District Bully Forms
Bullying, harassment, or intimidation are serious and will not be tolerated. This is a form to report alleged bullying, harassment, or intimidation that occurred on school property; at a school-sponsored activity or event off school property; on a school bus; or on the way to and/or from school, in the current school year. If you are a student victim, the parent/guardian of a student victim, a close adult relative of a student victim, a school staff member or a witness to a bullying event and wish to report an incident of alleged bullying, harassment or intimidation, complete this form and submit it online. You may choose to do so in complete anonymity.
Bullying, harassment, or intimidation means repeated intentional conduct, including verbal, physical, or written conduct or an intentional electronic communication that creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student’s physical or psychological well-being.
If for some reason the above links do not work for you, then you are welcome to use the following bully form. Please print it and fill it out so that it can be submitted to the appropriate school.
(Form is at the bottom of the policy found at this link.)
SAFE SCHOOL ACT STATEWIDE BULLYING POLICY
This Statewide Bullying Policy is promulgated pursuant to the authority set forth in §16-21-34 of the General Laws of Rhode Island. Known as the Safe School Act, the statute recognizes that the bullying of a student creates a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the student's health and negatively affect learning. Bullying undermines the safe learning environment that students need to achieve their full potential. The purpose of the Policy is to ensure a consistent and unified statewide approach to the prohibition of bullying at school.
Nothing in this policy prohibits the North Kingstown School Department from complying with federal antidiscrimination laws.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Policy Oversight and Responsibility
Adoption of Policy
BULLYING means the use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture or any combination thereof directed at a student that:
Causes physical or emotional harm to the student or damage to the student's property;
Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to himself/herself or of damage to his/her property;
Creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or abusive educational environment for the student;
Infringes on the rights of the student to participate in school activities; or
Materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
The expression, physical act or gesture may include, but is not limited to, an incident or incidents that may be reasonably perceived as being motivated by characteristics such as:
Race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or mental, physical, or sensory disability, intellectual ability or by any other distinguishing characteristic.
If the expression, physical act or gesture includes an incident or incidents that may be reasonably perceived as being motivated by characteristics or harassment based on race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, genetic information or testing, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability then the matter should be investigated under the District’s Anti- Discrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy and Grievance Procedure.
Bullying most often occurs as repeated behavior and often is not a single incident between the bullying/cyber-bullying offender(s) and the bullying victim(s).
CYBER-BULLYING means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, texting or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.
Forms of cyber-bullying may include but are not limited to:
The creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of
The knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or
The distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one
person or the posting of materials on an electronic medium that may be accessed
by one or more persons, if the creation, impersonation, or distribution results in
any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (a) to (e) of the definition of
AT SCHOOL means:
On school premises,
At any school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school
On a school-transportation vehicle,
At an official school bus stop,
Using property or equipment provided by the school, or
Acts which create a material and substantial disruption of the education process
or the orderly operation of the school.
2. SCHOOL CLIMATE
Bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation against any person associated with a report of bullying or the investigation thereof is prohibited in all schools that are approved for the purpose of the compulsory attendance statute (§§16-19-1 and 16-19-2). School staff shall take all reasonable measures to prevent bullying at school. Such measures may include professional development and prevention activities, parental workshops, and student assemblies among other strategies.
School faculty, administration and staff, at all times, will model courteous behavior to each other, to students, and to school visitors. Abusive or humiliating language or demeanor will not be accepted. Additionally, students and their families are expected to exhibit courteous behavior to all members of the learning community in school and at school sponsored events.
3. POLICY OVERSIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY
The school principal, director, or head of school shall be responsible for the implementation and oversight of this bullying policy.
The school principal, director, or head of school shall provide the superintendent, school committee and/or school governing board with a summary report of incidents, responses, and any other bullying-related issues at least twice annually.
For public schools, the prevention of bullying shall be part of the school district strategic plan (§ 16-7.1-2(e)) and school safety plan (§16-21-24).
4. INFORMATION DISSEMINATION
The school principal, director or head of school shall ensure that students, staff, volunteers, and parents/legal guardians are provided information regarding this Policy. This information shall include methods of discouraging and preventing this type of behavior, the procedure to file a complaint, and the disciplinary action that may be taken against those who commit acts in violation of this policy.
This policy shall be:
Distributed annually to students, staff, volunteers, and parents/legal guardians
Included in student codes of conduct, disciplinary policies, and student
A prominently posted link on the home page of the school /district website
The school principal, director or head of school shall establish, and prominently publicize to students, staff, volunteers, and parents/guardians, how a report of bullying may be filed and how this report will be acted upon (See attached sample Report Form).
The victim of bullying, anyone who witnesses an incidence of bullying, and anyone who has credible information that an act of bullying has taken place may file a report of bullying.
Any student or staff member who believes he/she is being bullied should immediately report such circumstances to an appropriate staff member, teacher or administrator.
Parents/Guardians of the victim of bullying and parents/ guardians of the alleged perpetrator of the bullying shall be notified within twenty-four (24) hours of the incident report. When there is a reasonable suspicion that a child is either a bully or a victim of bullying, the parents/ guardians of the child will be notified immediately by the Principal, director or head of school.
Responsibility of Staff: School staff, including volunteers, who observe an act of bullying or who have reasonable grounds to believe that bullying is taking place must report the bullying to school authorities. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.
Responsibility of Students: Students who observe an act of bullying or who have reasonable grounds to believe that bullying is taking place must report the bullying to school authorities. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. The victim of bullying, however, shall not be subject to discipline for failing to report the bullying. Student reports of bullying or retaliation may be made anonymously, provided, however, that no disciplinary action shall be taken against a student solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
Prohibition against Retaliation: Retaliation or threats of retaliation in any form designed to intimidate the victim of bullying, those who are witnesses to bullying, or those investigating an incident of bullying shall not be tolerated. Retaliation or threat of retaliation will result in the imposition of discipline in accordance with the school behavior code.
False Reporting/Accusations: A school employee, school volunteer or student who knowingly makes a false accusation of bullying or retaliation shall be disciplined in accordance with the school behavior code.
Reports in Good Faith: A school employee, school volunteer, student, parent/ legal guardian, or caregiver who promptly reports, in good faith, an act of bullying to the appropriate school official designated in the school's policy shall be immune from a cause of action for damages arising from reporting bullying.
The school principal, director or head of school shall promptly investigate all allegations of bullying, harassment, or intimidation. If the allegation is found to be credible, appropriate disciplinary actions, subject to applicable due process requirements, will be imposed. The School Resource Officer or other qualified staff may be utilized to mediate bullying situations.
The investigation will include an assessment by the school psychologist and/or social worker of what effect the bullying, harassment or intimidation has had on the victim. A student who engages in continuous and/or serious acts of bullying will also be referred to the school psychologist and/or social worker.
Police Notification: Immediate notification of the local law enforcement agency will be made when circumstances warrant the pursuit of criminal charges against the perpetrator.
Protection: If a student is the victim of serious or persistent bullying:
The school Principal, director or head of school will intervene immediately to
provide the student with a safe educational environment.
The interventions will be developed, if possible, with input from the student, his
or her parent/guardian, and staff.
The parents/ guardians of a victim shall also be notified of the action taken to
prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation.
7. DISCIPLINARY ACTION
The disciplinary actions for violations of the bullying policy shall be determined by the school/district appropriate authority. Disciplinary actions for violations of the bullying policy shall balance the need for accountability with the need to teach appropriate behavior. The severity of the disciplinary action shall be aligned to the severity of the bullying behavior.
The range of disciplinary actions that may be taken against a perpetrator for bullying, cyberbullying or retaliation shall include, but not be limited to:
Admonitions and warnings
Parental/ Guardian notification and meetings
Loss of school-provided transportation or loss of student parking pass
Loss of the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities
Loss of the opportunity to participate in school social activities
Loss of the opportunity to participate in graduation exercises or middle school
School suspension: No student shall be suspended from school unless it is
deemed to be a necessary consequence of the violation of this Policy.
8. SOCIAL SERVICES/COUNSELING
Referral to appropriate counseling and/or social services currently being offered by schools or communities shall be provided for bullying victims, perpetrators and appropriate family members of said students.
9. SOCIAL NETWORKING
Students shall be prohibited from accessing social networking sites in school, except for educational or instructional purposes and with the prior approval from school administration.
10. OTHER REDRESS
This section does not prevent a victim of bullying, cyber-bullying or retaliation from seeking redress under any other available law, either civil or criminal. This section does not create or alter any tort liability.
11. ADOPTION OF POLICY
The North Kingstown School Committee hereby adopts this policy, in its entirety effective immediately.
First Read: 6-12-2012
Second Read: 6-26-2012