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Student Violence, Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment

Section J - Students

Policy Title: Student Violence, Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment
Policy Code: JICK

Print Version (in PDF)

It is the right of every student to be educated in a positive, safe, caring, and respectful learning environment. A school environment inclusive of these traits maximizes student achievement, fosters student personal growth, and helps students build a sense of community that promotes positive participation as members of society.

The District, in partnership with parents, guardians, and students, shall establish and maintain a school environment based on these beliefs. The District shall identify and implement age-appropriate evidence based programs designed to instill in students the values of positive interpersonal relationships, mutual respect, and appropriate conflict resolution. Such programs shall be evaluated to determine their effectiveness.

All students, regardless of their background, are entitled to an educational environment free from harassment. To assist in achieving a school environment based on the beliefs of the Governing Board, bullying, harassment or intimidation as defined by this policy will not be tolerated.

This policy applies not only to students who directly engage in bullying, intimidation and harassment but also to students who, by their indirect behavior, condone or support another student's act of bullying.

Definitions

Bullying: Bullying may occur when a student or group of students engages in any form of behavior that includes such acts as intimidation and/or harassment that

  • has the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student's property, or verbal attacks or indirect actions that place a student in reasonable fear of harm to self or property,
  • is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that the action, behavior, or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive environment in the form of physical or emotional harm,
  • occurs when there is a real or perceived imbalance of power or strength, or
  • may constitute a violation of law.

Bullying of a student or group of students can be manifested through written, verbal, physical, or emotional means and may occur in a variety of forms including, but not limited to

  • repeated verbal, written/printed or graphic exposure to derogatory comments, extortion, exploitation, name calling, or rumor spreading either directly through another person or group or through cyber bullying,
  • exposure to social exclusion or ostracism,
  • physical contact including but not limited to pushing, hitting, kicking, shoving, or spitting, and
  • damage to or theft of personal property.

Cyberbullying: Cyberbullying includes, but is not limited to, any act of bullying committed by use of electronic technology or electronic communication devices, including telephonic devices, social networking and other Internet communications, on school computers, networks, forums and mailing lists, or other District-owned property, and by means of an individual's personal electronic media and equipment.

Harassment: Harassment is intentional behavior by a student or group of students that is disturbing or threatening to another student or group of students. Intentional behaviors that characterize harassment include, but are not limited to, stalking, hazing, social exclusion, name calling, unwanted physical contact and unwelcome verbal or written comments, photographs and graphics. Harassment to, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, national origin, and cultural background are also prohibited by Governing Board Policies AC and ACA and should be addressed through those procedures. Harassment may also be related but not limited to economic status, social status, size or personal appearance. Harassing behaviors can be direct or indirect and by use of social media.

Intimidation: Intimidation is intentional behavior by a student or group of students that places another student or group of students in fear of harm of person or property. Intimidation can be manifested emotionally or physically, either directly or indirectly, and by use of social media.

Prohibitions and Discipline

Students are prohibited from bullying on school grounds, school property, school buses, at school bus stops, at school sponsored events and activities, and through the use of electronic technology or electronic communication equipment on school computers, networks, forums, or mailing lists.

Disciplinary action may result for bullying which occurs outside of the school and the school day when such bullying results in a substantial physical, mental, or emotional negative effect on the victim while on school grounds, school property, school buses, at school bus stops, or at school sponsored events and activities, or when such act(s) interfere with the authority of the school system to maintain order.

Retaliation by any student or staff member directed toward a student or employee related to the reporting of a case of bullying or a suspected case of bullying shall not be tolerated, and the individual(s) will be subject to the disciplines set out in applicable District policies and administrative regulations.

Knowingly submitting a false report under this policy shall subject the student to discipline up to and including suspension or expulsion. Where disciplinary action is necessary pursuant to any part of this policy, relevant District policies shall be followed.

Reporting Incidents of Bullying

A student who is experiencing bullying, or believes another student is experiencing bullying, is to report the situation to the principal or another school administrator. A school employee who becomes aware of or suspects a student is being bullied shall immediately notify the school administrator. School personnel shall maintain confidentiality of the reported information to the extent permitted by law.

The initial notification of an alleged incident may be provided orally. A detailed written description of the incident and any other relevant information must be provided on form(s) made available by the school and submitted to the principal within one (1) school day of the oral report. Should the principal be the employee who observes, is informed of, or suspects a student is experiencing bullying the principal shall document the incident or concern in writing. Failure by an employee to report a suspected case of bullying may result in disciplinary action up to suspension without pay or dismissal.

At the time a student reports alleged bullying the principal shall provide to the student who has allegedly been bullied a written copy of student rights, protections and support services available to the student and shall notify the student's parent(s) of the report.

Administrative Response to a Report of Bullying, Intimidation or Harassment

The principal shall promptly investigate all reports of bullying. If the principal determines that bullying has occurred, discipline shall be administered pursuant to Board Policies and the Guidelines for Student Rights and Responsibilities to ensure that such conduct stops. Regardless of the outcome of the investigation the principal or other school administrator will meet with the involved students to review the findings of the investigation. Subject to the restrictions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) set out in Policy JR, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the involved students shall also be informed of the findings of the investigation.

Documentation related to reported bullying and subsequent investigation shall be maintained by the District for not less than six (6) years. In the event the District reports incidents to persons other than school officials or law enforcement all individually identifiable information shall be redacted. Restrictions established by FERPA on disclosure of personally identifiable student information must be observed at all times.

Dissemination of Information Regarding Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment

The Superintendent shall establish procedures for the dissemination of information to students, parents and guardians. The information will include, but not be limited to, Governing Board policies, incident reporting, support services (proactive and reactive) and student's rights. The dissemination of this information shall

  • occur during the first (1st) week of each school year,
  • be provided to each incoming student during the school year at the time of the student's registration,
  • be posted in each classroom and in common areas of the school, and
  • be summarized in the student handbook and on the District website, and

the Superintendent shall establish procedures for the dissemination of information to District employees including, but not limited to

  • Governing Board policy,
  • preventive measures,
  • incident reporting procedures,
  • available support services for students (both proactive and reactive), and
  • student rights.

Information will be provided to staff members at the beginning of each instructional year and on the first day of employment for new employees.

Adopted: October 5, 2004 [As Policy JICL]
Revised: June 14, 2011 [Revised and recoded (formerly JICL)]
Revised: December 5, 2012 [cross reference correction only]
Revised: February 26, 2013 [Revised and recoded (formerly JICFB)]
Revised: October 14, 2014
Revised: July 14, 2015

LEGAL REF: A.R.S. 13-1202, 13-1203, 13-1204, 13-2321, 13-2916, 13-2921, 13-3506.01, 15-341
A.A.C. R7-2-1308

CROSS REF: IJNDB – Use of Technology Resources in Instruction
JI – Student Rights and Responsibilities
JK – Student Discipline
JR – Student Records