FFE(LOCAL) - STUDENT WELFARE: FREEDOM FROM BULLYING

Note: This policy addresses bullying targeting College District students. For provisions regarding discrimination and harassment targeting College District students, see FFD.

Bullying Prohibited

The College District prohibits bullying as defined by this policy. Retaliation against anyone involved in the complaint process is a violation of College District policy and is prohibited.

Definitions

Bullying

Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that occurs on College District property, at a College District-sponsored or College District-related activity, or in a vehicle operated by the College District and that:

Has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or of damage to the student's property; or

Is so sufficiently severe, persistent, and pervasive that the action or threat limits or denies a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the College District's educational program.

Examples

Bullying of a student may include hazing, threats, taunting, teasing, confinement, assault, demands for money, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, name-calling, rumor spreading, or ostracism.

Retaliation

The College District prohibits retaliation by a student or College District employee against any person who in good faith makes a report of bullying, serves as a witness, or participates in an investigation.

Examples

Examples of retaliation may include threats, rumor spreading, ostracism, assault, destruction of property, unjustified punishments, or unwarranted grade reductions. Unlawful retaliation does not include petty slights or annoyances.

False Claim

A student who intentionally makes a false claim, offers false statements, or refuses to cooperate with a College District investigation regarding bullying or retaliation as defined by this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Timely Reporting

Reports of bullying or retaliation shall be made as soon as possible after the alleged act or knowledge of the alleged act. A failure to immediately report may impair the College District's ability to investigate and address the prohibited conduct.

Reporting Procedures

Student Report

To obtain assistance and intervention, any student who believes that he or she has experienced bullying or believes that another student has experienced bullying should immediately report the alleged acts to an instructor, counselor, administrator, or other College District employee.

Employee Report

Any College District employee who suspects or receives notice that a student or group of students has or may have experienced bullying or retaliation shall immediately notify the campus police or campus director.

Report Format

A report may be made orally or in writing. The campus police or campus director or designee shall reduce any oral reports to written form.

Prohibited Conduct

The campus police or campus director or designee shall determine whether the allegations in the report, if proven, would constitute prohibited conduct as defined by policy FFDA or FFDB, including harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or age. If so, the College District shall proceed under policy FFDA or FFDB, as appropriate, instead. If the allegations could constitute both prohibited conduct and bullying, the investigation under FFDA or FFDB, as appropriate, shall include a determination on each type of conduct.

Investigation of the Report

The campus police or campus director or designee shall conduct an appropriate investigation based on the allegations in the report. The campus police or campus director or designee shall promptly take interim action calculated to prevent bullying or retaliation, as defined by this policy, during the course of an investigation, if appropriate.

Concluding the Investigation

Absent extenuating circumstances, the investigation should be completed within ten College District business days from the date of the initial report alleging bullying or retaliation, as defined by this policy; however, the campus police or campus director or designee shall take additional time if necessary to complete a thorough investigation.

The campus police or campus director or designee shall prepare a final, written report of the investigation. The report shall include a determination of whether bullying or retaliation, as defined by this policy, occurred. A copy of the report shall be sent to the Chancellor or designee.

College District Action

If the results of an investigation indicate that bullying or retaliation as defined by this policy occurred, the College District shall promptly respond by taking appropriate disciplinary or corrective action reasonably calculated to address the conduct.

Corrective Action

Examples of corrective action may include implementing a training program for the individuals involved in the complaint, implementing a comprehensive education program for the College District community, conducting follow-up inquiries to determine if any new incidents or any instances of retaliation have occurred, involving students in efforts to identify problems and improve the College District climate, increasing staff monitoring of areas where bullying or retaliation has occurred, and reaffirming the College District's policy against bullying and retaliation.

Improper Conduct

If the investigation reveals improper conduct that did not rise to the level of bullying or retaliation as defined by this policy, the College District may take disciplinary or any other appropriate corrective action.

Confidentiality

To the greatest extent possible, the College District shall respect the privacy of the complainant, persons against whom a report is filed, and witnesses. Limited disclosures may be necessary in order to conduct a thorough investigation.

Appeal

A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation may appeal through FLD(LOCAL), beginning at the appropriate level.

Records Retention

Retention of records shall be in accordance with the College District's records retention procedures. [See CIA]

Access to Policy and Procedures

Information regarding this policy and accompanying procedures shall annually be made available to College District employees and students and shall be published on the College District's website. Copies of the policy and procedures shall be readily available at the College District's administrative offices.

Blinn College

FFE(LOCAL)-AJC

LDU 2017.09

DATE ISSUED: 8/24/2017