Bullying, Harassment, Intimidation Prevention
Bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, or intimidation are serious and will not be tolerated. This form is to report alleged bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, or intimidation that occurred on school property; at a school sponsored activity or event off school propery;on a school bus; or on the way to and/from school. This information can be reported anonymously or with contact information. No matter how reported, this report will be investigated as required by HB 1942, Texas Education Code 21.451 and Board Policy FFI (LOCAL).
Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic methods, or physical conduct against another student on school property, at a school-sponsored or -related activity, or in a district operated vehicle, and the behavior:
· Results in harm to the student or the student’s property,
· Places a student in reasonable fear of physical harm or of damage to the student’s property, or
· Is so severe, persistent, and pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment.
This conduct is considered bullying if it exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator(s) and the student victim and if it interferes with a student’s education or substantially disrupts the operation of the school.
Bullying is prohibited by the district and could include hazing, threats, taunting, teasing, confinement, assault, demands for money, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, name-calling, rumor-spreading, or ostracism. In some cases, bullying can occur through electronic methods, called “cyberbullying.”
If a student believes that he or she has experienced bullying or has witnessed bullying of another student, it is important for the student or parent to notify a teacher, counselor, principal, or another district employee as soon as possible to obtain assistance and intervention. The administration will investigate any allegations of bullying or other related misconduct.
If the results of an investigation indicate that bullying has occurred, the administration will take appropriate disciplinary action. Disciplinary or other action may be taken even if the conduct did not rise to the level of bullying. The district will also contact the parents of the victim and of the student who was found to have engaged in the bullying. Available counseling options will be provided to these individuals, as well as to any students who have been identified as witnesses to the bullying.
Any retaliation against a student who reports an incident of bullying is prohibited.
The principal may, in response to an identified case of bullying, decide to transfer a student found to have engaged in bullying to another classroom at the campus. In consultation with the student’s parent, the student may also be transferred to another campus in the district. The parent of a student who has been determined by the district to be a victim of bullying may request that his or her child be transferred to another classroom or campus within the district.
Harassment, in general terms, is conduct so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity; creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; or substantially interferes with the student’s academic performance. A copy of the district’s policy is available in the principal’s office and in the superintendent’s office.
Examples of harassment may include, but are not limited to, offensive or derogatory language directed at a person’s religious beliefs or practices, accent, skin color, or need for accommodation; threatening or intimidating conduct; offensive jokes, name-calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; graffiti or printed material promoting racial, ethnic, or other negative stereotypes; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property.
Two types of prohibited harassment are described below.
Sexual Harassment and Gender-Based Harassment
Sexual harassment and gender-based harassment of a student by an employee, volunteer, or another student are prohibited.
Examples of sexual harassment may include, but not be limited to, touching private body parts or coercing physical contact that is sexual in nature; sexual advances; jokes or conversations of a sexual nature; and other sexually motivated conduct, communications, or contact.
Sexual harassment of a student by an employee or volunteer does not include necessary or permissible physical contact not reasonably construed as sexual in nature. However, romantic and other inappropriate social relationships, as well as all sexual relationships, between students and district employees are prohibited, even if consensual.
Gender-based harassment includes harassment based on a student’s gender, expression by the student of stereotypical characteristics associated with the student’s gender, or the student’s failure to conform to stereotypical behavior related to gender. Examples of gender-based harassment directed against a student, regardless of the student’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, may include, but not be limited to, offensive jokes, name-calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; threatening or intimidating conduct; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property. See policy FFH (LOCAL)
Retaliation against a person, who makes a good faith report of discrimination or harassment, including dating violence, is prohibited. Retaliation against a person who is participating in an investigation of alleged discrimination or harassment is also prohibited. A person who makes a false claim or offers false statements or refuses to cooperate with a district investigation, however, may be subject to appropriate discipline.
Retaliation against a student might occur when a student receives threats from another student or an employee or when an employee imposes an unjustified punishment or unwarranted grade reduction. Retaliation does not include petty slights and annoyances from other students or negative comments from a teacher that are justified by a student’s poor academic performance in the classroom.
Any student who believes that he or she has experienced dating violence, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should immediately report the problem to a teacher, counselor, principal, or other district employee. The report may be made by the student’s parent. See policy FFH (LOCAL) for the appropriate districts officials to whom to make a report.
A parent, guardian or student can also make a report by utilizing the reporting process and format below. Please provide as much information as possible when completing the report. Once received, this report will be investigated by the appropriate school officials.