3207 Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying
The district is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, parents/legal guardians, volunteers, and community members that is free from harassment, intimidation, or bullying. As defined in legislation, “Harassment, intimidation, or bullying” means any intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to, one shown to be motivated by any characteristic in RCW 28A.640.010 and 28A.642.010, or other distinguishing characteristics, when the act:
- Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property;
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education;
- Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
- Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
“Other distinguishing characteristics” can include, but are not limited to: physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socioeconomic status, and weight.
“Intentional acts” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the action(s).
This policy recognizes that ‘harassment,’ ‘intimidation,’ and ‘bullying’ are separate but related behaviors. Each must be addressed appropriately. The accompanying procedure differentiates the three behaviors; however, this differentiation should not be considered part of the legal definition of these behaviors.
Harassment, intimidation, or bullying can take many forms including, but not limited to: slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, electronic, oral, physical, or electronically transmitted messages or images.
This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the educational environment. Many behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation, or bullying may still be prohibited by other district policies or building, classroom, or program rules.
This policy is a component of the district’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe, civil, respectful, and inclusive learning community and will be implemented in conjunction with comprehensive training of staff and volunteers. Specific training requirements are included in the accompanying procedure.
The district will provide students with strategies aimed at preventing harassment, intimidation, and bullying. In its efforts to train students, the district will seek partnerships with families, law enforcement, and other community agencies.
Interventions are designed to remediate the impact on the targeted student(s) and others impacted by the violation, to change the behavior of the aggressor, and to restore a positive school climate.
The district will consider the frequency of incidents, developmental age of the student, and severity of the conduct in determining intervention strategies. Interventions will range from counseling, correcting behavior and discipline, to law enforcement referrals.
Students with Individual Education Plans or Section 504 Plans
If allegations are proven that a student with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan has been the aggressor or target of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, the school will convene the student’s IEP or Section 504 team to determine whether the incident had an impact on the student’s ability to receive a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). The meeting should occur regardless of whether the harassment, intimidation, or bullying incident was based on the student’s disability. During the meeting, the team will evaluate issues such as the student’s academic performance, behavioral issues, attendance, and participation in extracurricular activities. If a determination is made that the student is not receiving a FAPE as a result of the harassment, intimidation, or bullying incident, the district will provide additional services and supports as deemed necessary by the IEP team.
Retaliation is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline. It is a violation of this policy to threaten or harm someone for reporting harassment, intimidation, or bullying, or participating in an investigation.
It is also a violation of district policy to knowingly report false allegations of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Students or employees will not be disciplined for making a report in good faith. However, persons found to knowingly report or corroborate false allegations will be subject to appropriate discipline.
The superintendent will appoint a compliance officer as the primary district contact to receive copies of all formal and informal complaints and ensure policy implementation. The name and contact information for the compliance officer will be communicated throughout the district. The district compliance officer will participate in at least one mandatory training opportunity offered by OSPI.
The superintendent is authorized to direct the implementation of procedures addressing the elements of this policy.
Legal References: RCW 28A.300.285 Harassment, intimidation, and bullying
prevention policies and procedures – Model policy and procedure – Training materials – Posting on web site – Rules – Advisory committee
WAC 392-190-059 Harassment, intimidation, and bullying
prevention policy and procedure – School districts
Adoption Date: 5/13/03
Franklin Pierce Schools
Revised: 11/18/08; 8/16/11; 5/12/15; 10/08/19