Policies and Procedures Handbook


Last Updated: 10/27/2009
Garrett County Public Schools
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550
(301)334-8900
 

PREVENTION OF BULLYING, HARASSMENT OR INTIMIDATION

Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation Form
Need to print the form? Print Version

 

Administrative Procedures 

            The Garrett County Public Schools and its schools will implement the following procedures to prevent, intervene, remediate and provide consequences for bullying, harassment or intimidation within a whole-school prevention/intervention program. 

I.          Prevention: 

            A.        Annual professional development will be provided for administrators and all school staff to increase awareness of the prevalence, causes and consequences of bullying, harassment or intimidation and of the use of evidence-based prevention programs.  Procedures for reporting of bullying, harassment or intimidation, as well as training in appropriate responses to students who bully, are bullied and/or are bystanders that report bullying will be provided.  This training will include employees hired throughout the school year. 

            B.        School-wide programs will be implemented that include evidence-based strategies and programs for students, systems of positive behavior supports, and/or efforts to improve school climates.  Anti-bullying efforts will include student instruction, peer support and student involvement, and establishment of a climate of mutual respect which supports the reporting of incidents of bullying, harassment or intimidation. 

            C.        Schools will collaborate with and inform the community and families about bullying, harassment or intimidation, the schools= efforts to prevent it and of the procedures for reporting incidents of bullying, harassment or intimidation. 

            D.        Schools will participate in biennial school/building data collection on the prevalence of bullying and use this data to guide efforts to prevent and intervene for bullying, harassment or intimidation. 

II.         Intervention/Remediation: 

            A.        Annual staff development will include training of school staff in the appropriate responses to perpetrators and victims of bullying, as well as to bystanders who report bullying. 

            B.        Each school will develop a continuum of interventions for students who bully to prevent further incidents.  These interventions will address the social-emotional, behavioral and academic needs of these students, teach replacement behaviors, develop empathy, tolerance and sensitivity to diversity, and provide remedial measures to correct the bullying behavior. 

            C.        Each school will provide support and counseling for the victim, and consequences for the perpetrators that provide the victim with protection from retaliation and further episodes of bullying, and will insure the safety of the victim. 

            D.        Health, mental health and community agency resources will be utilized to address perpetrators who are not responsive to school interventions to stop bullying, and to assist victims or witnesses whose mental or physical health, safety or academic performance is impacted. 

            E.         Intervention will be provided that includes positive behavioral discipline and recognition for positive behavior change by the student who previously bullied, for the student who was bullied and for bystanders who report a bullying situation. 

III.       Consequences and Remedial Actions 

Consequences and remedial actions shall be provided for students who commit acts of bullying, harassment or intimidation, for students who retaliate for the reporting of bullying, or for students who make false accusations, following an appropriate investigation of the reported offense.  Consequences and remediation should be applied fairly and consistently; be based on developmental differences of age, maturity and disabilities; and on the context, situation, and severity of the incident.  Consequences and remedial action may include but not be limited to the following: 

Standard Consequences

  • Time out

  • Alternative Structured Classroom

  • Loss of a privilege

  • Verbal reprimand

  • Parental notification

  • Detention

  • Reassignment of seats in class, cafeteria, or bus

  • Reassignment of classes

  • Reassignment to another mode of transportation

  • Reassignment to another school

  • Completion of letter of acknowledgment of action, with apology, to victim
    (after review by staff and not in a case of sexual harassment or intimidation)

  • Reparation to victim in the form of payment for or repair of damage to possessions

  • In-school suspension

  • Out-of-school suspension

  • Extended suspension

  • Transfer to an appropriate alternative program

  • Referral to law enforcement

  • Expulsion

Remedial Actions

  • Parent/Student Conference

  • Counseling with school counselor or school psychologist

  • Education about the effects of bullying, harassment or intimidation

  • Behavioral contract

  • Positive behavioral supports - e.g. functional behavioral assessment; behavioral intervention plan; remediation of problem behaviors that takes into account the nature of the offense, the developmental level of the student, and the student's behavioral history

  • Referral to an external agency

  • Participation in counseling (delivered by a school or community mental health provider)

  • Cooperation with a behavioral management program developed in consultation with a mental health professional

  • Satisfactory completion of community service

     

    IV.        Support Services

    Support services will be made available to the student bully, the victim, witnesses and any bystander as based on the investigation of the reported offense; the developmental factors of age, maturity and disabilities; the context, situation and severity of the incident; and the available resources of the school and community at any given time. The following are listed as examples of support services that may be available, contingent on the factors noted above:

    School/System

    • Counseling

    • Conflict resolution

    • Problem solving skills training (proactive, constructive, relationship-building)

    • Social skills/competency training

    • Anger management training

    • Educational programming

    • Parental involvement

    • Peer support groups

    • Schedule modifications

    • Targeted use of monitors (e.g., hallways, cafeteria, buses)

Community/Family

  • Public or private community-based mental health services

  • Faith-based services

  • Multi-agency collaboration

  • Health Department Programs

  • Yough Development Organization

  • Community Mediations

  • Department of Juvenile Services

  • Department of Social Services

  • Law enforcement Agencies

V.       Information and Availability of the Reporting Form for Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation

  1. Each school will make available the Maryland State Department of Education Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation Reporting Form in the main (front) office, the counselor's office, and other locations as determined by the school in accordance with the Safe School Reporting Act of 2005.

  2. Schools will inform all school staff of the availability of the form and its use during the "opening school" meetings and periodically throughout the year, including informing new staff who are employed throughout the school year.

  3. Schools will inform students of the availability of the form and its use during orientation sessions in classes during the first week of school, and new students who are enrolled throughout the school year.

  4. Schools will inform parents and the community of the availability of the form and its use at the beginning of the year and periodically throughout the school year through school newsletters, parent meetings, etc., and a description of the form and its use will be published in the school's student/parent handbook and in the school's Code of Conduct.

  5. Forms will be included in the beginning of the year packet for students and their parents.

  6. A description of the availability of the form and its use will be published on the Garrett County Board of Education website and will include the ability for downloading the form.  A description and link to the form will be provided on each school's website.

  7. A student may request assistance from a staff member to complete the form at school.

VI.      Use of the Reporting Form for Bullying, Harassment or Intimidation

  1. Students, parents, close relatives and school staff will use the above form for reporting incidents of bullying, harassment or intimidation.

  2. Incidents may be reported as defined within this policy.

  3. The reporting form provides one form for the report and one for the investigation as identified by color.   The school=s name and mailing address is to be placed on page two of the reporting form.

  4. A file will be maintained at the school for copies of the report.  Reports are not to be placed in student files.  The original of each form will be sent to the Department of Pupil Services upon completion of the investigation.

  5. The investigation form is to include any days of absence of the victim and offender, and must indicate corrective action for the offender.  Should the report be a false allegation, consequences are to be provided for that offense.

  6. A finding of sexual harassment also requires a filing of a written report to the Superintendent of Schools, noting disciplinary action (Refer to Policy 454.0 and Procedures 454.1).

  7. The Garrett County Board of Education Department of Pupil Services will maintain and compile data from the reported incidents for report to the Maryland State Department of Education.

VII.     Definitions

Bullying:

Exposing a student to intentional negative actions on the part of one or more other students which adversely affect the victim=s ability to participate in or benefit from the school's educational programs or activities.

 

Harassment:

Perceived or actual experiences of discomfort with identity issues in regard to race, color, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or other identifying characteristics by a student which adversely affects that student's ability to participate in or benefit from the school's educational program or activities.

 

Intimidation:

Subjection of a student to intentional action that seriously threatens and induces a sense of fear and/or inferiority which adversely affects that student=s ability to participate in or benefit from the school's educational program or activities.

 

Retaliation:

An act of reprisal or getting back at a person for an act he/she has committed.

 

Sexual Harassment:

Sexual harassment shall include, but not be limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or educational opportunity

  • submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual

  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment or educational opportunity.

 

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Pupil Services 453.1 PEL
Adopted 06/09/2009
Revised