its applicability to all areas of the school environment as outlined in this policy.

The superintendent will also ensure that a process is established for discussing the district policy with students.

Code JICFAA-R

This administrative rule is intended to do the following.

  • Discourage employees, students and third parties associated with the district from subjecting students of the district to unlawful harassment, intimidation or bullying on the basis of race, religion, sex, creed, disability, national origin or immigrant status or English-speaking status.
  • Promote a harassment, intimidation or bullying free work environment.
  • Establish on-going education and awareness of the problem of harassment, intimidation or bullying.
  • Provide information about how to report allegations of harassment, intimidation or bullying.
  • Effectively and appropriately address all harassment, intimidation or bullying that is reported or observed.

Preventive action

Periodically, the district will ensure the following.

  • Policy JICFAA and this administrative rule are fully referenced in student handbooks and copies are available in each school and the district office.
  • All students and employees are informed about the nature of harassment, intimidation or bullying, the district’s prohibition against these acts, the procedures for registering a complaint and the possible redress which is available. The information provided will take into consideration and be appropriate to the ages of students.
  • Each principal has designated a male and female administrator or faculty member to serve as the school’s harassment, intimidation or bullying contact persons.
  • All administrators and school harassment, intimidation or bullying contact persons are informed of the district’s harassment, intimidation or bullying procedures and understand how to implement them.

Reporting and response procedures

Any student who feels that he/she has been the object of unlawful harassment, intimidation or bullying is encouraged to file a complaint with his/her principal or one of the designated school contact persons (except for situations covered in the following paragraph). Such a complaint may also be filed by the student’s parent/legal guardian.

Under no circumstances will a student be required to first report allegations of harassment, intimidation or bullying to the principal or a school contact person if that person is the individual who is accused of the harassment, intimidation or bullying. In such cases, the student or student’s parents/legal guardians may file the complaint with the superintendent or her/his designee.

If an employee, who is not a designated contact person, receives a complaint of harassment, intimidation or bullying or observes any behavior which could amount to harassment, intimidation or bullying, the employee will report the matter to the principal or to one of the school contact persons.

When any incident of alleged harassment, intimidation or bullying is reported to or observed by a principal or school contact person, that person will conduct or oversee an investigation into the allegations.

Prior to conducting the investigation, the principal or school contact person should initially discuss with the student and, if appropriate, his/her parent/legal guardian what actions are being sought and the investigation procedures that will be followed. The principal or his/her designee at each school is responsible for receiving complaints alleging violations of this policy. All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to the principal or his/her designee. All other members of the school community, including students, parents/legal guardians, volunteers and visitors are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy. While submission of a written report is not required, the reporting party is encouraged to submit a written report. Oral reports also will be considered official reports; however, the principal or his/her designee should document the oral report for the school’s records. Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action must not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report. If requested, the identity of the victim will be protected to the extent allowed by law.

The principal and/or his/her designee is responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. In so doing, the principal and/or his/her designee will conduct a prompt, thorough and complete investigation of each alleged incident.

Reasonable efforts will be made to prevent public and unnecessary disclosure of the names of all individuals involved in the harassment, intimidation or bullying allegation, except to the extent necessary to carry out an investigation and comply with statutory obligations. Interim measures designed to protect the student from further harassment, intimidation or bullying during the investigation should be taken where appropriate.

A written record of the investigation will be made and will include corrective or disciplinary action taken. The student who brought the harassment, intimidation or bullying allegation will be informed, in writing, that the investigation has been completed and that appropriate actions, if warranted, were taken. The student and his/her parents/legal guardians also will be advised as to how to report any subsequent problems.

If harassment, intimidation or bullying of a student is determined to have taken place, actions will be taken which are reasonably calculated to end the harassment, intimidation or bullying and prevent it from occurring again. Steps will also be taken to assist in remedying the effects of harassment, intimidation or bullying on the individual student or students subjected to it. The appropriate administrator will take whatever disciplinary action is warranted, up to and including a recommendation for termination of the offending employee or expulsion of the offending student.

The district board of trustees also prohibits any person from falsely accusing another of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a student found to have falsely accused another may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have falsely accused another of harassment, intimidation or bullying will be in accordance with district policies, procedures and contracts. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor or volunteer, found to have falsely accused another of harassment, intimidation or bullying will be determined by the school administrator after consideration of the nature, severity and circumstances of the act, including reports to appropriate law enforcement officials.

All principals and/or school contact persons will follow up periodically on any incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying they were responsible for investigating to determine whether the student has been subjected to any further harassment, intimidation or bullying since the corrective action was taken. The results of the follow-up should be documented.

In cases involving potential criminal conduct or where a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by sexual abuse, appropriate school personnel should report the situation to appropriate authorities in accordance with S.C. Code Ann. Section 20-7-510 and/or Section 50-24-60.

Additional obligations of employees and students

All employees and students will cooperate with and maintain the confidentiality of any investigation of alleged acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying conducted by the district or by an appropriate state or federal agency. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action against the individual who failed to cooperate or who violated the confidentiality of the matter.

No employee or student of this district will take any action to discourage any other student from reporting alleged harassment, intimidation or bullying. However, any person who intentionally provides false information in connection with a report or investigation of harassment, intimidation or bullying may be subject to disciplinary action.

All employees and students will report to the principal, school contact persons or in appropriate cases, the employee’s immediate supervisor, any conduct on the part of third parties, such as sales representatives or service vendors, which is believed to constitute harassment, intimidation or bullying.

No employee or student of this district will destroy evidence relevant to any investigation of harassment, intimidation or bullying.

No employee or student of this district will retaliate in any way against another employee or student who has provided information as a witness to or victim of an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying.

Consequences and remedial responses

Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student or staff member who commits one or more acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion. Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying will be varied and graded 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 school district’s Code of Conduct, JICDA-R. Remedial measures will be designed to correct the problem behaviorprevent another occurrence of the problem; andprotect the victim of the act. The consequences and remedial measures may include, but are not limited to, the examples listed below.

Examples of consequences

  • admonishment
  • temporary removal from the classroom
  • deprivation of privileges
  • classroom or administrative detention
  • referral to disciplinarian
  • in-school suspension during the school week or the weekend
  • out-of-school suspension
  • legal action
  • expulsion

Examples of remedial measures
Personal

  • restitution and restoration
  • mediation
  • peer support group
  • corrective instruction or other relevant learning or service experience
  • supportive student interventions
  • behavioral assessment or evaluation as appropriate
  • behavioral management plan
  • assignment of leadership responsibilities (e.g., hallway or bus monitor)
  • involvement of school disciplinarian
  • student counseling
  • parent conferences
  • recommendation of therapy/treatment

Environmental (classroom, school building or school district)

  • school and community surveys for determining the conditions contributing to harassment, intimidation or bullying
  • adoption of bullying prevention programs
  • school policy and procedures revisions
  • modifications of schedules
  • adjustments in hallway traffic
  • targeted use of monitors (e.g., hallway, cafeteria, bus)
  • small or large group presentations for addressing the behaviors and the responses to the behaviors
  • general professional development programs for certificated and non-certificated staff
  • parent conferences
  • family counseling
  • involvement of parent-teacher organizations
  • involvement of community-based organizations
  • development of a general bullying response plan
  • peer support groups
  • law enforcement (e.g., school resource office, juvenile officer) involvement

Notice of this policy will be provided to students, staff, parents/legal guardians, volunteers and members of the community by posting it on the district’s Web site, publishing it in the district’s parent/student handbook and publishing it in school publications.

The superintendent will also ensure that a process is established for discussing the district policy with students. The superintendent will direct the principal to develop an annual process for discussing the school district policy on harassment, intimidation and bullying with students, which may include student assemblies and small group meetings.