Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying
The District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, volunteers and patrons; free from harassment, intimidation or bullying. “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any intentionally written message or image, including those that are electronically transmitted, a verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by any characteristic in RCW 9A.36.080(3), (race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or mental or physical disability), or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:
Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property; or
Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education; or
Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation or bullying. “Other distinguishing characteristics” can include but are not limited to: physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socioeconomic status, gender identity and marital status. Harassment, intimidation or bullying can take many forms including: slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats or other written, oral, physical or electronically transmitted messages or images. “Intentional acts” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the action(s). This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the educational environment. Many behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation or bullying may still be prohibited by other district policies or building, classroom or program rules.
This policy is a component of the district’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe, civil, respectful and inclusive learning community and is to be implemented in conjunction with comprehensive training of staff and volunteers, including the education of students in partnership with families and the community. This policy is to be implemented in conjunction with the Comprehensive Safe Schools Plan that includes prevention, intervention, crisis response, recovery and annual review. Employees, in particular, are expected to support the dignity and safety of all members of the school community.
Depending upon the frequency and severity of the conduct, intervention, counseling, correction, discipline and/or referral to law enforcement will be used to remediate the impact on the victim and the climate and change the behavior of the perpetrator. This includes appropriate intervention, restoration of a positive climate and support for victims and others impacted by the violation. False reports or retaliation for harassment, intimidation and bullying also constitute violations of this policy.
The superintendent is authorized to direct the development and implementation of procedures addressing the elements of this policy, consistent with the complaint and investigation components of procedure 5011, Sexual Harassment.
This district is committed to a positive and productive education and working environment free from discrimination, including sexual harassment. The district prohibits sexual harassment of students, employees and others involved in school district activities.
Sexual harassment occurs when:
- Submitting to the harasser's sexual demands is a stated or implied condition of obtaining an education or work opportunity or other benefit;
- Submission to or rejection of sexual demands is a factor in an academic, work or other school-related decision affecting an individual; or
- Unwelcome sexual or gender-directed conduct or communication interferes with an individual's performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
Sexual harassment can occur adult to student, student to adult, student to student, adult to adult, male to female, female to male, male to male and female to female.
The district will take prompt, equitable and remedial action within its authority on reports, complaints and grievances alleging sexual harassment that come to the attention of the district, either formally or
informally. Allegations of criminal misconduct will be reported to law enforcement and suspected child abuse will be reported to law enforcement or Child Protective Services. Persons found to have been subjected to sexual harassment will have appropriate school district services made reasonably available to them and adverse consequences of the harassment shall be reviewed and remedied, as appropriate.
Engaging in sexual harassment will result in appropriate discipline or other appropriate sanctions against offending students, staff and contractors. Anyone else who engages in sexual harassment on school property or at school activities will have their access to school property and activities restricted, as appropriate.
Retaliation against any person who makes or is a witness in a sexual harassment complaint is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline. The district will take appropriate actions to protect involved persons from retaliation.
It is a violation of this policy to knowingly report false allegations of sexual harassment. Persons found to knowingly report or corroborate false allegations will be subject to appropriate discipline.
The superintendent will develop and implement formal and informal procedures for receiving, investigating and resolving complaints or reports of sexual harassment. The procedures will include reasonable and prompt time lines and delineate staff responsibilities under this policy. All staff are responsible for receiving informal complaints and reports of sexual harassment and informing appropriate district personnel of the complaint or report for investigation and resolution. All staff are also responsible for directing complainants to the formal complaint process.
The superintendent will develop procedures to provide age-appropriate information and education to district staff, students, parents and volunteers regarding this policy and the recognition and prevention of sexual harassment. At a minimum sexual harassment recognition and prevention and the elements of this policy will be included in staff, student and regular volunteer orientation. This policy will be posted in each district building in a place available to staff, students, parents, volunteers and visitors. The policy will be reproduced in each student, staff, volunteer and parent handbook.
The superintendent will make an annual report to the board reviewing the use and efficacy of this policy and related procedures. Recommendations for changes to this policy, if applicable, will be included in the report. The superintendent is encouraged to involve staff, students, and volunteers and parents in the review process.