3207 Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying

The Methow Valley School District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, parents/legal guardians, volunteers and patrons that is free from harassment, intimidation or bullying. “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any intentionally written message, image (including those that are electronically transmitted) that:

  • Physically, mentally or emotionally harms a student or damages the student’s property
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education
  • Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment
  • Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school
  • Involves hazing, defined as using various rituals and other activities involving harassment, abuse or humiliation, as a way of initiating a person into a group.

Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation or bullying.

“Intentional acts” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the action(s).

Behaviors/Expressions

Harassment, intimidation or bullying can take many forms including, but not limited to, slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendoes, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats or other written, oral, physical or electronically transmitted messages or images.

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.

Training

This policy is a component of the district’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe, civil, respectful and inclusive learning community and shall be implemented in conjunction with comprehensive training of staff and volunteers

Prevention

The district will provide students with strategies aimed at preventing harassment, intimidation and bullying. In its efforts to train students, the district will seek partnerships with families, law enforcement and other community agencies.

Interventions

Interventions are designed to remediate the impact on the targeted student(s) and others impacted by the violation, to change the behavior of the perpetrator, and to restore a positive school climate.

The district will consider the frequency of incidents, developmental age of the student, and severity of the conduct in determining intervention strategies.  Interventions will range from counseling, correcting behavior and discipline, to law enforcement referrals.

Retaliation/False Allegations

Retaliation is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline. It is a violation of this policy to threaten or harm someone for reporting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

It is also a violation of district policy to knowingly report false allegations of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Students or employees will not be disciplined for making a report in good faith. However, persons found to knowingly report or corroborate false allegations will be subject to appropriate discipline.

Compliance Officer

Building principals will serve as compliance officers to receive copies of all formal and informal complaints and ensure policy implementation.

Cross References:

Policy 3200                 Rights and Responsibilities

Policy 3210                 Nondiscrimination

Policy 3240                 Student Conduct

Policy 3241                 Classroom Management, Corrective Action and Punishment

Policy 6590                 Sexual Harassment

Legal Reference:

RCW 28A.300.285     Harassment, intimidation and bullying prevention policies

Management Resources:

Policy News, December 2010 Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Policy Strengthened

Policy News, April 2008 Cyberbullying Policy Required

Policy News, April 2002 Legislature Passes and Anti-Bullying Bill

 

Adoption Date: 8.11

Methow Valley School District

Classification: Essential

WSSDA 12.10

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