What is Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB)?

Harassment, intimidation or bullying is any intentionally written message or image, including those that are electronically transmitted, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, culture, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability, or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:

  1. Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property
  2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education
  3. Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment or
  4. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school

Source: Board Policy 3207: Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (PDF)

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature between two or more individuals if:

  1. Submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining an education;
  2. Submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s education, or
  3. That conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s educational performance, or of creating an
    intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational 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.

Source: Board Policy 5011: Sexual Harassment (PDF) and Board Procedure 3207P: Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (PDF)

What is discriminatory harassment?

Discriminatory harassment includes conduct that is based on a student’s status as a member of a protected class and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it limits or denies a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s education programs or activities.

Source: Board Procedure 3210P: Nondiscrimination (PDF)

What is malicious harassment?

Malicious Harassment means committing malicious and intentional acts because of one’s perception of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or mental, physical or sensory disability which:

    1. Causes physical injury to the victim or another person;
    2. Causes physical damage to or destruction of the property of the victim or another person; or
    3. Threatens a specific person or group of persons and places that person, or members of a specific group of persons, in reasonable fear of harm to the persons or property.

Source: Board Procedure 3207P: Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (PDF)

What preventative work does the district do related to HIB?

Bullying Prevention & Social Skills curriculum is being taught at all grade levels, in every school. Please visit the Bullying Prevention & Social Skills page to learn more and for information on talking with your student(s) about bullying, even if you don’t think they are victims, bullies, or bystanders.

During the 2017-2018 school year, the district held a series of community cafes on the topic of Safe Students, Safe Schools. You can view the Community Café Summary (PDF) for more information about those meetings as presented to the School Board.

Where can I find information on the district’s HIB policy?

The school board’s Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Policy 3207 (PDF) and the affiliated Procedure 3207P (PDF) are available on the district website.

What do I do if I suspect my student is experiencing harassment, intimidation, or bullying? What if I am a community member and I observe or receive notice that a student has or may have been the target of harassment, intimidation, or bullying?

  1. Make a verbal or written report of all harassment, intimidation, and bullying to any staff member.
  2. The Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying Incident Reporting Form is available in the main office at each school and online for both the elementary and secondary levels.
  3. You can also make a report with your name or anonymously via the SafeSchools alert system.

Source: Board Procedure 3207P: Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (PDF)

I submitted a verbal and/or written report. What’s next?

Whenever possible staff who initially receive an oral or written report of harassment, intimidation or bullying will attempt to resolve the incident immediately.

All reports of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation or bullying will be recorded on a district Incident Reporting Form and submitted to the principal or designee, unless the principal or designee is the subject of the complaint.

All reports of unresolved, severe, or persistent harassment, intimidation or bullying will be investigated with reasonable promptness. Any student may have a trusted adult with them throughout the report and investigation process.

For additional information please see section H of Board Procedure 3207P (PDF).

I see that I can make a report anonymously, confidentially, or disclosing my name. What is the difference?

  1. Anonymous: Individuals may file a report without revealing their identity. No disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor based solely on an anonymous report. Schools may identify complaint boxes or develop other methods for receiving anonymous, unsigned reports. Possible responses to an anonymous report include enhanced monitoring of specific locations at certain times of day or increased monitoring of specific students or staff. (Example: An unsigned Incident Reporting Form dropped on a teacher’s desk led to the increased monitoring of the boys’ locker room in 5th period.)
  2. Confidential: Individuals may ask that their identities be kept secret from the accused and other students. Like anonymous reports, no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged aggressor based solely on a confidential report. (Example: A student tells a playground supervisor about a classmate being bullied but asks that nobody know who reported the incident. The supervisor says, “I won’t be able to address this with the bullies unless you or someone else who saw it is willing to let me use their names, but I can start hanging out near the basketball court, if that would help.”)
  3. Non-confidential: Individuals may agree to file a report non-confidentially. Complainants agreeing to make their complaint non-confidential will be informed that due process requirements may require that the district release all of the information that it has regarding the complaint to any individuals involved in the incident, but that even then, information will still be restricted to those with a need to know, both during and after the investigation. The district will, however, fully implement the anti-retaliation provision of Policy 3207 and Procedure 3207P to protect complainants and witnesses.

Source: Board Procedure 3207P: Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (PDF)

When and how will I know what disciplinary actions have been taken for the aggressor?

Because of the legal requirement regarding the confidentiality of student records, the principal or designee may not be able to report specific information to the targeted student’s parent/guardian about any disciplinary action taken unless it involves a directive that the targeted student must be aware of in order to report violations.

Source: Board Procedure 3207P: Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (PDF)

What if I am unsatisfied with the response to my concern?

If the complainant or parent/guardian of the complainant is dissatisfied with the results of the investigation, they may appeal to the superintendent or his or her designee by filing a written notice of appeal within five (5) school days of receiving the written decision. The superintendent or his or her designee will review the investigative report and issue a written decision on the merits of the appeal within five (5) school days of receiving the notice of appeal. For additional information about appeals, please see section H Board Procedure 3207P (PDF).

Students and families should use the district’s complaint and appeal procedures as a first response to allegations of harassment, intimidation and bullying. However, nothing in this procedure prevents a student, parent/guardian, school, or district from taking action to remediate discrimination or harassment based on a person’s membership in a legally protected class under local, state or federal law. For a list of state or federal agencies to whom a harassment, intimidation or bullying complaint may also be reported please see Section J of Board Procedure 3207P (PDF).

Who is the district’s HIB Compliance Officer and how could I contact that individual?

Nancy Pham serves as the district’s Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Compliance Officer. Nancy may be contacted via email at phamn@bsd405.org or by phone at (425) 456-4040.