The Wyandotte Public Schools’ Student Conduct Code prohibits bullying. This regulation further explains the negative effects of that behavior and seeks to promote strategies for prevention.
Statement of Board Purpose in Adopting Policy
The Board of Education recognizes that bullying of students causes serious educational and personal problems, both for the student-victim and the initiator of the bullying. The board observes that this conduct:
Bullying often involves expressive gestures, speech, physical acts that are sexually suggestive, lewd, vulgar, profane, or offensive to the education or social mission of this School District, and at times involves the commission of criminal acts. This behavior interferes with the curriculum by disrupting the presentation of instruction and also disrupts and interferes with the student-victim or bystander’s ability to concentrate, retain instruction, and study or to operate free from the effects of bullying. This results in a reluctance or resistance to attend school.
Definition of Terms
In determining what a “reasonable person” should recognize as an act placing a student in “reasonable” fear of harm, staff will determine “reasonableness” not only from the point of view of a mature adult, but also from the point of view of an immature child of the age of the intended victim along with, but not limited to, consideration of special emotional, physical, or mental needs of the particular child; personality or physical characteristics, or history that might cause the child to be particularly sensitive to efforts by a bully to humiliate, embarrass, or lower the self esteem of the victim; and the discipline history, personality of, and physical characteristics of the individual alleged to have engaged in the prohibited behavior.
Bullying, for purposes of this section of the regulation, includes harassment and intimidation, and vice versa. According to experts in the field, bullying in general is the exploitation of a less powerful person by an individual taking unfair advantage of that person, which is repeated over time, and which inflicts a negative effect on the victim. The seriousness of a bullying act depends on the harm inflicted upon the victim and the frequency of the offensive acts. Power may be, but is not limited to, physical strength, social skill, verbal ability, or other characteristics. Bullying acts by students have been described in several different categories.
Procedures Applicable to the Understanding of and Prevention of Bullying of Students
1. Student and Staff Education and Training
All staff will be provided with a copy of the District's Policy on prevention of bullying of students. All students will be provided a summary of the policy and notice that a copy of the entire policy is available on request. Wyandotte Public Schools is committed to providing appropriate and relevant training to staff regarding identification of behavior constituting harassment, intimidation, and bullying of students and the prevention and management of such conduct.
Students, like staff members, shall participate in an annual education program that sets out expectations for student behavior and emphasizes an understanding of harassment, intimidation, and bullying of students, the District's prohibition of such conduct, and the reasons why the conduct is destructive, unacceptable, and will lead to discipline. Students shall also be informed of the consequences of bullying conduct toward their peers.
2. Wyandotte Public Schools’ Safe School Committee
The Safe School Committee has the responsibility of studying and making recommendations regarding unsafe conditions and strategies for students to avoid harm at School, student victimization, crime prevention, School violence, and other issues that interfere with or adversely effects the maintenance of safe Schools.
With respect to student harassment, intimidation, and bullying, the Safe School Committee shall consider and make recommendations regarding professional staff development needs of faculty and other staff related methods to decrease student harassment, intimidation, and bullying and understanding and identifying bullying behaviors. In addition, the Committee shall make recommendations regarding: identification of methods to encourage the involvement of the community and students in addressing conduct involving bullying; methods to enhance relationships between students and School staff in order to strengthen communication; and fashioning of problem-solving teams that include counselors and/or School psychologists.
In accomplishing its objectives, the Committee shall review traditional and accepted harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention programs utilized by other states, state agencies, or school districts. (See also policy BDFC.)
Students are encouraged to inform School personnel if they are the victim of or a witness to acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
An important duty of the staff is to report acts or behavior that the employee witnesses that appears to constitute harassing, intimidating, or bullying. Employees, whether certified or non-certified, shall encourage students who tell them about acts that may constitute intimidation, harassment, or bullying to complete a report form. For young students, staff members given that information will need to provide direct assistance to the student.
Staff members who witness such events are to complete reports and to submit them to the building Principal. Staff members who hear of incidents that may, in the staff member’s judgment, constitute harassment, intimidation, or bullying, are to report all relevant information to the building Principal..
Parents/guardians will be informed in writing of the District's program to stop intimidation, harassment, and bullying. An Administrative response to a reported act of intimidation, harassment, or bullying may involve certain actions to be taken by parents. Parents will be informed of the program and the means for students to report bullying acts toward them or other students. They will also be told that to help prevent bullying at School they should encourage their children to:
1. Report bullying when it occurs;
2. Take advantage of opportunities to talk to their children about bullying;
3. Inform the school immediately if they think their child is being bullied or is bullying other students;
4. Watch for symptoms that their child may be a victim of bullying and report those symptoms; and
5. Cooperate fully with School personnel in identifying and resolving incidents.
Discipline of Students
In administering discipline, consideration will be given to alternative methods of punishment to insure that the most effective discipline is administered in each case. In all disciplinary action, teachers and administrators will be mindful of the fact that they are dealing with individual personalities. The faculty may consider consultation with parents to determine the most effective disciplinary measure.
In considering alternatives of corrective actions, the faculty/administration of the School District will consider those listed below. However, the School is not limited to these alternative methods, nor does this list reflect an order or sequence of events to follow in disciplinary actions. The Board of Education will rely upon the judgment and discretion of the Administrator to determine the appropriate remedial or corrective action in each instance.
1. Conference with student
2. Conference with parents
3. In-school suspension
5. Referral to counselor
6. Behavioral contract
7. Changing student's seat assignment or class assignment
8. Requiring a student to make financial restitution for damaged property
9. Requiring a student to clean or straighten items or facilities damaged by the student's behavior
10. Restriction of privileges
11. Involvement of local authorities
12. Referring student to appropriate social agency
14. Other appropriate disciplinary action as required and as indicated by the circumstances which may include, but is not limited to, removal from eligibility to participate or attend extracurricular activities as well as removal
from the privilege of attending or participating in the graduation ceremony, school dances, prom, prom activities, and/or class trips.
The above consequences will be imposed for any person who commits an act of bullying as well as any person found to have falsely accused another as a means of retaliation, reprisal, or as a means of bullying. Strategies will be created to provide counseling or referral to appropriate services, including guidance, academic intervention, and other protection for students, both targets and perpetrators, and family members affected by bullying, as necessary.
Publication of Policy
Annual written notice of this Policy will be provided to parents, guardians, staff, volunteers, and students with age-appropriate language for students. Notice of the policy will be posted at various locations within each School site, including but not limited to, cafeterias, School bulletin boards, and administrative offices. The Policy will be posted on the School District's website at www.wyandotte.k12.ok.us and at each School site that has an Internet website. The Policy will be included in all student and staff handbooks.
Adopted: December 10, 2012
Revised: September 9, 2013