Bullying and Harassment Policy
The District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, volunteers and patrons, free from harassment, intimidation or bullying. "Harassment, intimidation or bullying" means any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by any characteristic in RCW .9A.36.080(3), (race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or mental or physical disability), or other distinguishing characteristics, when the intentional written, verbal, or physical act:
- Physically harms a student or damages the student's property; or
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's education; or
- Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
- Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation, or bullying. "Other distinguishing characteristics" can include but are not limited to: physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socioeconomic status, gender identity, and marital status. Harassment, intimidation or bullying can take many forms including: slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, oral or physical actions. "Intentional acts" refers to the individual's choice to engage in the act whether or not the impact or results were intended.
Cyber Bullying is a form of "social" or "indirect" bullying by sending or posting harmful or cruel text or images using the Internet or other digital communication devices, including cell phones and PDA's (personal digital assistants) to harass, tease, intimidate, threaten, coerce, or slander one or more individuals. Cyber bullying can include:
- Sending cruel, vicious or threatening e-mails.
- The use of cell phones to text-message threatening or embarrassing information or to send private or compromising photographs or videos to others.
- Creating web sites that have stories, pictures and jokes ridiculing others.
- Posting pictures of other students online with derogatory phrases or questions attached to them.
- Using someone else's e-mail to send vicious or incriminating e-mails to others.
- Using instant messaging tools to harass others.
This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the educational environment. Many behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation or bullying may still be prohibited by other district policies or building, classroom, or program rules.
This policy is a component of the district's responsibility to create and maintain a safe, civil, respectful and inclusive learning community and is to be implemented in conjunction with comprehensive training of staff and volunteers, including the education of students in partnership with families and the community. The policy is to be implemented in conjunction with each school's safety plan that includes prevention, intervention, crisis response, recovery, and annual review. Employees, in particular, are expected to support the dignity and safety of all members of the school community.
Depending upon the frequency and severity of the conduct, intervention, counseling, correction, discipline and/or referral to law enforcement will be used to remediate the impact on the victim and the climate and change the behavior of the perpetrator. This includes appropriate intervention, restoration of a positive climate, and support for victims and others impacted by the violation. False reports or retaliation for harassment, intimidation or bullying also constitute violations of this policy.
The superintendent is authorized to direct the development and implementation of procedures addressing the elements of this policy, consistent with the complaint and investigation components of, Sexual Harassment Procedure 6590.
Anyone may use informal procedures to report and resolve complaints of harassment, intimidation or bullying. In addition, anyone may initiate a formal complaint of harassment, intimidation or bullying, even if the informal complaint process is being utilized.