104 Anti-Bullying Harassment

The Denison 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 superintendent or superintendent’s designee 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.

 

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,

 

Date Board Adopted 11/19/2007

Date Board Updated and Reviewed 2/17/2020          

 

 

Legal References:         20 U.S.C. §§ 1221-1234i.

                                    29 U.S.C. § 794.

                                    42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d-2000d-7. 

                                    42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 2et. seq.

                                    Iowa Code §§ 216.9; 280.28; 280.3.       

                                    281 I.A.C. 12.3(6).

                                    Morse v. Frederick, 551 U.S. 393 (2007)

 

 

 

 

104 E1 Anti-Bullying Harassment Complaint Form

104 E1 COMPLAINT FORM (Discrimination, Anti-Bullying, and Anti-Harassment) Date of complaint: _____________________________________________________ Name of Complainant: _____________________________________________________ Are you filling out this form for yourself or someone else (please identify the individual if you are submitting on behalf of someone else): _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Who or what entity do you believe discriminated against, harassed, or bullied you (or someone else)? _____________________________________________________ Date and place of alleged incident(s): _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Names of any witnesses (if any): _____________________________________________________ Nature of discrimination, harassment, or bullying alleged (check all that apply): Age Physical Attribute Sex Disability Physical/Mental Ability Sexual Orientation Familial Status Political Belief Socio-economic Background Gender Identity Political Party Preference Other – Please Specify: Marital Status Race/Color National Origin/Ethnic Background/Ancestry Religion/Creed In the space below, please describe what happened and why you believe that you or someone else has been discriminated against, harassed, or bullied. Please be as specific as possible and attach additional pages if necessary. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I agree that all of the information on this form is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge. Signature: _____________________________________ Date: __________________________

Date Board Adopted: 11-19-2007

Date Board Reviewed and Updated 10-16-2017

104 E2 Witness Disclosure Form

104 E2 WITNESS DISCLOSURE FORM Name of Witness: _____________________________________________________ Date of interview: _____________________________________________________ Date of initial complaint: _____________________________________________________ Name of Complainant (include whether the Complainant is a student or employee): _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Date and place of alleged incident(s): _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Nature of discrimination, harassment, or bullying alleged (check all that apply): Age Physical Attribute Sex Disability Physical/Mental Ability Sexual Orientation Familial Status Political Belief Socio-economic Background Gender Identity Political Party Preference Other – Please Specify: Marital Status Race/Color National Origin/Ethnic Background/Ancestry Religion/Creed Description of incident witnessed: _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ Additional information: _________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I agree that all of the information on this form is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge. Signature: _____________________________________ Date: __________________________

Date Board Adopted: 11-19-2007

Date Board Reviewed and Updated: 10-16-2017

104 E3 Disposition of Complaint Form

104 E3 DISPOSITION OF COMPLAINT FORM Date: _____________________________________________________ Date of initial complaint: _____________________________________________________ Name of Complainant (include whether the Complainant is a student or employee): _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Date and place of alleged incident(s): _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Name of Respondent (include whether the Respondent is a student or employee): _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ Nature of discrimination, harassment, or bullying alleged (check all that apply): Age Physical Attribute Sex Disability Physical/Mental Ability Sexual Orientation Familial Status Political Belief Socio-economic Background Gender Identity Political Party Preference Other – Please Specify: Marital Status Race/Color National Origin/Ethnic Background/Ancestry Religion/Creed Summary of Investigation: _______________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________ I agree that all of the information on this form is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge. Signature: _____________________________________ Date: __________________________

Date Board Adopted: 11-19-2007

Date Board Reviewed and Updated: 10-16-2017

104 R1 Anti-Bullying Anti-Harassment Investigation Procedures

Filing a Complaint

An individual who believes that the individual has been harassed or bullied may file a complaint with the superintendent or superintendent’s designee.  The complaint form is available http://www.denison.k12.ia.us/district/district-information  An alternate investigator will be designated in the event it is claimed that the superintendent or superintendent’s designee committed the alleged bullying or harassment or some other conflict of interest exists.  Complaints shall be filed within 15 days of the event giving rise to the complaint or from the date the Complainant could reasonably become aware of such occurrence.  The Complainant will state the nature of the complaint and the remedy requested. The Complainant shall receive assistance as needed. 

 

Investigation 

The school district will promptly and reasonably investigate allegations of bullying or harassment upon receipt of a written complaint. The superintendent or the superintendent’s designee (hereinafter “Investigator”) will be responsible for handling all complaints alleging bullying or harassment.  

 

The investigation may include, but is not limited to the following:

•    Interviews with the Complainant and the individual named in the complaint (“Respondent”)

•    A request for the Complainant to provide a written statement regarding the nature of the complaint; 

•    A request for the Respondent to provide a written statement; 

•    Interviews with witnesses identified during the course of the investigation; 

•    A request for witnesses identified during the course of the investigation to provide a written statement; and 

•    Review and collection of documentation or information deemed relevant to the investigation. 

 

The Investigator shall consider the totality of circumstances presented in determining whether conduct objectively constitutes bullying or harassment as defined in Board policy.  Upon completion of the investigation, the Investigator shall issue a report with respect to the findings, and provide a copy of the report to the appropriate building principal or Superintendent if the investigation involved the building principal 

 

The complaint and identity of the Complainant, Respondent, or witnesses will only be disclosed as reasonably necessary in connection with the investigation or as required by law or policy.  Similarly, evidence uncovered in the investigation shall be kept confidential to the extent reasonably possible. 

 

Decision 

The investigator, building principal or superintendent, depending on the individuals involved, shall inform the Complainant and the accused about the outcome of the investigation.  If, after an investigation, a student is found to be in violation of the policy, the student shall be disciplined by appropriate measures, which may include suspension and expulsion.  If after an investigation a school employee is found to be in violation of this policy, the employee shall be disciplined by appropriate measures, which may include termination.  If after an investigation a school volunteer is found to be in violation of this policy, the volunteer shall be subject to appropriate measures, which may include exclusion from school grounds. 

 

Individuals who knowingly file false bullying and/or harassment complaints and any person who gives false statements in an investigation may be subject to discipline by appropriate measures, as shall any person who is found to have retaliated against another in violation of this policy.  Any student found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, suspension and expulsion.  Any school employee found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject 

to measures up to, and including, termination of employment.  Any school volunteer found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, exclusion from school grounds.  

 

 

Date Board Adopted 11/19/2007

Date Board Updated and Reviewed 2/17/2020