Respect for the dignity of others is a cornerstone of civil society. Bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, robs a person of his/her dignity, detracts from the safe environment necessary to promote student learning, and will not be tolerated by the Board of Directors. Students who bully another person shall be held accountable for their actions whether they occur on school equipment or property; off school property at a school sponsored or approved function, activity, or event; going to or from school or a school activity in a school vehicle or school bus; or at designated school bus stops.
A school principal or his or her designee who receives a credible report or complaint of bullying shall promptly investigate the complaint or report and make a record of the investigation and any action taken as a result of the investigation.
Attribute means an actual or perceived personal characteristic including without limitation race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, socioeconomic status, academic status, disability, gender, gender identity, physical appearance, health condition, or sexual orientation;
Bullying means the intentional harassment, intimidation, humiliation, ridicule, defamation, or threat or incitement of violence by a student against another student or public school employee by a written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that may address an attribute of the other student, public school employee, or person with whom the other student or public school employee is associated and that causes or creates actual or reasonably foreseeable:
- Physical harm to a public school employee or student or damage to the public school employee's or student's property;
- Substantial interference with a student's education or with a public school employee's role in education;
- A hostile educational environment for one (1) or more students or public school employees due to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the act; or
- Substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment;
Electronic act means without limitation a communication or image transmitted by means of an electronic device, including without limitation a telephone, wireless phone or other wireless communications device, computer, or pager that results in the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment. Electronic acts of bullying are prohibited whether or not the electronic act originated on school property or with school equipment, if the electronic act is directed specifically at students or school personnel and maliciously intended for the purpose of disrupting school, and has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose;
Harassment means a pattern of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct relating to another person's constitutionally or statutorily protected status that causes, or reasonably should be expected to cause, substantial interference with the other's performance in the school environment; and
Substantial disruption means without limitation that any one or more of the following occur as a result of the bullying:
- Necessary cessation of instruction or educational activities;
- Inability of students or educational staff to focus on learning or function as an educational unit because of a hostile environment;
- Severe or repetitive disciplinary measures are needed in the classroom or during educational activities; or
- Exhibition of other behaviors by students or educational staff that substantially interfere with the learning environment.
Cyberbullying of School Employees is expressly prohibited and includes, but is not limited to:
- Building a fake profile or website of the employee;
- Posting or encouraging others to post on the Internet private, personal, or sexual information pertaining to a school employee;
- Posting an original or edited image of the school employee on the Internet;
- Accessing, altering, or erasing any computer network, computer data program, or computer software, including breaking into a password-protected account or stealing or otherwise accessing passwords of a school employee; making repeated, continuing, or sustained electronic communications, including electronic mail or transmission, to a school employee;
- Making, or causing to be made, and disseminating an unauthorized copy of data pertaining to a school employee in any form, including without limitation the printed or electronic form of computer data, computer programs, or computer software residing in, communicated by, or produced by a computer or computer network;
- Signing up a school employee for a pornographic Internet site; or
- Without authorization of the school employee, signing up a school employee for electronic mailing lists or to receive junk electronic messages and instant messages.
Examples of "Bullying" may also include but are not limited to a pattern of behavior involving one or more of the following:
- Sarcastic comments "compliments" about another student’s personal appearance or actual or perceived attributes,
- Pointed questions intended to embarrass or humiliate,
- Mocking, taunting or belittling,
- Non-verbal threats and/or intimidation such as “fronting” or “chesting” a person,
- Demeaning humor relating to a student’s race, gender, ethnicity or actual or perceived attributes,
- Blackmail, extortion, demands for protection money or other involuntary donations or loans,
- Blocking access to school property or facilities,
- Deliberate physical contact or injury to person or property,
- Stealing or hiding books or belongings,
- Threats of harm to student(s), possessions, or others,
- Sexual harassment, as governed by policy 4.27, is also a form of bullying, and/or
- Teasing or name-calling based on the belief or perception that an individual is not conforming to expected gender roles (Example: “Slut”) or conduct or is homosexual, regardless of whether the student self-identifies as homosexual
(Examples: “You are so gay.” “Fag” “Queer”).
Students are encouraged to report behavior they consider to be bullying, including a single action which if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, to their teacher or the building principal. The report may be made anonymously.
Teachers and other school employees who have witnessed, or are reliably informed that, a student has been a victim of behavior they consider to be bullying, including a single action which if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, shall report the incident(s) to the principal. Parents or legal guardians may submit written reports of incidents they feel constitute bullying, or if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, to the principal. The principal shall be responsible for investigating the incident(s) to determine if disciplinary action is warranted. The person or persons reporting behavior they consider to be bullying shall not be subject to retaliation or reprisal in any form. Students found to be in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action, consideration may be given to other violations of the student handbook which may have simultaneously occurred.
Notice of what constitutes bullying, the District’s prohibition against bullying, and the consequences for students who bully shall be conspicuously posted in every classroom, cafeteria, restroom, gymnasium, auditorium, and school bus.
Parents, students, school volunteers, and employees shall be given copies of the notice.
Mean talk or hurting other people is called bullying. Bullying is against the rules and can get you in trouble, suspended, or expelled. If someone bullies you, or you see someone being bullied, get help by telling an adult.
Legal Reference: A.C.A. § 6-18-514; A.C.A. § 5-71-217