Anti-Bullying Policy

Bullying, Intimidation, Violence, and Threats of Violence

No student shall engage in nor should any be subjected to bullying, violence, threats of violence or intimidation by any other student that is based on any of the specific characteristics set forth in this policy. This policy can work in conjunction with other policies outlined in this Handbook, including the Anti-Harassment Policy. Students who violate this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions as specified in the Student Code of Conduct, subject to the investigating school administrator’s authority and decision.

Definitions

The following definitions apply for the purpose of this policy:

Bullying means a continuous pattern of intentional behavior on or off of school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function including, but not limited to, cyberbullying or written, electronic, verbal, or physical actions that are reasonably perceived as being motivated by any characteristic of a student, or by the association of a student with an individual who has a particular characteristic, if the characteristic falls into one of the categories of personal characteristics contained in this policy. To constitute bullying, a pattern of behavior may do any of the following:

  • Place a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property.
  • Have the effect of substantially interfering with the educational performance, opportunities, or benefits of a student.
  • Have the effect of substantially disrupting or interfering with the orderly operation of the school.
  • Have the effect of creating a hostile environment in the school, on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function.
  • Have the effect of being sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.

Hostile environment means the perception by an affected student that the conduct of another student constitutes a threat of violence or bullying and that the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person, under the circumstances, would agree that the conduct constitutes bullying, threat of assault, or assault.

Violence means the unjustified infliction of physical force by a student with the intent to cause injury to another student or damage to the property of another student.

Threat means a statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action to cause fear of harm. The intention may be communicated through an electronic, written, verbal, or physical act to cause fear, mental distress, or interference in the school environment. The intention may be expressly stated or implied and the person communicating the threat has the ability to carry out the threat.

Threat of violence means an unjustified expression of intention to inflict injury or damage that is made by a student and directed to another student.

Intimidation means an unjustified threat or other action that is intended to cause fear or apprehension in a student.

Student as used in this policy means a person who is enrolled in ASMS.

Description of Behavior Expected of Students

Students are expected to treat other students with courtesy, respect, and dignity and comply with the Student Code of Conduct. Students are expected and required (1) to comply with the requirements of law, policy, regulation, and rules prohibiting bullying, violence, or intimidation; (2) to refrain from inflicting or threatening to inflict violence, injury, or damage to the person or property of another student, and (3) to refrain from placing another student in fear of being subjected to violence, injury, or damage when such actions or threats are reasonably perceived as being motivated by any personal characteristic of the student that is identified in this policy. Bullying, intimidation, violence, or threats of violence are prohibited and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary consequences and/or sanctions if the perpetrator of such action is found to have based the prohibited action on one or more of the following personal characteristics of the student: race, sex, religion, national origin, disability.

Consequences for Violations

A series of graduated consequences for any violation of this policy will be those outlined in the Student Code of Conduct or any rule or standard adopted under authority of this policy.

Reporting, Investigation, and Complaint Resolution Procedures

Complaints alleging violations of this policy may be made on a Board-approved complaint form available in the Handbook, on the website, or at the school’s office. The complaint must be delivered to the President or the President’s designee either by mail or personal delivery. Incidental or minor violations of the policy may be presented and resolved informally. If a threat of suicide is reported, the President or the President’s designee is authorized to inform the student’s parent or guardian of the report unless at the discretion of the school President or the President’s designee the apparent cause of the threat of suicide is child abuse or other significant harm from a parent or guardian.

Upon receipt of the complaint, the President or the President’s designee will determine if the complaint alleges a serious violation of this policy. If the President or the President’s designee determines that the complaint alleges a serious violation, the President or the President’s designee will undertake a reasonably prompt investigation of the complaint. The investigation will entail the gathering of relevant facts and evidence taking into account the circumstances of the complaint. If the investigation establishes a violation, appropriate disciplinary sanctions may be imposed on the offending student(s). Other measures that are reasonably calculated to prevent a recurrence of the violation(s) may also be imposed by the President or his/her designee.

Acts of reprisal or retaliation against any student who has reported a violation of this policy or sought relief provided by this policy are prohibited and are themselves a violation of this policy. Any confirmed acts of reprisal or retaliation may be subject to disciplinary sanctions that may include any sanction, penalty, or consequence that is available to school officials under the Student Code of Conduct. A student who deliberately and falsely accuses another student of a violation of this policy may be subject to disciplinary sanctions as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Common Forms of Bullying (not intended to constitute an exhaustive list)

Verbal Bullying

  • Teasing, taunting, or name-calling
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Threatening to cause harm
  • Other pervasive, ongoing pattern intended to intimidate, harass, or shame a student

Social Bullying

  • Exclusion–intentionally excluding a student
  • Telling other students not to be friends with someone
  • Spreading rumors about someone
  • Embarrassing someone in public
  • Other pervasive, ongoing pattern intended to intimidate, harass, or shame a student

Physical Bullying–the victim’s personal boundaries are violated

  • Hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting, tripping/pushing
  • Taking or breaking someone’s things
  • Making mean or rude hand gestures
  • Other pervasive, ongoing pattern intended to intimidate, harass, or shame a student

Cyberbullying

  • Intimidating text messages or emails
  • Rumors by email or social networking sites
  • Embarrassing pictures and videos
  • Trolling
  • Other pervasive, ongoing pattern intended to intimidate, harass, or shame a student

Helpful resources: “Best Practices in Bullying Prevention,” found at http://stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov