Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, Hazing, Policy

Bullying, Cyberbullying, Harassment, Hazing, and Retaliation Policy

I. Purpose

Bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, and hazing of students and employees are against federal, state and local policy, and are not tolerated by Roots Charter High School. Roots Charter High School is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect.

To that end, Roots Charter High School has in place policies, procedures, and practices that are designed to reduce and eliminate bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and hazing—including but not limited to civil rights violations—as well as processes and procedures to deal with such incidents. Bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, and hazing of students and/or employees by students and/or employees will not be tolerated in Roots Charter High School. School officials have the authority to discipline students for off-campus speech that causes or threatens a substantial disruption on campus or school activities, including violent altercations, or a significant interference with a student’s educational performance and involvement in school activities. If after an investigation, a student is found to be in violation of this policy, the student shall be disciplined by appropriate measures up to, and including, suspension and expulsion, pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 53A-11-904 and in accordance with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, loss of participation in extracurricular activities, and/or probation. If after an investigation, a school employee is found to have violated this policy, the employee shall be disciplined by appropriate measures up to, and including, termination.

II. Definitions

  1. "Bullying" means a school employee or student intentionally committing a written, verbal, or physical act against a school employee or student that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know or reasonably foresee will have the effect of:
  2. causing physical or emotional harm to the school employee or student;
  3. causing damage to the school employee's or student's property;
  4. placing the school employee or student in reasonable fear of:
  5. harm to the school employee's or student's physical or emotional well-being; or
  6. a) damage to the school employee's or student's property;
  7. b) creating a hostile, threatening, humiliating, or abusive educational environment due to:

(i) the pervasiveness, persistence, or severity of the actions; or

(ii) a power differential between the bully and the target; or

  1. c) substantially interfering with a student having a safe school environment that is necessary to facilitate educational performance, opportunities, or benefits.
  2. The conduct described above constitutes bullying, regardless of whether the person against whom the conduct is committed directed, consented to, or acquiesced in, the conduct.
  3. In addition to the above Roots Charter High School considers bullying to be aggressive behavior that:
  4. is intended to cause distress and harm;
  5. exists in a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power and strength; and
  6. is repeated over time.
  7. “Civil rights violation” means bullying (including cyberbullying), harassing, or hazing that is targeted at a federally protected class.
  8. "Cyberbullying" means:
  9. using the Internet, a cell phone, or another device to
  10. send or post text, video, or an image with the intent or knowledge, or with reckless disregard, that the text, video, or image will hurt, embarrass, or threaten an individual,
  11. regardless of whether the individual directed, consented to, or acquiesced in the conduct, or voluntarily accessed the electronic communication.
  12. “Federally protected class” means any group protected from discrimination under federal law.
  13. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.
  14. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
  15. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.
  16. Other areas included under these acts include religion, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
  17. “Harassment” means repeatedly communicating to another individual, in an objectively demeaning or disparaging manner, statements that contribute to a hostile learning or work environment for the individual. This includes rumor spreading and social aggression intended to demean and disparage another individual and that contributes to a hostile environment for that individual.
  18. “Hazing” means intentionally or knowingly committing an act that:
  19. endangers the physical health or safety of a school employee or student;
  20. involves any brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or exposure to the elements;
  21. involves consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance;
  22. involves other physical activity that endangers the physical health and safety of a school employee or student; or
  23. involves physically obstructing a school employee's or student's freedom to move; and
  24. is done for the purpose of initiation or admission into, affiliation with, holding office in, or as a condition for, membership or acceptance, or continued membership or acceptance, in any school or school sponsored team, organization, program, or event; or
  25. if the person committing the act against a school employee or student knew that the school employee or student is a member of, or candidate for, membership with a school, or school sponsored team, organization, program, or event to which the person committing the act belongs to or participates in.
  26. The conduct described in Subsection “F” constitutes hazing, regardless of whether the person against whom the conduct is committed directed, consented to, or acquiesced in, the conduct.
  27. “Parent” means a student’s guardian.
  28. “Retaliation” means an act of communication intended:
  29. as retribution against a person for reporting bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, or hazing; or
  30. to improperly influence the investigation of, or the response to, a report of bullying or hazing.
  31. "School" means any public elementary or secondary school or charter school
  32. "School employee" means:
  33. school teachers;
  34. school staff;
  35. school administrators; and
  36. all others employed, directly or indirectly, by the school.
  37. “Volunteer” means a person on the approved Volunteer List who is working at the school under the supervision of school staff.

III. Prohibitions

  1. No school employee or student may engage in bullying or harassing a school employee or student:
  2. on school property;
  3. at a school related or sponsored event;
  4. on a school bus;
  5. at a school bus stop; or
  6. while the school employee or student is traveling to or from a location or event described above in Subsection A(1) – (4)
  7. No school employee or student may engage in hazing or cyberbullying a school employee or student at any time or in any location.
  8. No school employee or student may engage in retaliation against:
  9. a school employee;
  10. a student; or
  11. an investigator for, or witness of, an alleged incident of bullying, harassing, cyberbullying, hazing, or retaliation
  12. No school employee or student may make a false allegation of bullying, harassing, cyberbullying, hazing, or retaliation against a school employee or student.
  13. Any bullying, harassing, or hazing that is found to be targeted at a federally protected class is further prohibited under federal anti-discrimination laws and is subject to compliance regulations from the Office for Civil Rights.