Policy on the Prevention of Harassment, Hazing and Bullying of Students F20
- Statement of Policy
The Windham Northeast Supervisory Union and its member districts (hereinafter “District”) is committed to providing all of its students with a safe and supportive school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with respect and dignity.
It is the policy of the District to prohibit the unlawful harassment of students based on race, color, religion, creed, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Harassment may also constitute a violation of Vermont’s Public Accommodations Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 199o, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and/or Title IX of the federal Education Amendments Act of 1972.
It is also the policy of the District to prohibit the unlawful hazing and bullying of students. Conduct which constitutes hazing may be subject to civil penalties.
The District will address all complaints of harassment, hazing and bullying according to the procedures accompanying this policy. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the Administration from imposing student discipline as provided for in the Board’s disciplinary Policy, the District’s Code of Conduct, or Student Handbook.
The superintendent or his/her designee shall:
- Adopt a procedure directing staff, parents and guardians how to report violations of this policy and file complaints under this policy.
- Annually, select two or more designated employees to receive complaints of hazing, bullying and/or harassment at each school campus and publicize their availability in any publication of the District that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures, and standards of conduct for the school.
- Designate a coordinator to oversee all aspects of the implementation of this policy as it related to obligations imposed by federal law regarding discrimination. This role may also be assigned to one or both of the Designated Employees.
- Respond to notifications of possible violations of this policy in order to promptly and effectively address all complaints of hazing, harassment, and/or bullying.
- For the purposes of this policy and the accompanying procedures, the following definitions apply:
- A. “Bullying” means any overt act or combination of acts, including an act conducted by electronic means, directed against a student by another student or group of students and which:
- Is repeated over time;
- Is intended to ridicule, humiliate, or intimidate the student; and
- (i) occurs during the school day on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity, or before or after the school day on a school bus or at a school sponsored activity; or
(ii) does not occur during the school day on school property, on a school bus or at a school sponsored activity and can be shown to pose a clear and substantial interference with another student’s right to access educational programs.
- “Complaint” means an oral or written report information provided by a student or any person to an employee alleging that a student has been subjected to conduct that may rise to the level of hazing, harassment or bullying.
- “Complainant” means a student who has provided oral or written information about conduct that may rise to the level of hazing, harassment or bullying, or a student who is the target of alleged hazing, harassment or bullying.
- “Designated employee” means an employee who has been designated by the school to receive complaints of hazing, harassment and bullying pursuant to subdivision i6 V.S.A. 57oa(a)(7). The designated employees for each school building are identified in the student handbook
- “Employee” includes any person employed directly by or retained through a contract with the District or Supervisory Union, an agent of the school, a school board member, a student teacher, an intern or a school volunteer.
- “Harassment” means an incident or incidents of verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct, including any incident conducted by electronic means, based on or motivated by a student’s or a student’s family member’s actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, marital
status disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity, that has the purpose or effect of objectively and substantially undermining and detracting from or interfering with a student’s educational performance or access to school resources or creating an objectively intimidating hostile, or offensive environment.
Harassment includes conduct as defined above and may also constitute one or more of the following:
(1) Sexual harassment, which means unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, that includes sexual violence/sexual assault, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature, and includes situations when one or both of the following occur:
- Submission to that conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student’s education, academic status, or progress; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student is used as a component of the basis for decisions affecting that student.
Sexual harassment may also include student-on-student conduct or conduct of a non-employee third party that creates a hostile environment. A hostile environment exists where the harassing conduct is severe, persistent or pervasive so as to deny or limit the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program on the basis of sex.
(2) Racial harassment, which means conduct directed at the characteristics of a student’s or a student’s family member’s actual or perceived race or color, and includes the use of epithets, stereotypes, racial slurs, comments, insults, derogatory remarks, gestures, threats, graffiti, display, or circulation of written or visual material, and taunts on manner of speech and negative references to cultural customs.
(3) Harassment of members of other protected categories, means conduct directed at the characteristics of a student’s or a student’s family member’s actual or perceived creed, national origin, marital status, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity and includes the use of epithets, stereotypes, slurs, comments, insults, derogatory remarks, gestures, threats, graffiti, display, or circulation of written or visual material, taunts on manner of speech, and negative references to customs related to any of these protected categories.
- “Hazing” means any intentional, knowing or reckless act committed by a student, whether individually or in concert with others, against another student: In connection with pledging, being initiated into, affiliating with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization which is affiliated with the educational institution; and which is intended to have the effect of, or should reasonably be expected to have the effect of, humiliating, intimidating or demeaning the student or endangering the mental or physical health of the student. “Hazing” also includes soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively in the above acts. Hazing may occur on or off school grounds. Hazing shall not include any activity or conduct that furthers legitimate curricular, extra-curricular, or military training program goals, provided that:
- The goals are approved by the educational institution; and
- The activity or conduct furthers the goals in a manner that is appropriate, contemplated by the educational institution, and normal and customary for similar programs at other educational institutions.
- “Notice” means a written complaint or oral information that hazing, harassment or bullying may have occurred which has been provided to a designated employee from another employee, the student allegedly subjected to the hazing, harassment or bullying, another student, a parent or guardian, or any other individual who has reasonable cause to believe the alleged conduct may have occurred.
- “Organization” means an athletic team, association, PTO, club, or other similar group, whose members primarily are students at an educational institution, and which is affiliated with the educational institution.
- “Pledging” means any action or activity related to becoming a member of an organization.
- “Retaliation” is any adverse action by any person against a person who has filed a complaint of harassment, hazing or bullying or against a person who assists or participates in an investigation, proceeding or hearing related to the harassment complaint.
- “School administrator” means a superintendent, principal or his/her designee assistant principal
- “Student Conduct Form” is a form used by students, staff, or parents, to provide, in written form, information about inappropriate student behaviors that may constitute hazing, harassment and/or bullying.
Westminster Town School District
Date Warned: September 1, 2015
Date Adopted: September 15, 2015
The following employees of Westminster Town School District have been designated by the District to receive complaints of bullying and/or harassment pursuant to this policy and 16 V.S.A. § 57oa(a)(7) and i6 V.S.A. §570c(7) and under federal anti discrimination laws;
Name: Joseph Smith
Title: School Counselor
Contact Information: 802-722-3241
Name: Sheryl Miller
Contact Information: 802-387-5756
Name: Susan Lockerby
Title: School Nurse
Contact Information: 802-722-3241
Name: Steven Tullar
Contact Information: 802-722-3241