Procedures for Reporting Allegations of Bullying

Anonymously Report an Incident

Union Grove ISD Anti-Bullying Policy

Procedures for Reporting Allegations of Bullying

The district prohibits bullying on school property, at school-sponsored or school-related activities, or in any vehicle operated by the district. Bullying may be verbal or written expression or expression through electronic means, or physical conduct. Bullying is not tolerated by the district and any student or parent of a student who believes that the student or another student has experienced bullying or that a student has engaged in bullying is encouraged to immediately report the incident. Retaliation against anyone involved in the complaint process is a violation of district policy and is prohibited. Students or parents may report an alleged incident of bullying, orally or in writing, to a teacher, counselor, principal or other district employee. Students or parents may contact the district to obtain an incident report form that may be used to submit the complaint. Or anyone can anonymously report an incident on the Union Grove ISD webpage at www.ugisd.org, click on the link for STUDENTS, and the link is the first item - Anonymous Incident Reporting – David’s Law. Please note that after submission of the complaint to the district employee, the district may assign the complaint to a campus administrator to follow up on the submitted complaint and any other important matters pertaining to the complaint. We encourage you to communicate with your designated campus administrator during this time. More information about the district’s bullying policy can be found at: http://pol.tasb.org/Policy/Code/1171?filter=FFI, or the campus administration office.

UNION GROVE ISD ANTI-BULLYING POLICY 2018-2019

Statement of Intent

We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff. Or anyone can anonymously report an incident on the Union Grove ISD webpage at www.ugisd.org, click on the link for STUDENTS, and the link is the first item - Anonymous Incident Reporting – David’s Law.

David Molak, a 16-year-old Alamo Heights High School student, took his own life in January 2016 after months of cyberbullying. David Molakhad been harassed online by classmates who mocked his appearance and threatened physical violence.

This principal or designee may report to law enforcement if there are reasonable grounds to believe that a student has engaged in assault or harassment. “Harassment” in this context means sending repeated e-communication in the manner likely to “harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, embarrass or offend another.”

The bill classifies cyberbullying as a misdemeanor, allows courts to issue subpoenas to unmask people who anonymously harass minors online and requires public schools to report and intervene in any suspected cyberbullying cases. It also allows victims to sue cyberbullies’ parents if the parents could have intervened but didn't. Parents or students can obtain injunction relief to stop and/or prevent cyberbullying of a minor. This relief could be against the student bully, or parents of a bully who is under 18. (Please check with your local District Attorney’s Office)

“Bullying”:

1. Means a single significant act or a pattern of acts by one or more students directed at another student that exploits an imbalance of power and involves engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that satisfies the applicability requirements below and that:

a. Has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or of damage to the student’s property;

b. Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student;

c. Materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school; or

d. Infringes on the rights of the victim at school; and

2. Includes cyberbullying.

“Cyberbullying” means bullying that is done through the use of any electronic communication device, including through the use of a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a camera, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, a social media application, an Internet website, or any other Internet-based communication tool.

These provisions apply to:

1. Bullying that occurs on or is delivered to school property or to the site of a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property;

2. Bullying that occurs on a publicly or privately owned school bus or vehicle being used for transportation of students to or from school or a school-sponsored or school-related activity; and

3. Cyberbullying that occurs off school property or outside of a school-sponsored or school-related activity if the cyberbullying:

a. Interferes with a student’s educational opportunities; or Internet Posting

b. Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a class- room, school, or school- sponsored or school-related activity.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim.

Bullying can be:

●Emotional being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)

●Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence

●Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures

●Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality

●Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors, teasing

●Cyber All areas of internet ,such as email & internet chat room misuse

●Mobile threats by text messaging & calls

●Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera & video facilities

Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?

Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Pupils who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. Schools have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.

Objectives of this Policy

●All teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.

●All teaching and non-teaching staff should know what the school policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.

●All pupils and parents should know what the school policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.

●As a school we take bullying seriously. Pupils and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.

Bullying will not be tolerated.

Procedures

1. Report bullying incidents to staff or anonymously on the district webpage – www.ugisd.org

2. In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff.

3. In serious cases parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem.

4. The bullying behavior or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly.

5. An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behavior

Outcomes/Consequences

1. The bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologize. Other consequences may take place (loss of field trip privileges, morning/after school detention.)

2. In serious cases, OCS (on Campus Suspension) or expulsion will be considered.

3. If possible, the pupils will be reconciled.

4. After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.

5. Students may have to remain 10 feet away from the victim during the school day per campus administration.

Prevention

We will use StopBullying.govto help prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:

●Understanding of school rules about bullying through class presentations

●having discussions about bullying and why it matters

●UGISD acknowledges use of StopBullying.gov for materials and information.

●Visit the the website www.stopbullying.govfor further support, links and advice.

BULLYING

Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic methods, or physical conduct against another student on school property, at a school-sponsored or -related activity, or in a district operated vehicle, and the behavior:

●Results in harm to the student or the student’s property,

●Places a student in reasonable fear of physical harm or of damage to the student’s property, or

●Is so severe, persistent, and pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment.

This conduct is considered bullying if it exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator(s) and the student victim and if it interferes with a student’s education or substantially disrupts the operation of the school.

Bullying is prohibited by the district and could include hazing, threats, taunting, teasing, confinement, assault, demands for money, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, name-calling, rumor-spreading, or ostracism. In some cases, bullying can occur through electronic methods, called “cyberbullying.” If a student believes that he or she has experienced bullying or has witnessed bullying of another student, it is important for the student or parent to notify a teacher, counselor, principal, or another district employee as soon as possible to obtain assistance and intervention. The administration will investigate any allegations of bullying or other related misconduct.

If the results of an investigation indicate that bullying has occurred, the administration will take appropriate disciplinary action. Disciplinary or other action may be taken even if the conduct did not rise to the level of bullying. The district will also contact the parents of the victim and of the student who was found to have engaged in the bullying. Available counseling options will be provided to these individuals, as well as to any students who have been identified as witnesses to the bullying.

Any retaliation against a student who reports an incident of bullying is prohibited.

The principal may, in response to an identified case of bullying, decide to transfer a student found to have engaged in bullying to another classroom at the campus. The parent of a student who has been determined by the district to be a victim of bullying may request that his or her child be transferred to another classroom or campus within the district. A copy of the district’s policy is available in the principal’s office, superintendent’s office, and on the district’s Web site.

A student or parent who is dissatisfied with the outcome of an investigation may appeal through policy FNG(LOCAL) - https://pol.tasb.org/Policy/Code/1171?filter=FNG