Prohibition of Bullying
The School District of Elmbrook is committed to providing a safe, caring and respectful learning community for all students and employees and strictly enforces a prohibition against bullying.
Definition: “Bullying” is typically aggressive or hostile behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power between the bully and the bullied. The behavior is repeated over time. Examples of bullying behavior include, but are not limited to:
- Intimidation and or harassment such as teasing, put-downs, cruel rumors, false accusations, hazing, name calling or making threats;
- Social alienation, exclusion, and isolation such as shunning or spreading rumors;
- Written notes, phone calls, or electronic messages that are offensive, hurtful, slanderous, threatening, embarrassing, intimidating, insulting, degrading, stereotyping, or annoying;
- Verbal aggression or verbal assaults which are offensive, hurtful, slanderous, threatening, embarrassing, intimidating, insulting, degrading, stereotyping, or annoying;
- Nonverbal or emotional threats or intimidation;
- Any acts or attempted act or threat of physical aggression such as an assault on a student or employee or on their property;
- Any act which threatens or intimidates any person or group because of sex, race, religion, national origin, color, disability, sexual orientation, age or other protected status.
Prohibition: Bullying behavior by students, employees, and volunteers is prohibited whether it is among or between students, employees, volunteers, or any combination of these groups. Bullying is prohibited at school, on school premises, during school-sponsored activities, on school busses and at bus stops, or through the use of electronic, computer, and telecommunications messaging devices (cyber bullying).
In situations where bullying occurs off school property or on a non-school computer or technology device(s) but is brought to the attention of school officials, any disciplinary action shall be based upon whether the conduct is determined to disrupt or prevent a safe and positive educational or work environment.
Complaint Procedure: All students and employees are expected to watch for and report acts of bullying in any of the above described situations. Students are requested and encouraged to report acts of bullying to a staff member or an administrator either verbally or by using the Discrimination/Harassment/Bullying Complaint form (Practice Statement 6005). All employees are required to report acts of bullying to their immediate supervisor and/or building administrator either verbally or by using the Discrimination/Harassment/Bullying Complaint Form (Practice Statement 6005). Administrators, or their designee, shall investigate reports of bullying and shall determine (1) whether the reported conduct actually occurred, (2) whether the conduct rises to the level of bullying, and (3) whether and what type of disciplinary action is warranted.
All reports of bullying are taken seriously and are considered confidential. When a student is involved in an incident that rises to the level of bullying, the student’s parent(s) or guardian shall be informed of the nature of the complaint as soon as practicable and the fact that the matter is being investigated.
Retaliation against an individual(s) who reports bullying or potentially bullying behavior is strictly prohibited.
Consequences: Where it is determined that a student(s) participated in bullying behavior or retaliated against an individual for reporting bullying behavior in violation of this policy, the school may take disciplinary action, up to and including suspension, expulsion and referral to law enforcement for legal action.
Employees who have participated in bullying behavior, have become aware that bullying was taking place and failed to take action or to report the behavior, or have retaliated against an individual for reporting bullying behavior are considered in violation of the prohibition expressed by this policy and are, therefore, subject to disciplinary action.
This policy and complaint procedure shall be made available to all students and parents/guardians on an annual basis. Employees will also be informed of this policy on an annual basis.
Wis. Stat. 118.46
Date Approved -- July 20, 2010
Revised -- 4/2011
Bullying - Practice Statement 5148
Prohibition of Bullying
The Board of Education shall annually provide notice of its policy on bullying via the School District of Elmbrook’s website. Copies of the policy will also be available in the Superintendent’s office and each school’s front office to any person who requests it. The Board shall include the District’s bullying policy in all pupil and staff handbooks.
The District will provide instruction on the topic of bullying through in-school assemblies, classroom curriculum, and/or extracurricular activities. All such instruction will be age-appropriate, as determined by District administrators, and the District may include lessons on its bullying policy and complaint procedures. The District will notify parents when bullying is addressed in school.
The District also expects parents/guardians to be active partners in the monitoring, reporting, and prohibition of suspected bullying, particularly incidents that occur off of school grounds, after school hours, or with non-school computer or technology device(s).
COMPLAINT AND INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE
Any student, parent/guardian, or employee who believes that bullying has occurred should report the incident(s) to a staff member or an administrator. Anyone witnessing or having knowledge of suspected bullying should also report the incident(s) to a staff member or an administrator. In the event a complaint is made to a staff member, the staff member shall immediately inform an administrator of the complaint. An administrator will investigate the complaint and intervene as appropriate.
If the student, parent/guardian, or employee believes that bullying continues to persist, he/she should report the incident(s) in writing to an administrator via the District’s Discrimination/Harassment/Bullying Complaint Form (Practice Statement 6005). The complaint form must be submitted to an administrator within 30 days of the incident.
The administrator, or his/her designee, shall conduct a thorough investigation of the alleged bullying. The investigation will include, but is not limited to:
- Interviewing the complainant(s),
- Interviewing the alleged bully or bullies,
- Interviewing any other students, employees, volunteers, or witnesses to the acts alleged in the complaint,
- Reviewing any documents (such as text messages, notes, letters, or internet postings) or other evidence available to the building principal or designee relating to the complaint,
- Reviewing any other bullying complaints to determine whether a pattern of bullying is emerging, and
- Reviewing the behavioral and other education records of the students involved.
The administrator or his/her designee may also use Policy and Practice Statement 2350 – Investigations as a reference when investigating bullying complaints.
After considering all of the information gathered during the investigation, the administrator/designee shall report the results of the investigation to the complaining party and/or parents of those involved in the incident in writing via the Disposition of Discrimination/Harassment/Bullying Complaint Form within 10 school days of receipt of the complaint. Notice shall be provided to the complaining party if any extension to this timeline is needed. The complaining party shall be advised of his/her right to appeal as part of the written notification. All complaints shall be kept confidential to the extent possible within the parameters of the investigation. Referrals to appropriate law enforcement or social service agencies shall be made as deemed necessary by the administrator/designee.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint of suspected bullying, he/she may submit a written request for appeal to the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services, School District of Elmbrook, 13780 Hope Street, P.O. Box 1830, Brookfield, WI 53008-1830 within 10 school days following receipt of the Disposition of Complaint form. The Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services shall review the results of the initial investigation, discuss the appeal with the complaining party and the building administration as needed, and perform further investigation, if necessary. Within 30 school days of the receipt of the appeal, the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services shall issue a decision on the appeal and notify the complaining party of the decision in writing.
The District recognizes that false or fraudulent claims of bullying may be filed. The District shall treat all bullying claims as valid unless and until the District’s investigation reveals that the complaint was filed falsely, fraudulently or for an improper purpose. The District reserves the right to discipline any person for filing a false or fraudulent claim of bullying, with the discipline ranging from a warning to expulsion from school or termination, depending on the facts.
Date Approved -- April 19, 2011