PROSPECT PARK                                                                        FILE CODE:  5131.2 

                                                                                                               Monitored  

                                                                                                               Mandated

Policy                                                                                              X     Other Reasons     

 

 

 

HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING

 

The board of education prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The board of education has determined that a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards.  Harassment, intimidation or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a student's ability to learn and a school's ability to educate its students in a safe environment.  Because students learn by example, school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers should be commended for demonstrating appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying.

The board of education establishes that "harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any gesture or written, verbal or physical act, or any electronic communication that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, on a school bus, or relating to school, and that:

a)         is motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory disability; or,

 

b)         by any other distinguishing characteristic; and

c)         a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, that the act(s) will have the effect of harming a student or damaging the student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his person or damage to his property; or

 

d)         has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.

The board of education expects students to conduct themselves in keeping with their levels of development, maturity and demonstrated capabilities with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students and school staff, the educational purpose underlying all school activities and the care of school facilities and equipment.

 

The board of education believes that standards for student behavior must be set cooperatively through interaction among the students, parents and guardians, staff and community members of the school district, producing an atmosphere that encourages students to grow in self-discipline. The development of this atmosphere requires respect for self and others, as well as for district and community property on the part of students, staff and community members.

 

The board of education believes that the best discipline is self-imposed, and that it is the responsibility of staff to use disciplinary situations as opportunities for helping students learn to assume and accept responsibility for their behavior and the consequences of their behavior. Staff members who interact with students shall apply best practices designed to prevent discipline problems and encourage students' abilities to grow in self-discipline.

 

The board of education requires its school administrators to develop and implement procedures that ensure both the appropriate consequences and remedial responses to a student or staff member who commits one or more acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The following factors, at a minimum, shall be given full consideration by school administrators in the development of the procedures for determining appropriate consequences and remedial measures for each act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.

 

Factors for Determining Consequences

     Age, developmental and maturity levels of the parties involved;

     Degrees of harm;

     Surrounding circumstances;

      Nature and severity of the behaviors;

      Incidences of past or continuing patterns of behavior;

      Relationships between the parties involved; and

      Context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

 

Factors for Determining Remedial Measures

Personal

        Life skill deficiencies;

        Social relationships;

·                Strengths;

        Talents;

       Traits;

        Interests;

       Hobbies;

        Extra-curricular activities;

        Classroom participation; and

        Academic performance.

 

Environmental

        School culture;

        School climate;

        Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward the student;

        General staff management of classrooms or other educational environments;

        Staff ability to prevent and manage difficult or inflammatory situations;

        Social-emotional and behavioral supports;

        Social relationships;

        Community activities;

        Neighborhood situation; and

        Family situation.

 

Examples of Consequences and Remedial Measures

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, as set forth in the board of education's approved code of student conduct, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.1. Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall 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 board of education's approved code of student conduct and N.J.A.C 6A:16-7, Student Conduct. Remedial measures shall be designed to correct the problem behavior; prevent another occurrence of the problem; and protect 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; and        

     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, including participation of the Intervention and Referral Services team, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8;;

      Behavioral assessment or evaluation, including, but not limited to, a referral to the Child Study Team, as appropriate;

       Behavioral management plan, with benchmarks that are closely monitored;

      Assignment of leadership responsibilities (e.g., hallway or bus monitor);

      Involvement of school disciplinarian

     Student counseling;;

     Parent conferences;

     Student treatment; or

     Student therapy

 

Environmental (Classroom, School Building or School District)

     School and community surveys or other strategies for determining the conditions contributing to harassment, intimidation or bullying;

           School culture change;

           School climate improvement;

           Adoption of research-based, systemic bullying prevention programs;

           School policy and procedures revisions;

           Modifications of schedules;

           Adjustments in hallway traffic;

           Modifications in student routes or patterns traveling to and from school;

           Targeted use of monitors (e.g., hallway, cafeteria, bus);                                    

          Small or large group presentations for fully addressing the behaviors and the responses to

the behaviors;                 

          General professional development programs for certificated and non-certificated staff;

           Professional development plans for involved staff;

           Disciplinary action for school staff who contributed to the problem;

           Supportive institutional interventions, including participation of the Intervention and Referral Services team, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8;

           Parent conferences;

           Family counseling;

           Involvement of parent-teacher organizations;

           Involvement of community-based organizations;

           Development of a general bullying response plan;

           Recommendations of a student behavior or ethics council;

           Peer support groups; and

          Law enforcement (e.g., school resource office, juvenile officer) involvement.

 

The board of education requires the Principal or the Principal's designee at the School to be 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 the Principal's designee. All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, interns and visitors, are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy.  While submission of the report form is not required, the reporting party is encouraged to use the report form available from the Principal or available at the school office. Oral reports also shall be considered official reports. Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action may not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report. 

 

The board of education requires the Principal and/or the Principal's designee to be responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. In so doing, the Principal and/or the Principal's designee shall conduct a prompt, thorough and complete investigation of each alleged incident.

 

 

The board of education recognizes that some acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may be isolated incidents requiring that the school respond appropriately to the individuals committing the acts. Other acts may be so serious or parts of a larger pattern of harassment, intimidation or bullying that they require a response either at the classroom, school building or school district levels or by law enforcement officials. Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, as permitted under N.J.S.A. 18A:37-1, Discipline of Pupils and as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, Short-term suspensions, N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.3, Long-term Suspensions and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.5, Expulsions.

In considering whether a response beyond the individual level is appropriate, the administrator shall consider the nature and circumstances of the act, the level of harm, the nature and severity of the behavior, past incidences or past or continuing patterns of behavior, and the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred. Institutional (i.e., classroom, school building, school district) responses can range from school and community surveys, to mailings, to focus groups, to adoption of research-based bullying prevention program models, to training for certificated and non-certificated staff, to participation of parents and other community members and organizations, to small or large group presentations for fully addressing the actions and the school's response to the actions, in the context of the acceptable student behavior and the consequences of such actions, and to the involvement of law enforcement officers, including school resource officers.

The board of education prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The consequence and 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, in accordance with case law, Federal and State statutes and regulations and district policies and procedures.

 

The board of education prohibits any person from falsely accusing another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a student found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, as permitted under N.J.S.A. 18A:37-1, Discipline of Pupils and as set forth in N.J.A.C 6A:16-7.2, Short-term suspensions, N.J.A.C 6A:16-7., Long-term Suspensions and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.5, Expulsions. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be disciplined in accordance with district policies, procedures and agreements. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor or volunteer, found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be determined by the school administrator after consideration of the nature, severity and circumstances of the act, including reports to appropriate law enforcement officials.

 

The board of education requires school officials to annually disseminate the policy to all school staff; volunteers and interns; students; and parents, along with a statement explaining that it applies to all applicable acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying that occur on school property, through electronic communications relating to school, at school-sponsored functions or on a school bus. The chief school administrator shall develop an annual process for discussing the school district policy on harassment, intimidation and bullying with students.  The chief school administrator is also responsible for developing a procedure for training new staff, volunteers and interns on the district’s reporting policies during their orientations, and annually for all staff, volunteers and interns during the school year. 

 

Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 37-17(5)(c) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(d)(l)(i), information regarding the district's policy against harassment, intimidation and bullying must be incorporated into the school's employee, volunteer and intern training program.

 

Pursuant to N.J.A.C 6A:16-7.9(d)(3), the district is required to annually review the extent and characteristics of harassment, intimidation and bullying behavior in the school building of the school district and implement locally determined programmatic or other responses, if determined appropriate by the district board of education.

 

Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(d)(1), the school district is required to annually review the training needs of district staff, volunteers and interns for the effective implementation of the harassment, intimidation and bullying policy, procedures, programs and initiatives.

Pursuant to N.J.A.C 6A:16-7.9(d)(2), the school district is required to develop a process for annually discussing the school district's harassment, intimidation and bullying policy with students.

First Reading:                         March 31, 2009

Adopted:                                April 7, 2009

 

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