It is the policy of Idaho Falls School District 91 Board of Trustees to maintain a safe school environment for all students, employees, and visitors while attending school, riding the school bus, and attending district-sponsored activities on school premises or at other locations. Acts of Social Violence include but are not limited to: Bullying, Cyber bullying, Intimidation, Hazing, and Harassment (peer, racial, color, and national origin, sexual orientation, religious, disability, and sexual), regardless of the specific nature of the students’ behavior, is disruptive to a safe school environment and will not be tolerated.
It shall be a violation of this policy for any District student, employee, or visitor to bully, haze, intimidate, or harass another individual, while on any school premises or at any school sponsored activity, regardless of location. Violation of this policy may be subject to school disciplinary action even if the threat is not substantial, direct, or specific enough to constitute a violation of state or federal law.
Other Policies for Federal Requirements
If the bullying, hazing, or harassment allegations fall within the areas protected by federal law, one or more of the following policies may also apply: Civil Right Grievance #3211, #5212, Section 504 Hearing #3212, or Sexual Harassment #3232, #5211, #4418.
It is everyone’s responsibility to eliminate the behavior prohibited by this policy. Anyone who believes he/she has knowledge of a person or persons affected by a violation of this policy should immediately report it to a District official.
District personnel receiving a report of a violation of this policy shall report the matter to the building principal, supervisor or designee immediately. If the complaint involves the principal, supervisor or designee, District personnel must immediately report the matter to the superintendent. If the complaint involves the superintendent, District personnel must immediately report the matter to the school board president.
District personnel witnessing a violation of this policy shall take immediate action to stop the inappropriate behavior and report the matter to the building principal or other appropriate District personnel.
District personnel who fail to report or fail to take action to stop violations of this policy may face disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
The Superintendent, principal or designee shall conduct a thorough investigation of any allegation of bullying, hazing or harassment within ten (10) working days of receipt of the allegation, except in extraordinary circumstances, as determined by the individual assigned to investigate. All investigations with sufficient evidence to support the allegations require a written report.
Because of the possible sensitive nature of the allegations, any investigation for violations of this policy shall be conducted, to the extent possible and within legal constraints, to protect the privacy of the complainant, victim and the accused. In instances where the allegation involves suspected child abuse, harm to self or harm to others, the District official must report the case to the proper authorities as required by law.
Discipline for violations of this policy:
for an employee, may involve actions up to and including dismissal.
for a visitor, may involve actions up to and including future prohibition from entering any school premises or attending any school sponsored activity, regardless of location for a student, may involve actions up to and including suspension, and/or expulsion.
Discipline shall be appropriate to the offense, age and status of the individual.
The Superintendent or designee shall submit the case to the appropriate law enforcement agency when the charges warrant such action.
If there is insufficient evidence to support the allegations, no report of the allegation shall be placed in an accused or complaining employee’s personnel record or in an accused or complaining student’s permanent record.
If the investigation discloses that the complaining individual knowingly or in a malicious manner falsely accused another of bullying, hazing, or harassment, the complaining individual may be subject to disciplinary action as stated above.
District students, employees, or visitors shall not retaliate against an individual who in good faith reports, associates with the individual reporting, participates in the investigation, or investigates a violation of this policy. Any person engaged in retaliatory actions may be subject to
disciplinary action as stated above.
The Superintendent or designee shall develop procedures to:
- implement or review actions taken to prevent bullying, hazing or harassment.
- follow up with victims of violations of this policy to ensure preventive actions were effective.
Bullying - means a student or groups of students repeatedly use their personal power with the clear intention to hurt another student or group of students. Bullying may include, but not limited to physical (hitting, pushing, punching, cornering), verbal (calling names or insults, threatening, telling cruel jokes), and indirectly (isolating, rejecting, excluding, ranking or rating, giving hateful looks,). Bullying often occurs without apparent provocation. Bullying is not playful teasing between relatively equal individuals.
An act of harassment, intimidation or bullying may also be committed through the use of a land line, car phone or wireless telephone or through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network.
Cyber bullying is an aggressive, intentional act carried out by an individual or group using electronic forms of contact. These include but are not limited to:
- Text message bullying involves sending unwelcome tests that are threatening or cause discomfort.
- Picture/video-clip bullying via mobile phone cameras is used to make the person being bullied feel threatened or embarrassed, with images usually sent to other people.
- Phone call bullying via mobile phone uses silent calls or abusive messages.
- Email bullying uses email to send bullying or threatening messages.
- Chat room bullying involves sending menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in a web-based chat room.
- Bullying through instant messaging (IM) is an Internet-based form of bullying where students are sent messages as they conduct real-time conversations online.
- Bullying via websites includes the use of defamatory blogs (web blogs), personal websites and online personal polling sites.
Prohibited Behavior - Students attending district schools are prohibited from engaging in the following behaviors:
- Physical abuse against a student, including, but not limited to, hitting, pushing, tripping, kicking, blocking, or restraining another’s movement; causing damage to another’s clothing or possessions; and another’s belongings.
- Verbal abuse against a student, including, but not limited to, name calling, threatening, taunting, & malicious teasing.
- Psychological abuse against a student, including, but not limited to, spreading harmful or inappropriate rumors regarding another, drawing inappropriate pictures or writing inappropriate statements regarding another, & intentionally excluding another from groups, or similar activities.
- Bullying also includes any act of retaliation taken against:
- Any person bringing a complaint of bullying
- Any person assisting another person in bringing a complaint of bullying, or
- Any person participating in an investigation of an act of bullying.
Hazing includes but is not limited to, any act that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental health, physical health, or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or as a condition or pre condition of attaining membership in, or affiliation with, any District sponsored activity or grade level attainment such as but not limited to:
- Compelled ingestion of any drink, alcoholic beverage, drug, or controlled substance;
- Forced exposure to the elements;
- Requiring total or substantial nudity on the part of the person;
- Requiring, encouraging, authorizing or permitting another to be subject to wearing or carrying any obscene or physically burdensome article;
- Physical assaults upon the person;
- Offensive physical contact with the person;
- Participation by the person in boxing matches, excessive number of calisthenics, or other physical contests;
- Transportation and abandonment of the person;
- Forced prolonged exclusion from social contact;
- Confinement to unreasonably small, unventilated, unsanitary or unlighted areas;
- Sleep deprivation;
- Assignment of pranks to be performed;
- Any forced activity that could adversely affect the mental or physical health or safety of a student; or
- Any other activities intended to degrade or humiliate.
The term hazing, as defined in this section does not include customary athletic event/ activity or similar contests or competitions, and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any group or organization. The term “hazing” does not include corporal punishment administered by officials or employees of the District Board Policy 1005.1, Freedom from Abuse. For the purposes of the definition, any activity described in the definition shall be presumed to be “forced” activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.
Harassment involves any conduct by a student-whether verbal, written, graphic, or physical—relating to another student’s race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, color, disability, or sex that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent as to:
- Interfere with or limit the ability of a student to participate in the or benefit from the district’s programs or activities;
- Create an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment;
- Substantially or unreasonably interfere with a student’s academic performance; or
- Otherwise adversely affect a student’s educational opportunities.
- Harassment also includes an act of retaliation:
- Any person brining a complaint of harassment;
- Any person assisting another person in bringing a complaint of harassment;
- Any person participating in an investigation of an act of harassment.
- Actions that may constitute harassment may include, but are not limited to:
- Physical acts (i.e. aggression or assault, battery, damage to property, intimidation, vandalism, implied or overt threats of violence);
- Verbal acts (i.e. demeaning jokes, bullying, taunting, hazing, intimidation, hate speech, slurs, derogatory nicknaming, innuendoes, or other negative remarks);
- Visual acts (i.e. graffiti, slogans or visual displays such as cartoons or posters depicting derogatory sentiments); or
- Criminal acts (acts in violation of Idaho Criminal codes or Idaho Human Rights Commission Code)
On district premises or at any District sponsored activity, regardless of location: shall include, but not limited to buildings, facilities, and grounds on the District campus, school buses, District parking areas; and the location of any District sponsored activity. This includes instances in which the conduct occurs off the district premises but impacts a District related activity.
District official includes, but not limited to, teacher, school counselor, school nurse, coach, activities director, principal, and assistant principal, or District administrator.