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Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying Policy

PROHIBITION OF HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING

The District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, volunteers and patrons, free from harassment, intimidation or bullying. “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any intentionally written message or image, including those that are electronically transmitted, a verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by any characteristic in RCW 9A.36.080(3), (race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or mental or physical disability), or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:
  • Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property; or
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education; or
  • 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 the harassment, intimidation or bullying. “Other distinguishing characteristics” can include but are not limited to: physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socioeconomic status, gender identity and marital status. Harassment, intimidation or bullying can take many forms including: slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats or other written, oral, physical or electronically transmitted messages or images. “Intentional acts” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the action(s). This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophica, 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 is to be implemented in conjunction with comprehensive training of staff and volunteers, including the education of students in partnership with families and the community. This policy is to be implemented in conjunction with the Comprehensive Safe Schools Plan that includes prevention, intervention, crisis response, recovery and annual review. Employees, in particular, are expected to support the dignity and safety of all members of the school community.

Depending upon the frequency and severity of the conduct, intervention, counseling, correction, discipline and/or referral to law enforcement will be used to remediate the impact on the victim and the climate and change the behavior of the perpetrator. This includes appropriate intervention, restoration of a positive climate and support for victims and others impacted by the violation. False reports or retaliation for harassment, intimidation and bullying also constitute violations of this policy.

The superintendent is authorized to direct the development and implementation of procedures addressing the elements of this policy, consistent with the complaint and investigation components of procedure 6590, Sexual Harassment.

Cross References:      
Policy 3200 - Rights and Responsibilities
Policy 3210 - Nondiscrimination
Policy 3240 - Student Conduct
Policy 3241 - Classroom Management, Corrective Action and Punishment
Policy 6590 - Sexual Harassment

Legal Reference:
RCW 28A.300.285 - Harassment, intimidation and bullying prevention policies

Management Resources:
Policy News, April 2008 - Cyberbullying Policy Required
Policy News, April 2002 - Legislature Passes and Anti-Bullying Bill