2098 - Employee Bullying and Hazing

Utah Code § 53A-11a-301 requires that this policy be developed with input from students, parents, teachers, school administrators, school staff, or law enforcement agencies. Therefore, seek input from one or more of these groups prior to adopting this policy. This policy regulates employee conduct. There is a corresponding policy applicable to student conduct, Policy FGAD, and the policies should be considered together as part of the District’s bullying and hazing policy. The current statutory deadline for updating the District bullying policy is September 1, 2018.

Definitions—

“Abusive conduct” means verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a parent or student directed toward a school employee that, based on its severity, nature, and frequency of occurrence, a reasonable person would determine is intended to cause intimidation, humiliation, or unwarranted distress.

Bullying: In general, bullying is aggressive behavior that is intended to cause distress and harm, exists in a relationship where there is an imbalance of power and strength, and is repeated over time. As specifically defined by this policy, “Bullying” means intentionally committing a written, physical, or verbal act against a school employee or student that a reasonable person under the circumstances should know or reasonably foresee will have one of the following effects:

causing physical or emotional harm to the school employee or student;

causing damage to the school employee or student’s property;

placing the school employee or student in reasonable fear of:

harm to the school employee’s or student’s physical or emotional well-being; or

damage to the school employee’s or student’s property.

creating a hostile, threatening, humiliating, or abusive educational environment due to:

the pervasiveness, persistence, or severity of the actions; or

a power differential between the bully and the target; or

substantially interfering with a student having a safe school environment that is necessary to facilitate educational performance, opportunities, or benefits.

“Communication” means the conveyance of a message, whether verbal, written, or electronic.

“Cyber-Bullying” means:

Using the Internet, a cell phone, or another device to send or post text, video, or an image with the intent or knowledge, or with reckless disregard, that the text, video, or image will hurt, embarrass, or threaten an individual, regardless of whether the individual directed, consented to, or acquiesced in the conduct, or voluntarily accessed the electronic communication.

In addition, any communication of this form that is generated off-campus but causes or threatens to cause a material and substantial disruption at school or interference with the rights of students to be secure may also be considered cyber-bullying.

“Hazing” means a school employee intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly committing an act or causing another individual to commit an act toward a school employee or student that:

meets one of the following:

endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a school employee or student; or

involves any brutality of a physical nature, including whipping, beating, branding, calisthenics, bruising, electric shocking, placing of a harmful substance on the body, or exposure to the elements;

involves consumption of any food, alcoholic product, drug, or other substance or other physical activity that endangers the mental or physical health and safety of a school employee or student; or

involves any activity that would subject a school employee or student to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, extended isolation from social contact, or conduct that subjects a school employee or student to extreme embarrassment, shame, or humiliation; and either

is committed for the purpose of initiation into, admission into, affiliation with, holding office in, or as a condition for membership in a school or school sponsored team, organization, program, club or event; or

is directed toward a school employee or student whom the individual who commits the act knows, at the time the act is committed, is a member of, or candidate for membership in, a school or school sponsored team, organization, program, club, or event in which the individual who commits the act also participates.

The conduct described in above constitutes hazing, regardless of whether the school employee or student against whom the conduct is committed directed, consented to, or acquiesced in, the conduct.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-613-1 (October 8, 2013)

Utah Code § 76-5-107.5 (2011)

Utah Code § 53A-11a-102(1) to (5) (2017)

“Retaliate” means an act or communication intended:

as retribution against a person for reporting bullying, cyberbullying, abusive conduct, or hazing; or

to improperly influence the investigation of, or the response to, a report of bullying, cyberbullying, abusive conduct, or hazing.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-102(6) (2017)

“School employee” means:

school administrators, teachers, and staff members, as well as others employed or authorized as volunteers, directly or indirectly, by the school, school board, or school district and who works on a school campus.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-102(9) (2017)

Bullying Prohibited—

No school employee may engage in bullying of a student or of a school employee.

School employees who engage in bullying are in violation of this policy and verified violations shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination, consistent with the District’s Orderly Termination policy (DHA).

Anonymous reports of bullying alone cannot constitute the basis for formal disciplinary action.

The school or District may also report violations of this policy to law enforcement.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-301 (2017)

Utah Admin. Rules R277-613-4 (October 8, 2013)

Hazing and Cyberbullying Prohibited—

No school employee may engage in hazing or cyberbullying of a student or of a school employee at any time or at any location.

School employees who engage in hazing or cyberbullying are in violation of this policy and verified violations shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination, consistent with the District’s Orderly Termination policy (DHA).

The school may also determine to break up or dissolve a team, organization, or other school-sponsored group for hazing violations by its members.

Anonymous reports of hazing or cyberbullying alone cannot constitute the basis for formal disciplinary action.

The school or District may also report violations of this policy to law enforcement.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-301 (2017)

Utah Admin. Rules R277-613-4 (October 8, 2013)

Retaliation Prohibited—

No school employee may engage in retaliation against a school employee, a student, or an investigator for, or witness of, an alleged incident of bullying, cyberbullying, hazing, or retaliation against a school employee or student, or an alleged incident of abusive conduct.

School employees who engage in retaliation are in violation of this policy and verified violations shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination, consistent with the District’s Orderly Termination policy (DHA).

Anonymous reports of retaliation alone cannot constitute the basis for formal disciplinary action.

The school shall inform students who have reported being subject to bullying, cyberbullying, or hazing and these students’ parents that retaliation is prohibited and shall encourage the students and parents to be aware of and to report any subsequent problems or new incidents.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-301 (2017)

Utah Admin. Rules R277-613-1 (October 8, 2013)

Utah Admin. Rules R277-613-4.E (October 8, 2013)

Making a False Report Prohibited—

No school employee may make a false allegation of bullying, abusive conduct, cyberbullying, hazing, or retaliation against a school employee or student.

School employees who engage in making such false allegations are in violation of this policy and verified violations shall result in disciplinary action up to and including termination, consistent with the District’s Orderly Termination policy (DHA).

Utah Code § 53A-11a-301(3)(d) (2017)

Utah Admin. Rules R277-613-4.A (October 8, 2013)

Action Plan—

Upon receipt of a reported incident of bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, abusive conduct, or retaliation, the school principal or designee shall determine the actions which are required to appropriately respond under this policy and to properly address and redress the conduct.

When it is determined that a student has been bullied, cyberbullied, or hazed, this plan of action should include consideration of what support, counseling, or other assistance the student may need to prevent such mistreatment from adversely affecting the student’s ability to learn and function in the school setting.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-301(3)(f) (2017)

Training and Education—

Each school shall establish procedures for training school employees, volunteers and students to recognize and prevent bullying, cyberbullying, hazing, or retaliation.

Training to students, staff, and volunteers shall include:

Training specific to overt aggression that may include physical fighting such as punching, shoving, kicking, and verbally threatening behavior, such as name calling, or both physical and verbal aggression or threatening behavior;

Training specific to relational aggression or indirect, covert, or social aggression, including rumor spreading, intimidation, enlisting a friend to assault a child, and social isolation;

Training specific to prohibitions against bullying or hazing of a sexual nature or with sexual overtones;

Training specific to cyber bullying, including use of email, web pages, text messaging, instant messaging, three-way calling or messaging or any other electronic means for aggression inside or outside of school; and

Training regarding civil rights violations and appropriate reporting and investigative procedures. “Civil rights violations” means bullying, cyber-bullying, hazing, or harassment targeted at a federally protected class and includes such conduct based upon students’ actual or perceived identities and conformance or failure to conform to stereotypes.

In addition to training school employees and educating students mentioned above, all volunteer coaches, employees, and students involved in any curricular athletic program or any extra-curricular club or activity shall:

Complete bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment and hazing prevention training prior to participation;

Repeat bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment and hazing prevention training at least every three years;

Be informed annually of the prohibited activities list provided previously in this Policy and the potential consequences for violation of this Policy.

The content of this activity training shall be developed in collaboration with the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) and the training shall also be provided in collaboration with UHSAA. The school shall obtain and keep signature lists of the participants in the activity training.

Teachers should discuss this policy with their students in age-appropriate ways and should assure them that they need not endure any form of bullying, harassment, hazing, or cyberbullying.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-301 (2017)

Utah Admin. Rules R277-613-4.F, -5 (October 8, 2013)

The District may also offer voluntary training to parents and students regarding abusive conduct.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-401(1)(b) (2017)

Assessment—

Each school shall regularly (and at least once per year) conduct assessment through student input (surveys, reports, or other methods) of the prevalence of bullying, cyberbullying, and hazing in the school, and specifically in locations where students may be unsafe and adult supervision may be required such as playgrounds, hallways, and lunch areas.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-613-4.D (October 8, 2013)

Publication and Acknowledgment—

A copy of this policy shall be included in employee handbooks, shall be provided to the parent or guardian of each student enrolled in the District, and shall be available on the District website.

Each employee shall

Each student and a parent or guardian of each student enrolled in the District shall annually provide a signed statement stating that the student and parent or guardian has received a copy of this policy.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-301(3)(g), (4) (2017)

Parental Notification of Incidents—

The school shall notify the parent or guardian of a student who is involved in an incident of bullying, hazing, cyber-bullying, abusive conduct, or retaliation (whether as a perpetrator or victim).

The school is also required to notify the parent or guardian of a student who threatens to commit suicide. (See Policy FDACD.) In addition, the school shall produce and maintain a record that verifies that the parent or guardian was notified of the threats or incidents listed above. The record is a private record for purposes of the Government Records Access and Management Act.

The process for notifying a parent or guardian shall consist of:

The school principal or designee shall attempt to make personal contact with a parent or guardian when the school has notice of a threat or incident listed above. It is recommended that the parent be informed of the threat or incident with two school people present. If personal contact is not possible, the parent or guardian may be contacted by phone. A second school person should witness the phone call.

Contact with the parent or guardian must be documented in a "Verification of Parent or Guardian Contact Regarding Threat or Incident."

(A copy of the “Verification of Parent or Guardian Contact Regarding Threat or Incident” is attached below.) Subject to laws regarding confidentiality of student educational records, at the request of a parent or guardian, a school may provide information and make recommendations related to an incident or threat.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-203 (2016)

The record of parental notification shall be maintained in accordance with Policy FE, Policy FEA, the Utah Student Data Protection Act, the Utah Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). A copy of the record of parental notification shall upon request be provided to the student to whom the record relates. After the student has graduated, the District shall expunge the record of parental notification upon request of the student.

Utah Code § 53A-11a-203(3)(b) (2016)

VERIFICATION OF PARENT OR GUARDIAN CONTACT REGARDING THREAT OR INCIDENT

I, [Name] , principal or principal’s designee, contacted [Name of parent or guardian] on [Date] and notified him or her that [Name of student] has made suicidal threats or was involved in an incident of bullying, hazing, cyber-bullying, abusive conduct, or retaliation. Contact was made:

[ __ ] in person

[ __ ] by telephone (number used: ____________________)

[ __ ] by email (email address used: ____________________)

[ __ ] by other method (specify): ______________________

Notice was given of:

[ __ ] suicide threat

[ __ ] bullying incident

[ __ ] cyber-bullying incident

[ __ ] abusive conduct incident

[ __ ] hazing incident

[ __ ] retaliation incident

[Name of school staff member]_______ , witnessed the contact.

_________________________ __________________ _______________

Principal or Principal’s Designee Title Date

_________________________ ___________________ ________________

School Staff Member Title Date

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