Preventing Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment
Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors is an important District goal.
Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, order of protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in each of the following situations:
- During any school sponsored education program or activity.
- While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school bus, or at school sponsored or school sanctioned events or activities.
- Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment.
For purposes of this policy, the term bullying means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property.
- Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health.
- Substantially interfering with the student’s academic performance.
- Substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
Bullying, intimidation, and/or harassment may take various forms, including without limitation: threats, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying.
The Superintendent or designee shall develop and maintain a program that:
- Fully implements and enforces all applicable Board policies including: (a) conducting a prompt and thorough investigation of alleged incidents of bullying, intimidation, harassing behavior, or similar conduct, (b) providing each student who violates one or more of these policies with appropriate consequences and remedial action, and (c) protecting students against retaliation for reporting such conduct.
- Examines the appropriate steps to understand and rectify conditions that foster bullying, intimidation, and harassment; this contemplates taking action to eliminate or prevent these disruptive behaviors beyond traditional punitive disciplinary actions.
- Includes bullying prevention and character instruction in all grades in accordance with State law and Board policy 6:60, Curriculum Content. This includes incorporating student social and emotional development into the District’s educational program as required by State law and in alignment with Board policy 6:65, Student Social and Emotional Development.
- Fully informs staff members of the District’s goal to prevent students from engaging in bullying and the measures being used to accomplish it. This includes: (a) communicating the District’s expectation – and the State law requirement – that teachers and other certificated employees maintain discipline, and (b) establishing a process for staff members to fulfill their obligation to report alleged acts of bullying, intimidation, harassment, and other acts of actual or threatened violence.
- Encourages all members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, to report alleged acts of bullying, intimidation, harassment, and other acts of actual or threatened violence.
- Actively involves students’ parents/guardians in the remediation of the behavior(s) of concern. This includes ensuring that all parents/guardians are notified, as required by State law, whenever their child engages in aggressive behavior.
- Communicates the District’s expectation that all students conduct themselves with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students. This includes a process for commending or acknowledging students for demonstrating appropriate behavior.
- Annually communicates this policy to students and their parents/guardians. This includes annually disseminating information to all students and parents/guardians explaining the serious disruption caused by bullying, intimidation, or harassment and that these behaviors will be taken seriously and are not acceptable in any form.
- Engages in ongoing monitoring that includes collecting and analyzing appropriate data on the nature and extent of bullying in the District’s schools and, after identifying appropriate indicators, assesses the effectiveness of the various strategies, programs, and procedures and reports the results of this assessment to the Board along with recommendations to enhance effectiveness.
- Complies with State and federal law and is in alignment with Board policies. This includes prompting the Board to update the policy beginning every 2 years after its initial adoption and filing this policy with the Illinois State Board of Education after the Board adopts or updates it.
This policy is not intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or under Section 3 or 4 of Article 1 of the Ill. Constitution.
Adopted: January 23, 2012