© All copyrights reserved
ANTI-BULLYING LAW A.R.S. § 15-341(A)(37) – School district governing boards must adopt and enforce procedures that prohibit: • Students from bullying, harassing, and intimidating other students. On school grounds, school property, school buses, and at school-sponsored events and activities. Through use of electronic technology or communication on school computers, networks, forums, and mailing lists.
PREAMBLE TO POLICY JICK The Governing Board believes it is the right of every student to be educated in a positive, safe, caring, and respectful learning environment. The Governing Board further believes a school environment inclusive of these traits maximizes student achievement, fosters student personal growth, and helps students build a sense of community that promotes positive participation as members of society.
BULLYING, HARASSMENT, AND INTIMIDATION DEFINED Under Policy JICK, bullying occurs: • when a student or group of students engages in any form of behavior that includes such acts as intimidation and/or harassment that 1) has the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm or damage to property, 2) is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that the action, behavior, or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive environment in the form of physical or emotional harm, 3) occurs when there is a real or perceived imbalance of power or strength, or 4) may constitute a violation of law.
BULLYING, HARASSMENT, AND INTIMIDATION DEFINED Harassment is intentional behavior by a student or group of students: • that is disturbing or threatening to another student or group of students. Intentional behaviors that characterize harassment include, but are not limited to, stalking, hazing, social exclusion, name calling, unwanted physical contact and unwelcome verbal or written comments, photographs, and graphics. Harassment may be related, but not limited to, race, religious orientation, sexual preference, cultural background, economic status, size, or personal appearance. Harassing behaviors can be direct or indirect and by use of social media. 5
BULLYING, HARASSMENT, AND INTIMIDATION DEFINED Intimidation is the intentional behavior by a student or group of students that places another student or group of students in fear of harm of person or property. Intimidation can be manifested emotionally or physically, either directly or indirectly, and by use of social media. Cyberbullying is any act of bullying committed by use of electronic technology or electronic communication devices, including telephonic devices, social networking and other internet communications, on school computers, networks, forums and mailing lists, or other District-owned property, and by means of an individual's personal electronic media and equipment. 6
MEANS OF BULLYING, HARASSING, AND INTIMIDATING Bullying can be manifested through: • Written, verbal, physical, or emotional means; And may occur in a variety of forms: 1) Exposure to derogatory comments, extortion, exploitation, name calling, or rumor spreading either directly, indirectly, or electronically. 2) Exposure to social exclusion or ostracism; 3) Physical contact including pushing, hitting, kicking, shoving, or spitting; and 4) Damage to or theft of personal property. 7
NOTICE OF RIGHTS At the beginning of each school year: • School officials must provide all students with a written copy of rights, protections, and support services for alleged victims. • Notice must define harassment, intimidation, and bullying. • Notice must designate school officials who are in charge of receiving reports of bullying. Identities must be made clear to staff, students, and parents.
• Notice of right to make a confidential report. 8
Reports of Harassment, Intimidation, or Bullying require: • A procedure for making confidential reports to school officials by students, parents, or employees. • Written forms provided by district designed to provide a full and detailed account with other relevant information. • Verbal report made immediately; written report no later than one (1) school day. 9
School Officials who suspect incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying must: • Report to appropriate school official. Districts must prescribe, enforce, and describe appropriate disciplinary measures against employees who fail to report suspected incidents known to employee.
PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS FOLLOWING A REPORT
When an incident is reported: • School officials must provide the alleged victim with a written copy of the rights, protections, and support services available. • Must have procedures for protecting victim’s immediate health and safety with contact medical personnel, if needed. • Remember 13-3620 mandatory reporting requirements.
School officials must provide a formal process for investigating suspected incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. • Planned, thorough, and timely investigation must be completed. • Must include a procedure for notifying victim on completion and disposition of investigation.
Failure to act can expose district to liability. 12
DISCIPLINARY MEASURES Anti-Bullying Law requires: • Disciplinary procedures for students who have admitted or been found to have committed incidents of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. • Timely and appropriate disciplinary action must be taken against offenders. • Disciplinary procedures for submitting false reports.
PROTECT AGAINST RETALIATION Protocols must be in place for protecting against retaliation. Adequate measures are required to protect the victim from retaliation. Retaliation claims are difficult to defend. • Actual knowledge of abuse and failure to protect may result in a claim of “deliberate indifference.” • Title IX claim can increase the type and nature of damages available in a lawsuit. • Deliberate indifference can equal larger liability exposure. 14
CONSEQUENCES OF FAILING TO CONTROL BULLYING
Civil Liability Criminal Liability SBOE Action Personnel Action The “Intangibles” 15
HOLM WRIGHT HYDE & HAYS PLC