Bullying Policy

Bullying is defined as any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed towards a student or students that has or can be reasonable predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;

2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;

3. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or

4. Substantially interfering with the student's or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Bullying may take different forms, including without limitation on one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying.

“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, photoelectronic 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 in this Section. “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. The methods used are limited only by the child’s abilities and access to technology. This is not a one-time occurrence; it involves a pattern of behavior. The bully holds the power or perceived power.

Cyberbullying may take various forms, including, but not limited to, the following actions on any electronic medium:

1. Posting slurs or rumors or displaying any defamatory, inaccurate, disparaging, violent, abusive, profane, or sexually oriented material about a student on a website, an app, in social media, or any other electronic platform;

2. Posting misleading or fake photographs or digital video footage of a student on websites or creating fake websites or social networking profiles in the guise of posing as the targeted student;

3. Impersonating or representing another student through the use of that other student’s electronic device or account to send e-mail, text messages, instant messages (IM), phone calls, or other messages on a social media website;

4. Sending e-mail, text messages, IM, or leaving voice mail messages that are mean or threatening, or so numerous as to bombard the target’s e-mail account, IM account, or cell phone; and

5. Using a camera phone or digital video camera to take and/or send embarrassing photos or “sexting” photographs of other students.

6. “Sexting” is defined as a form of cyberbullying that involves sending nude or sexually explicit pictures through mobile phones, social networks, or other electronic devices. It is a crime to send or forward these messages. If received, they should be reported to authorities immediately.

The school cannot control the bullying behavior of students 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. If the out-of-school bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of school, parents of all parties will be contacted, and the school will determine the appropriate consequences. This applies if a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred.

Bullying is contrary to Illinois State law and the policy of the school district. Any acts of bullying should be reported to the appropriate person, i.e., Principal, Vice Principal, and Board of the School if needed. There will be an investigation to follow, with the determination happening after the investigation is completed. There will be reasonable efforts to resolve the investigation within ten (10) school day after the date the report of the incident of bullying was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the investigation.

An administrator from the school will respond to allegations of bullying behavior promptly (usually within ten school days) investigate and respond to allegations of bullying behavior. The administration will keep written documentation of all allegations of bullying behavior and outcomes of the investigations, and report alleged and substantiated incidents to the School Board. Following Federal and state laws and rules governing student privacy rights, the school will inform parent(s) or guardian(s) of the student(s) who was alleged to have bullied AND of the student(s) who was believed to have been bullied that a report of an alleged incident of bullying has been made. Administration will communicate to the parent(s) or guardian(s) of a student(s) who was believed to have been bullied the measures being taken to ensure the safety of the student(s) who was believed to have been bullied and to prevent further acts of bullying. Administration will inform parent(s) or guardian(s) of the students involved, the findings of the investigation and actions to be taken, and in the case that a person has been falsely accused, there will be appropriate consequences and remedial action for that person.