Student Handbook

Student Internet Policy

Student & Parent Handbook 2023-24

Attendance and Truancy Procedures Policy 7:70

IDPH Influenza Resources

CDC Meningococcal Resources

IDPH Influenza Information

 

Illinois Valley Community Resource Guide

 

                                               ANTI-BULLYING/CYBER-BULLYING/HARASSMENT POLICY 

Administration will determine the difference between bullying, harassment and disagreements or arguments. In many cases the standard for ‘bullying’ in regards to student conduct may not meet definition of bullying as the interactions are the result of misunderstanding or disagreements. When students/both parties escalate the negative interactions of disagreement then bullying may not be founded as bullying requires a perpetrator consistently exert power over a victim and that the victim is not able to defend or ward off the aggressor. One time or infrequent negative interactions may not be defined as bullying but rather harassment or disruptive behavior.

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:
• During any school-sponsored education program or activity;
• While 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;
• Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a non-school 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 and is reported to the school.

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:
• Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
• Causing 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
• 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 of bullying.

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.

Bystander vs. Upstander
For purposes of this Policy, a bystander to bullying is a witness to bullying behavior and may be considered to be aiding or abetting the bully. This aiding and abetting includes, but may not be limited to, standing idly by, video recording or taking pictures of a situation, looking away, or otherwise actively encouraging the bully. Any student who is a bystander to any bullying behavior and who fails to take any productive action to discourage the bullying behavior may be subject to appropriate discipline up to and including out of school suspension.

We encourage and expect “Upstander” behaviors and actions when students are confronted with or witness to student interactions that are inappropriate to others based upon PBIS expectations. Upstander examples include reporting to an adult about the situation, encouraging the behavior to stop, not agitating the situation, helping to cease the continuation of the issue by not keeping the incident at the forefront of conversations in a negative manner. An Upstander provides post encouraging supports to all persons involved in a situation.

Report and Investigation
Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to the building principal or designee(s) 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 encourage to report it to the building principal or designee(s). Anonymous reports are also accepted by phone call or in writing; however, in the case of anonymous reports the ability to investigate could be hampered if additional information is needed and may only include a contact with the reported victim and/or parent of the reported victim. Administration and investors are under no requirement to permit a parent or other person to be present when questioning or speaking to a student.

Requirements for an investigation include that the victim identify the perpetrator(s), define the actions that occurred including actions by the victim [(response too/instigation of or retaliation too the situation) (cyber-bullying reports require both sides of the electronic exchanges)], dates or approximate dates of occurrences, locations and other elements needed to determine the best course of action. Time between incidents and reporting diminishes investigations and situations that are included from past, unreported issues, may not be considered in conjunction with a current issue pending the dates of the previous, unreported incidents. When reports are received by persons other than the victim by someone who suspects bullying/cyber-bullying/harassment the victim will need to acknowledge that what occurred was considered bullying/cyber-bullying/harassment.

Regardless of what was said to others by a possible victim or witness(es) (i.e. parents, staff, students, etc.) it will be the statements and information provided to the investigator that will be considered as accurate. False reporting, adding additional information, changing of stories and information diminishes the ability for an investigation to continue and reduces the investigators ability to make a finding that bullying/cyber-bullying or harassment occurred.

The Superintendent, Principal or designee(s) responsible for student discipline shall as soon as practicable conduct or cause to be conducted a thorough investigation of the alleged incident, making all reasonable efforts to complete the investigation within 10 school days. Consistent with Federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, parents/guardians of primary students involved in the alleged incident of bullying will be informed about the investigation and an opportunity to meet with the building principal or designee(s) to discuss the investigation, findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying. This may include a discussion of interventions to be taken to address bullying. Discipline and/or other interventions appropriate to the outcome of the investigation shall be imposed consistent with the School District’s adopted discipline code. The police may be notified of incidents involving bodily harm or property damage.