Kansas Association of School Boards Sample Policies:
GAAE Bullying by Staff (2013)
KGC Bullying by Parents
Short Model Plan and Related Forms
Michigan State Board of Education
The (fill in district name) board of education prohibits acts of harassment or bullying. The board of education has determined that a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. Harassment or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and school’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment. Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment or bullying is expected of administrators, faculty, staff, and volunteers to provide positive examples for student behavior.
“Harassment or bullying” is any gesture or written, verbal, graphic, or physical act (including electronically transmitted acts- i.e. internet, cell phone, personal digital assistant (pda), or wireless hand held device) that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual act or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression; or a mental, physical, or sensory disability or impairment; or by any other distinguishing characteristic. Such behavior is considered harassment or bullying whether it takes place on or off school property, at any school-sponsored function, or in a school vehicle.
“Harassment” is conduct that meets all of the following criteria:
is directed at one or more pupils;
substantially interferes with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one or more pupils;
adversely affects the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school district’s educational programs or activities because the conduct, as reasonably perceived by the pupil, is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive as to have this effect; and,
is based on a pupil’s actual or distinguishing characteristic (see above), or is based on an association with another person who has or is perceived to have any of these characteristics.
“Bullying” is conduct that meets all of the following criteria:
is directed at one or more pupils;
substantially interferes with educational opportunities, benefits, or programs of one or more pupils;
adversely affects the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school district’s educational programs or activities by placing the pupil in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing emotional distress; and,
is based on a pupil’s actual or distinguishing characteristic (see above), or is based on an association with another person who has or is perceived to have any of these characteristics.
The (fill in district name) board of education expects students to conduct themselves in a manner in keeping with their levels of development, maturity, and demonstrated capabilities with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, school staff, volunteers, and contractors.
The (fill in district name) board of education believes that standards for student behavior must be set cooperatively through interaction among the students, parents and guardians, staff, and community members of the school district, producing an atmosphere that encourages students to grow in self-discipline. The development of this atmosphere requires respect for self and others, as well as for district and community property on the part of students, staff, and community members.
The (fill in district name) board of education believes that the best discipline is self-imposed, and that it is the responsibility of staff to use disciplinary situations as opportunities for helping students learn to assume responsibility and the consequences of their behavior. Staff members who interact with students shall apply best practices designed to prevent discipline problems and encourage students’ abilities to develop self-discipline.
Since bystander support of harassment or bullying can support these behaviors, the district prohibits both active and passive support for acts of harassment or bullying. The staff should encourage students to support students who walk away from these acts when they see them, constructively attempt to stop them, or report them to the designated authority.
The (fill in district name) board of education requires its school administrators to develop and implement procedures that ensure both the appropriate consequences and remedial responses to a student or staff member who commits one or more acts of harassment or bullying. The following factors, at a minimum, shall be given full consideration by school administrators in the development of the procedures for determining appropriate consequences and remedial measures for each act of harassment or bullying.
Factors for Determining Consequences
Age, development, and maturity levels of the parties involved
Degree of harm
Nature and severity of the behavior(s)
Incidences of past or continuing pattern(s) of behavior
Relationship between the parties involved
Context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred
Factors for Determining Remedial Measures
Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward student
General staff management of classrooms or other educational environments
Staff ability to prevent and de-escalate difficult or inflammatory situations
Social-emotional and behavioral supports
Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student or staff member who commits one or more acts of harassment or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, in the case of a student, or suspension or termination in the case of an employee, as set forth in the board of education’s approved code of student conduct or employee handbook.
Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment or bullying shall be unique to the individual incident and will vary in method and severity according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student, and the student’s history of problem behaviors and performance, and must be consistent with the board of education’s approved code of conduct. Remedial measures shall be designed to: correct the problem behavior; prevent another occurrence of the behavior; and protect the target (victim) of the act. Effective discipline should employ a school-wide approach to adopt a rubric of bullying offenses and the associated consequences. The consequences and remedial measures may include, but are not limited to, the examples below:
Examples of Consequences
Temporary removal from the classroom
Loss of privileges
Classroom or administrative detention
Referral to disciplinarian
In-school suspension during the school week or the weekend, for students
Expulsion or termination
Examples of Remedial Measures
Framing the aggressive behavior as a failed attempt to solve a real problem or reach a goal. The adult assists the misbehaving student to find a better way to solve the problem or met the goal.
Restitution and restoration
Transformative conferencing/restorative justice
Peer support group
Corrective instruction or other relevant learning or service experience
Supportive discipline to increase accountability for the bullying offense
Supportive interventions, including participation of an Intervention and referral Services team, peer mediation, etc.
Behavioral assessment or evaluation, including, but not limited to, a referral to a Child Study Team, as appropriate
The (fill in district name) board of education requires the principal and/or the principal’s designee to be responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. In doing so, the principal and/or the principal’s designee shall conduct a prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of each alleged incident. The investigation is to be completed within three school days after the report or complaint is made.
The (fill in district name) board of education prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment or bullying. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the administrator after consideration of the nature, severity, and circumstances of the act.
The (fill in district name) board of education prohibits any person from falsely accusing another as a means of harassment or bullying. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment or bullying shall be disciplined in accordance with district policies, procedures, and agreements.
The (fill in district name) board of education requires school officials to annually disseminate the policy to all school staff, students, and parents, along with a statement explaining that it applies to all applicable acts of harassment and bullying that occur on school property, at school-sponsored functions, or on a school bus. The chief school administrator shall develop an annual process for discussing the school district policy on harassment and bullying with students and staff.
The school district shall incorporate information regarding the policy against harassment or bullying into each school employee training program and handbook.
Adopted May5, 2006
Nebraska Department of Education
School Safety Center
Anti-Bullying and Positive Student Behavior
The process for developing and anti-bullying policy may begin by reviewing and aligning existing district definitions, policies, procedures, and practices related to a safe and secure learning environment, school discipline, and expected conduct. Once aligned, gaps in policy can be identified and addressed, including the development of an anti-bullying policy. An anti-bullying policy should apply to various settings (elementary, secondary, bus, activity, etc.) and to all students, staff and others who provide or receive services as a result of their participation in school-sponsored programs. Additional considerations in policy development are state and federal guidelines and regulations. An anti-bullying policy is a document that is distinct from the school code of conduct or discipline policy. It is a unique document that recognizes and responds to the behaviors that are specific to bullying.
Components of an Anti-Bullying Policy
Dissemination of Anti-Bullying Policy
- A statement of the position of the school or district regarding bullying behaviors and/or positive student behavior.
- The school or district definition of bullying.
- A statement relating to the responsibilities and the rights of students, staff, and others who are associated with the school with regard to bullying behavior.
- A procedure describing the process for reporting incidents of bullying and the procedures the school will follow in response to the report.
- A statement regarding false reporting and prohibition of retaliation.
The anti-bullying policy and grievance procedures should be published in student and staff handbooks, on a website, or in some format that is easily accessible to all persons who may be affected by the policy (students, staff, parents, community). Consideration should be given to providing the policy in different languages based on need within the school community. Abbreviated forms of the policy may be disseminated on a regular basis through newsletters or other communications with reference made to the complete document.
Discussion regarding the development of an ant-bullying policy should take into consideration issues related to bullying, including hazing and cyberbullying. Schools are required to have a sexual harassment policy on file. Anti-bullying policy should be strength based, identifying expected behaviors and enumerating remediation and consequences.
Bully Police USA
Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying
The __________ School District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, volunteer and patrons, free from harassment, intimidation or bullying. “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any intentional written, verbal, or physical act, when the intentional written, verbal or physical 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 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.
This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the education 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.
Counseling, corrective discipline, and/or referral to law enforcement (mental health) will be used to change the behavior of the perpetrator and remediate the impact on the victim. This includes appropriate intervention(s), restoration of a positive climate, and support for victims and others impacted by the violation. False reports or retaliation for harassment, intimidation or bullying also constitutes violations of this policy.
The Superintendent is authorized to direct development and implementation of procedures addressing the elements of this policy, consistent with the complaint and investigation components of district, state and federal procedures.
Informal Complaint Process
Anyone may use informal procedures to report and resolve complaints of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. At the building level, programs may be established for receiving anonymous complaints. Such complaints must be appropriately investigated and handled consistent with due process requirements. Informal reports may be made to any staff member, although staff shall always inform complaints of their right to, and the process for, filing a formal complaint. Staff shall also direct potential complaints to an appropriate staff member who can explain the informal and formal complaint process and what a complaint can expect. Staff shall also inform an appropriate supervisor or designated staff person when they receive complaints of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, especially when the complaint is beyond their training to resolve or alleges serious misconduct.
Informal remedies include an opportunity for the complainant(s) to explain the to the alleged perpetrator that the conduct is unwelcome, disruptive, or inappropriate either in writing or face-to-face; a statement from a staff member to the alleged perpetrator that the alleged conduct is not appropriate and could lead to discipline if proven or repeated; or a general public statement from an administrator in a building reviewing the district harassment, intimidation and bullying policy without identifying the complainant, parent, guardian, or because the district believes the complaint needs to be more thoroughly investigated.
Formal Complaint Process: Anyone may initiate a formal complaint of harassment, intimidation or bullying, even if the informal complaint process is being utilized. Complainant(s) should not be promised confidentiality at the onset of an investigation. It cannot be predicted what will be discovered or what kind of hearing may result. Efforts should be made to increase the confidence and trust of the person making the complaint. The district will fully implement the anti-retaliation provisions of this policy to protect complainant(s) and witness(es). Student complainants and witnesses may have a parent or trusted adult with them, if requested, during any district initiated investigatory activities. The superintendent or designated compliance officer (hereinafter referred to as the compliance officer) may conclude that the district need to conduct an investigation based on information in their possession regardless of the complainant’s interest in filing a formal complaint. The following process shall be followed:
- All informal complaints shall be in writing. Formal complaints shall set forth the specific acts, conditions or circumstances alleged to have occurred that may constitute harassment, intimidation or bullying. The compliance officer may draft the complaint based on the report of the complainant, for the complainant to review and sign.
- Regardless of the complainant’s interest in filing a formal complaint, the compliance officer may conclude that the district needs to draft a formal complaint based on the information in the officer’s possession.
- The compliance officer shall investigate all formal, written complaints of harassment, intimidation or bullying, and other information in the compliance officer’s possession that the officer believes requires further investigation.
- When the investigation is completed the compliance officer shall compile a full written report of the complaint and the result of the investigation. If the matter has not been resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction, the superintendent shall take further action on the report.
- The superintendent or designee, who is not the compliance officer, shall respond in writing to the complainant and the accused within thirty days, stating:
- That the district intends to take corrective action; or
- That the investigation is incomplete to date and will be continuing; or
- That the district does not have adequate evidence to conclude that bullying, harassment or intimidation occurred.
- Corrective measures deemed necessary will be instituted as quickly as possible, but in no event more than thirty days after the superintendent’s written response, unless the accused is appealing the imposition of discipline and the district is barred by due process considerations or a lawful order from imposing the discipline until the appeal process in concluded.
- If a student remains aggrieved by the superintendent’s designee’s response, the student may pursue the complaint as one of discrimination pursuant to Policy ____, Nondiscrimination or a complaint pursuant to Policy ____, complaint Concerning staff or Programs.
- Students will be provided with age-appropriate information on the recognition and prevention harassment, intimidation or bullying, and their rights and responsibilities under this and other district policies and rule at student orientation sessions and on other appropriate occasions, which may include parents. Parents shall be provided with copies of this policy and procedure and appropriate materials on the recognition and prevention of harassment, intimidation and bullying.
Cross References: Policy ____ Rights and Responsibilities
Policy ____ Nondiscrimination
Policy ____ Exceptional Misconduct
Legal Reference: Chapter ___ Law of ____
ANTI-BULLYING POLICY FOR COLUMBIA ELEMENTARY
Statement of Intent
We are committed to providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for all of our pupils so they can learn in a relaxed and secure atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all pupils should be able to tell and know that incidents will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell the staff.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. Bullying results in pain and distress to the victim. Bullying occurs in school playgrounds every 7 minutes and once every 25 minutes in class. Boys report more physical forms of bullying: girls tend to bully in indirect ways, such as gossiping and excluding. Research shows that 85% of bullying episodes occur in the context of a peer group (Pepler et al., 1997).
Bullying can be:
- Emotional being unfriendly, excluding, tormenting (e.g. hiding books, threatening gestures)
- Physical pushing, kicking, hitting, punching or any use of violence
- Racist racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
- Sexual unwanted physical contact or sexually abusive comments
- Homophobic because of, or focusing on the issue of sexuality
- Verbal name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors, teasing
- Cyber All areas of internet ,such as email & internet chat room misuse
- Mobile threats by text messaging & calls
- Misuse of associated technology , i.e. camera &video facilities
Why is it Important to Respond to Bullying?
Bullying hurts. No one deserves to be a victim of bullying. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. Students who are bullying need to learn different ways of behaving. Schools have a responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to issues of bullying.
Objectives of this Policy
- All teaching and non-teaching staff, pupils and parents should have an understanding of what bullying is.
- All teaching and non-teaching staff should know what the school policy is on bullying, and follow it when bullying is reported.
- All pupils and parents should know what the school policy is on bullying, and what they should do if bullying arises.
- As a school we take bullying seriously. Pupils and parents should be assured that they will be supported when bullying is reported.
- Bullying will not be tolerated.
Signs and Symptoms
A child may indicate by signs or behavior that he or she is being bullied. Adults should be aware of these possible signs and that they should investigate if a child:
- is frightened of walking to or from school
- doesn't want to go on the school / public bus
- begs to be driven to school
- changes their usual routine
- is unwilling to go to school (school phobic)
- begins to truant
- becomes withdrawn anxious, or lacking in confidence
- attempts or threatens suicide or runs away
- cries themselves to sleep at night or has nightmares
- feels ill in the morning
- begins to do poorly in school work
- comes home with clothes torn or books damaged
- has possessions which are damaged or " go missing"
- asks for money or starts stealing money (to pay bully)
- has lunch or other monies continually "lost"
- has unexplained cuts or bruises
- comes home starving (money / lunch has been stolen)
- becomes aggressive, disruptive or unreasonable
- is bullying other children or siblings
- stops eating
- is frightened to say what's wrong
- gives improbable excuses for any of the above
- is afraid to use the internet or mobile phone
- is nervous & jumpy when a cyber message is received
These signs and behaviors could indicate other problems, but bullying should be considered a possibility and should be investigated.
- Report bullying incidents to staff
- In cases of serious bullying, the incidents will be recorded by staff
- In serious cases parents should be informed and will be asked to come in to a meeting to discuss the problem
- If necessary and appropriate, police will be consulted in extreme cases
- The bullying behavior or threats of bullying must be investigated and the bullying stopped quickly
- An attempt will be made to help the bully (bullies) change their behavior
- Outcomes (with reconciliation of pupils being the goal)
- Call parents
- The bully (bullies) may be asked to genuinely apologize.
- Repeated offenders may have consequences such as meeting with the assistant principal, participating in peer mediation, or participating in small group or individual counseling.
- In serious cases, ISS or OSS will be considered
- After the incident / incidents have been investigated and dealt with, each case will be monitored to ensure repeated bullying does not take place.
We will use various methods for helping children to prevent bullying. As and when appropriate, these may include:
- writing a set of school rules
- signing a behavior contract
- writing stories or poems or drawing pictures about bullying
- reading stories about bullying or having them read to a class or assembly
- making up and participating in role-plays
- having discussions (class meetings) about bullying and why it matters
- school/community training
Wisconsin State Department of Education
Bullying Prevention Policy Guidelines
School districts must provide a safe, secure, and respectful learning environment for all students, in school buildings, on school buses, and at school-sponsored events. While the majority of Wisconsin high school students report feeling safe at school, 12 percent of them also reported being bullied (i.e., picked on or harassed) in the past year.
Bullying is not a rite of passage that must be endured by young people. Instead, it is a behavior that schools must address because of its harmful social, physical, psychological, and academic impact on the bullies, the victims, and the bystanders. For example:
- Victims of bullying may suffer depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, and feelings of isolation, as well as school absenteeism and low academic achievement. Victims may develop risk factors for violent acts.
- Sixty percent of children identified as bullies in middle school go on to have arrest records.
- Bullying incidents may create a negative school climate impacting the learning environment of all students.
The research suggests that comprehensive school and community bullying prevention programs are effective. One component of a comprehensive bullying prevention program is a well-written and consistently implemented school board policy. The guidelines that follow provide elements of policies that might be considered for inclusion.
Guidelines for Effective Bullying Prevention Policies
The following elements should be considered for inclusion in a school district’s policy related to the prevention of and response to bullying behaviors:
- Bullying includes aggressive or hostile behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power between the bully and the bullied. It is typically repeated over time.
- Bullying takes many forms, including, but not limited to, physical or verbal assaults, nonverbal or emotional threats or intimidation, social exclusion and isolation, extortion, and the use of a computer or telecommunications to send embarrassing, slanderous, threatening, or intimidating messages.
- Bullying is a form of victimization and is not necessarily a result of or part of an ongoing conflict.
- Bullying can also be characterized by teasing, put-downs, name-calling, cruel rumors, false accusations, and hazing.
Each of the following forms of bullying should be prohibited under a local policy:
- Student-to-student behaviors characterized as bullying per the adopted definition, provided it takes place at school, during a school-sponsored activity, on school buses, or through the use of school equipment in the case of cyberbullying. Additionally, a student bullying an adult staff member, using the same criteria.
- An adult school staff member bullying a student or another staff member.
It is considered the responsibility of all students and school staff members to report acts of bullying in any of the above-described situations to a member of the school staff or administration, as designated by the policy to be a recipient of such reports.
All such reports are to be taken seriously by the party designated by the policy to receive the same. The school staff or administrator will support students and coworkers making such reports and protect against any potential retaliation for making such a report.
Students and staff making prompt, accurate, and thorough reports, either verbally or in writing, will have those reports recorded by the staff receiving the same. An investigation to determine the facts will take place immediately or as soon as practicable, in order to verify the validity and seriousness of the report.
Filing a report in good faith will not reflect upon the individual’s status, nor will it affect his or her grades or employment status by the district if the complainant is an adult staff member. The district shall keep the complaint confidential for both the accused and the accuser, until such time as the misconduct is confirmed and sanctions are imposed.
Sanctions and Support
Programs designed to prevent bullying behavior redirect students from continuing to bully and to support both victims of bullies and the bullies themselves should be explored. These programs take many forms and include classroom activities and instruction.
Where it is determined that students participated in bullying behavior in violation of the policy, the school district staff responsible for maintaining order and discipline may take disciplinary action including suspension, expulsion, and referral to law enforcement officials for possible legal action.
Employees found to have participated in bullying behavior, or having become aware that bullying was taking place and failed to report the behavior, are considered to be in violation of the prohibition expressed by the policy. They may be subject to disciplinary action consistent with the collective bargaining agreement or disciplinary action established by policy or practice.
Disclosure and Public Reporting
Notification to all parties subject to this policy defining and prohibiting bullying shall be made annually. A summary of the policy will be incorporated into student and employee handbooks. It will also be distributed to organizations in the community having cooperative agreements with the schools.
Data on the number and types of reports made under this prohibition, the results of investigations undertaken to verify the details made in complaints, and the sanctions imposed for incidents found to be violation of the same are to be kept on an annual aggregated basis. No individuals, either complainants or violators, will be named in such reports.
Annual reports will be presented to the school board for use in development of prevention programs and/or modifications of this and other related policies. The annual report will be made available to the public upon request.
Students in Wisconsin schools are depending on the adults in their lives to ensure a safe, supportive learning environment in which they can thrive and reach their full potential. The information provided in this document is designed to assist school districts in developing effective bullying prevention policies that meet their local needs.
In conclusion, the following guidance is offered for consideration by educators, parents, and community members as they work to provide effective programming:
- An assessment needs to be conducted to determine the prevalence of bullying, where it is happening, who is involved, and when it is happening.
- Programs must be implemented K–12 and must be comprehensive in nature, including policy, curriculum, and interventions.
- Administrators must provide strong leadership and commitment for antibullying programs to be successful.
- Policy needs to be communicated regularly to students, parents, teachers, and others. Rules against bullying need to be enforced consistently.
- The climate of the school must discourage bullying.
- Parents need to be educated about bullying, and they need to be involved in prevention efforts.
- Quality bullying prevention programming, strategies, and resources need to be developed or purchased.
- Strategies for hot spots such as buses, cafeterias, lavatories, and other locations need to be developed.
- Environmental redesign may need to be considered. Technological monitoring may be effective.
- Training needs to be provided for administrators, teachers, and all school staff, including cafeteria workers, bus drivers, playground supervisors, and others.
- The district’s computer-use policy needs to include cyber bullying in the list of unacceptable uses of district equipment.
- Resources need to be identified to assist bullies, victims, bystanders, and families.
- Data must be maintained regarding the effectiveness of bullying prevention efforts.
- Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, http://popcenter.org/Problems/problem-bullying.htm
- Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESA)
- National Education Association, www.nea.org/schoolsafety/bullying.html
- National Resource Center for Safe Schools, www.safetyzone.org
- Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
- School-wide Prevention of Bullying, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, www.nwrel.org
- Stop Bullying Now, Health Resources and Services Administration, www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov
- U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, www.ed.gov
- U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, www.cops.usdoj.gov
- Wisconsin Association of School Boards, www.wasb.org
- Wisconsin Clearinghouse, http://wch.uhs.wisc.edu
- Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Bullying Prevention Curriculum, Grades 3–5.
- Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Student Services Prevention/Wellness Team, http://dpi.wi.gov/sspw/index.html
- Wisconsin Public Television—Teen Connection, www.wpt.org
While funding for bullying prevention programs may be available at the local level, school districts are reminded that dollars from the U.S. Department of Education’s Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities program may also be used to assist with these efforts.
 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. (2005). 2005 Wisconsin youth risk behavior survey: Executive summary.
 Sampson, R. (2002). The problem of bullying in schools. Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. www.cops.usdoj.gov