District policy states that no student shall be subjected to harassment or bullying by employees or students on school property or at a school function; nor shall any student be subjected to discrimination even if not based on a person's actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or sex by school employees or students on school property or at a school function.
Any incidents of harassment, bullying and cyber-bullying that occur off-campus, that creates or would foreseeably create a risk of substantial disruption in the school environment, where it is foreseeable that such conduct threatens, intimidates or abuses a person(s) and might reach school property, may be subject to formal discipline by school officials. Such conduct could also be subject to referral to local law enforcement authorities.
· Disability means (a) a physical, mental or medical impairment resulting from anatomical, physiological, genetic or neurological conditions which prevents the exercise of a normal bodily function or is demonstrable by medically accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques or (b) a record of such an impairment or (c) a condition regarded by others as such an impairment,
provided, however, that in all provisions of this article dealing with employment, the term must be limited to disabilities which, upon the provision of reasonable accommodations, do not prevent the complainant from performing in a reasonable manner the activities involved in the job or occupation sought or held.
·Employee means any person receiving compensation from a school district or employee of a contracted service provider or worker placed within the school under a public assistance employment program, pursuant to title nine of article five of the Social Services Law, and consistent with the provisions of such title for the provision of services to such district, its students or employees, directly or through contract, whereby such services performed by such person involve direct student contact.
· Sexual Orientation means actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality .
· Gender means actual or perceived sex and includes a person’s gender identity or expression.
· Harassment means the creation of a hostile environment by conduct or by verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that has or would have the effect of emotional harm or unreasonably and substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or mental, emotional or physical wellbeing; or conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety; such conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse includes but is not limited to conduct, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse even if not based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex.
· Bullying means conscious, willful, deliberate activity intended to harm where the perpetrators get pleasure from the targeted person’s pain and/or misery. Those who play an active supporting role in the bullying are considered to have participated in the bullying. It can be, and often is, continuous and repeated over time, but does not have to be. Once is enough to constitute bullying. It involves a real or perceived imbalance of power, with a more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful. Bullying behavior is a manifestation of the larger problems of discrimination and harassment that district policy and the Dignity Act seek to prohibit.
Direct means of bullying are physical/verbal by nature and may include such acts as:
• offensive gestures or language
• pushing others around
• physically blocking the path of another
• displaying a bad temper
• humiliating others in public view or any other blatant act of physical aggression
Indirect means may include means of harassment such as:
• intentionally excluding someone from the group
• defamation of character
• spreading rumors verbally or by writing hurtful graffiti
• manipulating friendship relationships
· Cyber-bullying includes, but is not limited to, the following improper uses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student or staff member through any form of digital communication including but not limited to sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory e-mail messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or Web site postings (including blogs).
Reporting Discrimination, Harassment, and Bullying
Any student who believes that he/she is being subjected to discrimination, harassment, bullying or cyber bully behavior, as well as any other person who has knowledge of or witnesses any possible occurrence of harassment, shall report such incidences to any staff member or the Building Principal. The staff member/Building Principal to whom the report is made (or the staff member/Building Principal who witnesses bullying behavior) shall investigate the complaint and take appropriate action to include, as necessary, referral to the next level of supervisory authority and/or other official designated by the District to investigate allegations of harassment/ bullying.
Allegations of harassment/ bullying shall be promptly and equitably investigated and will be treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints. Personnel at all levels are responsible for taking corrective action to stop the harassment/ bullying behavior and to report such action to their immediate supervisor.