Policy 104 - Anti-Bullying / Harassment

ANTI-BULLYING/ANTI-HARASSMENT POLICY


The Lewis Central Community School District is committed to providing all students, employees, and volunteers with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. Bullying and/or harassing behavior can seriously disrupt the ability of school employees to maintain a safe and civil environment, and the ability of students to learn and succeed.

Bullying and/or harassment of or by students, employees, and volunteers is against federal, state, and local policy and is not tolerated by the board.

Accordingly, school employees, volunteers, and students shall not engage in bullying or harassing behavior while on school property, while on school-owned or school-operated vehicles, while attending or participating in school-sponsored or sanctioned activities, and while away from school grounds if the conduct materially interferes with the orderly operation of the educational environment or is likely to do so.

Complaints may be filed with the Director of Special Populations pursuant to the regulation accompanying this policy. Complaints will be investigated within a reasonable time frame.

A school employee, volunteer, or student, or a student’s parent or guardian who promptly, reasonably, and in good faith reports an incident of bullying or harassment, in compliance with the procedures in the regulation, to the appropriate school official designated by the school district, shall be immune from civil or criminal liability relating to such report and to participation in any administrative or judicial proceeding resulting from or relating to the report.

Retaliation Prohibited
Individuals who knowingly file false bullying or harassment complaints and any person who gives false statements in an investigation may be subject to discipline by appropriate measures.

Any student found to have violated or retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, suspension and expulsion. Any school employee found to have violated or retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, termination of employment. Any school volunteer found to have violated or retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, removal from service and exclusion from school grounds.

Definitions
For the purposes of this policy, the defined words shall have the following meaning:
• “Electronic” means any communication involving the transmission of information by wire, radio, optic cable, electromagnetic, or other similar means. “Electronic” includes but is not limited to communication via electronic mail, internet-based communications, pager service, cell phones, and electronic text messaging. “Harassment” and “bullying” mean any repeated or potentially repeated electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or other ongoing conduct toward an individual based on any trait or characteristic of the individual which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:
(1) Places the individual in reasonable fear of harm to the individual’s person or property.
(2) Has a substantial detrimental effect on the individual’s physical or mental health.
(3) Has the effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s academic or career performance. Has the effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
• “Trait or characteristic of the individual” includes but is not limited to age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.
• “Volunteer” means an individual who has regular, significant contact with students.

Harassment and bullying may include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors and circumstances:
• Verbal, nonverbal, physical or written harassment, bullying, hazing, or other victimization that have the purpose or effect of causing injury, discomfort, fear, or suffering to the victim;
• Repeated remarks of a demeaning nature that have the purpose or effect of causing injury, discomfort, fear, or suffering to the victim;
• Implied or explicit threats concerning one's grades, achievements, property, etc. that have the purpose or effect of causing injury, discomfort, fear, or suffering to the victim;
• Demeaning jokes, stories, or activities directed at the student that have the purpose or effect of causing injury, discomfort, fear, or suffering to the victim; and/or
• Unreasonable interference with a student's performance or creation of an intimidating, offensive, or hostile learning environment.

Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
• Submission to the conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of the student’s education or benefits;
• Submission to or rejection of the conduct by a school employee is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting that student; or
• The conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the student’s academic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive education environment.

In situations between students and school officials, faculty, staff, or volunteers who have direct contact with students, bullying and harassment may also include the following behaviors:
• Requiring that a student submit to bullying or harassment by another student, either explicitly or implicitly, as a term or condition of the targeted student’s education or participation in school programs or activities; and/or
• Requiring submission to or rejection of such conduct as a basis for decisions affecting the student.

Publication of Policy
The board will annually publish this policy. The policy may be publicized by the following means:
• Inclusion in the student handbook,
• Inclusion in the employee handbook
• Inclusion in the registration materials
• Inclusion on the school or school district’s web site,
• (other) _______________________________________________________


Legal References:
20 U.S.C. §§ 1221-1234i.
29 U.S.C. § 794.
42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d-2000d-7.
42 U.S.C. §§ 121012 et. seq.
Iowa Code §§ 216.9; 280.28; 280.3.
281 I.A.C. 12.3(6).
Morse v. Frederick, 551 U.S. 393


Cross References:
102 Equal Educational Opportunity
502 Student Rights and Responsibilities
503 Student Discipline
506 Student Records


Adopted:
Modified: 10/05/2020
Reviewed: 09/21/2020

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