Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment
Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish
a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive
behaviors and providing all students equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment are important District goals.
Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, military status, unfavorable
discharge status from the military service, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression,
ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, order of protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or
potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned
actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in each of
the following situations:
1. During any school-sponsored
education program or activity.
in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school
bus, or at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities.
Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar
electronic school equipment.
the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a nonschool-related location, activity, function, or program
or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by the School District or school
if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school. This paragraph
(item #4) applies only when a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred;
it does not require staff members to monitor any nonschool-related activity, function, or program.
Definitions from Section 27-23.7 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-23.7)
Bullying includes cyber-bullying and
means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically,
directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear
of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
4. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’
ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
Cyber-bullying means bullying through the use of technology or any
electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence
of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical
system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications.
Cyber-bullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another
person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation
creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyber-bullying also includes the distribution
by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may
be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition
Restorative measures means
a continuum of school-based alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted
to the particular needs of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining school safety, (iii) protect the integrity
of a positive and productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal and interpersonal skills they will need to
be successful in school and society, (v) serve to build and restore relationships among students, families, schools, and communities,
and (vi) reduce the likelihood of future disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding of students’ behavioral
health needs in order to keep students in school.
personnel means persons employed by, on contract with, or who volunteer in a school district, including without limitation
school and school district administrators, teachers, school guidance counselors, school social workers, school counselors,
school psychologists, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, school resource officers, and security guards.
Bullying Prevention and Response Plan
The Superintendent or designee shall develop and maintain
a bullying prevention and response plan that advances the District’s goal of providing all students with a safe learning
environment free of bullying and harassment. This plan must be consistent with the requirements listed below; each numbered
requirement, 1-12, corresponds with the same number in the list of required policy components in 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7(b) 1-12.
1. The District uses the definition of bullying
as provided in this policy.
2. Bullying is contrary to State law and the policy of
this District. However, nothing in the District’s bullying prevention and response plan is intended to infringe upon
any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or under Section 3 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to
the District Complaint Manager or any staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged
to report it to the District Complaint Manager or any staff member. Anonymous reports are also accepted.
21962 Akin Blacktop
Akin, IL 62889
4. Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing
student privacy rights, the Superintendent or designee shall promptly inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) of every student involved
in an alleged incident of bullying and discuss, as appropriate, the availability of social work services, counseling, school
psychological services, other interventions, and restorative measures.
5. The Superintendent or designee shall promptly investigate
and address reports of bullying, by, among other things:
Making all reasonable efforts
to complete the investigation within 10 school days after the date the report of a bullying incident was received and taking
into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported bullying
b. Involving appropriate school support personnel and other staff persons with knowledge,
experience, and training on bullying prevention, as deemed appropriate, in the investigation process.
c. Notifying the Building Principal or school administrator or designee of the reported incident of bullying as soon as
possible after the report is received.
d. Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing
student privacy rights, providing parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation information about
the investigation and an opportunity to meet with the Building Principal or school administrator or his or her designee to
discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying.
The Superintendent or designee shall investigate
whether a reported incident of bullying is within the permissible scope of the District’s jurisdiction and shall require
that the District provide the victim with information regarding services that are available within the District and community,
such as counseling, support services, and other programs.
6. The Superintendent or designee shall use interventions
to address bullying, that may include, but are not limited to, school social work services, restorative measures, social-emotional
skill building, counseling, school psychological services, and community-based services.
A reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying is prohibited.
A student’s act of reprisal or retaliation will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences
or other appropriate remedial actions.
8. A student will
not be punished for reporting bullying or supplying information, even if the District’s investigation concludes that
no bullying occurred. However, knowingly making a false accusation or providing knowingly false information will be treated
as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.
The District’s bullying prevention and response plan must be based on the engagement of a range
of school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians.
The Superintendent or designee shall post this policy on the District’s Internet website, if any,
and include it in the student handbook, and, where applicable, post it where other policies, rules, and standards of conduct
are currently posted. The policy must also be distributed annually to parents/guardians, students, and school personnel, including
new employees when hired.
Superintendent or designee shall assist the Board with its evaluation and assessment of this policy’s outcomes and effectiveness.
This process shall include, without limitation:
a. The frequency
b. Student, staff, and family observations
of safety at a school;
c. Identification of areas of a school
where bullying occurs;
d. The types of bullying utilized; and
e. Bystander intervention or participation.
The evaluation process may use relevant data and information that
the District already collects for other purposes. The Superintendent or designee must post the information developed as a
result of the policy evaluation on the District’s website, or if a website is not available, the information must be
provided to school administrators, Board members, school personnel, parents/guardians, and students.
12. The Superintendent or
designee shall fully implement the Board policies, including without limitation, the following:
a. 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure. A student may
use this policy to complain about bullying.
b. 6:60, Curriculum Content. Bullying prevention and
character instruction is provided in all grades in accordance with State law.
6:65, Student Social
and Emotional Development. Student social and emotional development is incorporated into the District’s educational
program as required by State law.
d. 6:235, Access to Electronic Networks. This policy
states that the use of the District’s electronic networks is limited to: (1) support of education and/or research, or
(2) a legitimate business use.
e. 7:20, Harassment of Students Prohibited. This policy
prohibits any person from harassing, intimidating, or bullying a student based on an identified actual or perceived
characteristic (the list of characteristics in 7:20 is the same as the list in this policy).
f. 7:185, Teen Dating Violence Prohibited. This policy prohibits teen dating violence on school property,
at school sponsored activities, and in vehicles used for school-provided transportation.
g. 7:190, Student Discipline. This policy prohibits, and provides consequences for, hazing, bullying, or other
aggressive behaviors, or urging other students to engage in such conduct.
7:310, Restrictions on
Publications. This policy prohibits students from and provides consequences for: (1) accessing and/or distributing at
school any written, printed, or electronic material, including material from the Internet, that will cause substantial disruption
of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, and (2) creating and/or distributing
written, printed, or electronic material, including photographic material and blogs, that causes substantial disruption to
school operations or interferes with the rights of other students or staff members.
REF.: 405 ILCS 49/, Children’s Mental Health Act.
ILCS 5/10-20.14, 5/24-24, and 5/27-23.7.
23 Ill.Admin.Code §§1.240 and §1.280.
CROSS REF.: 2:240 (Board
Policy Development), 2:260 (Uniform Grievance Procedure), 4:170 (Safety), 5:230 (Maintaining Student Discipline), 6:60 (Curriculum
Content), 6:65 (Student Social and Emotional Development), 6:235 (Access to Electronic Networks), 7:20 (Harassment of Students
Prohibited), 7:185 (Teen Dating Violence Prohibited), 7:190 (Student Discipline), 7:220 (Bus Conduct), 7:230 (Misconduct by
Students with Disabilities), 7:240 (Conduct Code for Participants in Extracurricular Activities), 7:285 (Food Allergy Management
Program), 7:310 (Restrictions on Publications)
ADOPTED: January 26, 2015