FFI(LOCAL) - STUDENT WELFARE: FREEDOM FROM BULLYING
Note: This policy addresses bullying of District students. For purposes of this policy, the term bullying includes cyberbullying.
For provisions regarding discrimination and harassment involving District students, see FFH. Note that FFI shall be used in conjunction with FFH for certain prohibited conduct. For reporting requirements related to child abuse and neglect, see FFG.
The District prohibits bullying, including cyberbullying, as defined by state law. Retaliation against anyone involved in the complaint process is a violation of District policy and is prohibited.
The District prohibits retaliation by a student or District employee against any person who, in good faith, makes a report of bullying, serves as a witness, or otherwise participates in an investigation under this policy.
A student who intentionally makes a false claim, offers false statements, or refuses to cooperate with a District investigation regarding bullying under this policy is subject to appropriate discipline.
Reports of bullying shall be made as soon as possible after the alleged act or knowledge of the alleged act. A failure to promptly report may impair the District's ability to investigate.
To obtain intervention and assistance, 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 a teacher, school counselor, principal, or other District professional employee. The Superintendent shall develop procedures allowing a student to anonymously report an alleged incident of bullying.
Any District employee who suspects or receives notice that a student or group of students has or may have experienced bullying shall promptly notify the principal or designee.
A report may be made orally or in writing. If a report is made orally, the principal or designee shall prepare a written report from the oral information.
Notice of Report
When an allegation of bullying is reported, the principal or designee shall notify a parent of the alleged victim on or before the third business day after the incident is reported. The principal or designee shall also notify a parent of the student alleged to have engaged in the conduct within a reasonable amount of time after the incident is reported.
Investigation of Report
The principal or designee shall determine whether the allegations, if proven, would constitute prohibited conduct under FFH(LOCAL), Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation. If so, the matter shall be referred to the appropriate District official, as set out in FFH(LOCAL), for processing in accordance with that policy. If not, the principal or designee shall conduct an investigation based on the allegations of bullying. If appropriate, the principal shall promptly take interim action calculated to prevent bullying during the course of the investigation.
If the District official determines that the alleged conduct, if proven, would not be a violation of this policy or of policy FFH, the District official shall so notify the complainant/reporter in writing and dismiss the complaint.
Concluding the Investigation
Absent extenuating circumstances, the investigation should be completed within ten District business days from the date of the report; however, the investigator shall take additional time if necessary to complete a thorough investigation.
The investigator shall prepare a written report of the investigation. The report shall include a determination of whether bullying occurred. If the alleged victim is facing possible disciplinary action based on a physical interaction or altercation with the alleged perpetrator, the report shall include a determination whether the victim used reasonable self-defense. A copy of the report will be filed with the Superintendent or other appropriate administrator. The principal shall also communicate a summary of the report and its conclusions to the complainant.
Notice to Parents
If an incident of bullying is confirmed, the principal or designee shall promptly notify the parents of both the victim and the perpetrator.
In no circumstance shall the District be required to inform the complainant of the specific disciplinary or corrective action taken.
If the results of an investigation indicate that bullying occurred, the District shall promptly respond by taking appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and may take corrective action reasonably calculated to address the conduct. The District may notify law enforcement in certain circumstances.
Students with Disabilities
Before a student with disabilities is disciplined for engaging in bullying, the District shall comply with state and federal requirements related to discipline of students with disabilities.
If the results of the investigation indicate bullying occurred, the principal or designee shall inform the victim, the perpetrator, and any witnesses of District counseling options available to them.
If the results of the investigation indicate bullying occurred, policy FDB will apply to any transfer request.
If the investigation reveals improper conduct that was not "bullying," the District may nonetheless take appropriate disciplinary action consistent with the Student Code of Conduct or other corrective action to address the conduct.
To the extent possible, the District shall endeavor to protect the privacy of the complainant, persons against whom the complaint is brought, and witnesses. However, limited disclosures may be necessary in order to conduct a thorough investigation.
A student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation may appeal through FNG(LOCAL), beginning at the appropriate level.
The District shall retain records of the complaint and investigation in accordance with CPC(LOCAL).
Access to Policy and Procedures
Information regarding this policy and any related procedures shall be included annually in the employee and student handbooks. The policy and procedures shall be posted on the District's website; a copy may also be obtained at each campus and the District's administrative offices.