Harrassment/Bullying

Harrassment/Bullying
Posted on 08/19/2016
Excerpt from DeSoto ISD Code of Conduct

HARASSMENT

Harassment, in general terms, is conduct so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity; creates an intimidating, threatening, hostile, or offensive educational environment; or substantially interferes with the student’s academic performance. A copy of the district’s policy is available in the principal’s office and in the superintendent’s office or on the districts web site at www.desotoisd.org.

Examples of harassment may include, but are not limited to, offensive or derogatory language directed at a person’s religious beliefs or practices, accent, skin color, or need for accommodation; threatening or intimidating conduct; offensive jokes, name-calling, slurs, or rumors; physical aggression or assault; graffiti or printed material promoting racial, ethnic, or other negative stereotypes; or other kinds of aggressive conduct such as theft or damage to property.

The District encourages parental and student support in its efforts to address and prevent harassment in any form in the public schools. Students and/or parents are encouraged to discuss their questions or concerns about the expectations in this area with a teacher, counselor, or principal. Students are strongly encouraged to report harassment to a teacher, counselor or administrator.

HARASSMENT ON BASIS OF RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, OR DISABILITY

Students must not engage in harassment behaviors motivated by race, color, religion, national origin, or disability directed toward another student. A student who believes he or she has been harassed by another student or by a District employee is encouraged to report the incident to the principal. The allegations will be investigated and addressed. The student or a parent may appeal the decision of the principal regarding the outcome of the investigation in accordance with policy FNG (Local). 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Every student has the right to attend district schools and school-related activities free from all forms of discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment of a student by an employee includes any welcome or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal (oral or written), physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature, it also includes such activities as engaging in sexually oriented conversations for purposes of personal sexual gratification, telephoning a student at home or elsewhere to solicit inappropriate social relationships, physical contact that would be reasonably construed as sexual in nature, and enticing or threatening a student to engage in sexual behavior in exchange for grades or other school-related benefit.

Sexual harassment of a student by another student includes unwanted and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, whether by word, gesture, or any other sexual conduct, including requests for sexual favors.

A student or parent who has a complaint alleging sexual harassment by other student(s) or sexual harassment or sexual abuse by an employee may request a conference with the principal, designee, or the Title IX coordinator for students. The student may be accompanied by the parent or other advisor at the initial conference and throughout the complaint process. The initial conference with the student ordinarily shall be held with a person who is the same gender as the student. The conference shall be scheduled and held as soon as possible, but in any event within seven days of receipt of the complaint. At the conference, the persons bringing the complaint shall be informed of the right to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights.

The principal or designee or the Title IX coordinator shall coordinate an appropriate investigation, which ordinarily shall be completed within seven days of receipt of the complaint. The student or parent shall be informed if extenuating circumstances delay the investigation. Nothing in the complaint process shall have the effect of requiring a student alleging sexual harassment or sexual abuse to report the matter to a person who is the subject of the complaint.

 

BULLYING 

Bullying occurs when the conduct exploits an imbalance of power between the students involved through written, verbal expression, electronic means or physical conduct and interferes with a student’s education or substantially disrupts the operation of a school.

Bullying is prohibited by the district and could include hazing, threats, taunting, teasing, assault, demands for money, confinement, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, name-calling, rumor-spreading, and ostracism. In some cases, bullying can occur through electronic methods, called ¯cyberbullying.

If a student believes that he or she has experienced bullying or has witnessed bullying of another student, it is important for the student or parent to notify a teacher, counselor, principal, or another district employee as soon as possible. The administration will investigate any allegations of bullying and will take appropriate disciplinary action if an investigation indicates that bullying has occurred. Disciplinary or other action may be taken even if the conduct did not rise to the level of bullying. Any retaliation against a student who reports an incident of bullying is prohibited.