• Revisions to harassment complaints procedures to include procedures for complaints of bullying, measures to respond to the complaints and information regarding transfers in cases of bullying
Bullying and Other Types of Harassment
The district encourages all students and staff members to foster a climate of mutual respect for others in order to enhance the district’s educational purpose and the program designed to achieve that purpose. Each student is expected to respect the rights and privileges of other students, teachers, and district staff members. Students shall not engage in harassment motivated by age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, marital status, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression and directed toward another student. A substantiated charge of harassment against a student shall result in disciplinary action. The term “harassment” includes repeated, unwelcome, and offensive slurs, jokes, or other oral, written, graphic, or physical conduct relating to an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, or disability that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment. The term also includes threatening to cause harm or bodily injury to another student, engaging in sexually intimidating conduct, causing physical damage to the property of another student, subjecting another student to physical confinement or restraint, or maliciously taking any action that substantially harms another student ’s physical or emotional health or safety. Students who believe they have been harassed by fellow students or district employees are encouraged to promptly report such incidents to the campus principal. Retaliation against any person, including a victim, a witness, or another person, who in good faith provides information concerning an incident of bullying is prohibited. Further, discipline shall not be imposed on a student who is the victim of bullying if it is determined that the student used reasonable self-defense in response to bullying. If the campus principal is the subject of a complaint, the student shall report the complaint directly to the elementary-, middle-, or high-school chief school officer or designated administrator. Upon receipt of a complaint of bullying, the administrator shall promptly notify the parent/guardian of the allegation. Upon request of the parent/guardian, the student shall be referred to a counselor for assessment and to determine what counseling options may be appropriate. Any allegations of bullying or harassment of students shall be investigated and addressed promptly. Oral complaints shall be reduced to writing to assist in the district’s investigation. To the greatest extent possible, complaints shall be treated as confidential. However, limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation. A parent or student may appeal the decision of the principal regarding the outcome of the investigation into the allegations. Information on the procedure for appealing the decision of the principal to the chief schools officer or the superintendent’s designee and to the board is explained in Board Policy FNG(LOCAL). Allegations and investigation of claims of sexual harassment are addressed above in the section entitled “Sexual Harassment.”
Transfer of Students Who Have Engaged in Bullying
Students who engage in bullying may be transferred to another classroom at the campus to which the victim was assigned at the time the bullying occurred; or a campus in the district other than the campus to which the victim was assigned at the time the bullying occurred. Students with disabilities may only be transferred in accordance with the discipline procedures applicable to students with disabilities as specified in Tex. Educ. Code, Sec. 37.004.