The district is committed to a safe and civil educational environment, conducive to teaching and learning in an environment free from threat, harassment and any type of bullying behavior. Bullying of students is prohibited on all school property, at any school function, and on a school bus.
Bullying is defined as the intimidation, unwarranted aggressive behavior, or harassment that is repetitive or is substantially likely to be repeated and causes a reasonable student to fear for his or her physical safety or property, substantially interferes with the educational performance, opportunities or benefits of any student without exception; or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school. Bullying may consist of physical actions, including gestures, or oral, cyberbullying, electronic, or written communication, and any threat of retaliation for reporting such acts.
Cyberbullying is defined as bullying under this policy through the transmission of a communication including, but not limited to, a message, text, sound, or image by means of an electronic device including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone, or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager. Pursuant to Missouri Statute Section 160.775, the district has jurisdiction to prohibit cyberbullying that originates on a school's campus or at a district activity if the electronic communication was made using the school's technological resources, if there is a sufficient nexus to the educational environment, or if the electronic communication was made on the school's campus or at a district activity using the student's own personal technological resources. The school district may discipline any student for such cyberbullying to the greatest extent allowed by law.
Students are encouraged to report behavior they consider to be bullying to their teacher or the principal.
District employees must report any instance of bullying of which the employee has firsthand knowledge. The principal at each school is hereby designated the individual at each school to receive reports of incidents of bullying. Specifically, an employee who witnesses an incident of bullying must report the incident to the principal within two days of the employee witnessing the incident. Within two days of receiving the report, the principal or his/her designee shall initiate an investigation of the incident. The principal may appoint other school staff to assist in the investigation, as needed. The investigation shall be completed within ten school days from the date of the written report unless good cause exists to extend the investigation.
The district prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying and the consequence and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation.
Publication and Training
This policy will be publicized annually in the Student Code of Conduct. The district will provide annual notice of the policy to students, parents or guardians and staff.
All employees of the district shall receive information regarding this policy and staff who have significant contact with students will receive annual training related to the district's bullying policy to enable them to implement the provisions of the policy in the course of their duties.
Students will receive education and information regarding bullying, including information regarding this policy, the harmful effects of bullying, and other applicable initiatives to address bullying, including student peer-to-peer initiatives to provide accountability and policy enforcement for those found to have engaged in bullying, reprisal, or retaliation against any person who reports any act of bullying. To this end, the administration will instruct the district counselors, school social workers, licensed social workers, mental health professionals, and school psychologists to educate students who are victims of bullying on techniques for students to overcome bullying's negative effects. Such techniques shall include, but not be limited to, cultivating the student's self-worth and self-esteem; teaching the student to defend himself or herself assertively and effectively; helping the student develop social skills; or encouraging the student to develop an internal locus of control. The administration shall implement programs and other initiatives to address bullying, to respond to such conduct in a manner that does not stigmatize the victim, and to make resources or referrals available to victims of bullying.