Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying

HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION AND BULLYING

Edmonds School District Notice to Parents and Students:

It is the intent of the students and staff in the Edmonds School District to create an environment for learning and work that promotes and values respect, diversity and trust. Individuals have the right to be treated with respect and dignity, and have the responsibility to treat others the same way.

Definition:  Harassment, intimidation, or bullying (HIB) is an intentional written, verbal, or physical act which:

  1. Physically or emotionally harms a student or damages the student’s property; or
  2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education; or
  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.

Recognizing Harassment:

The following behaviors are among those commonly identified as forms of HIB:

Written or Verbal Could Include:

  • Remarks and / or suggestions that are unwanted / unwelcome.
  • Comments about body
  • Teasing, joking or making dehumanizing, derogatory, lewd remarks
  • Ethnic/political/racial/religious/sexual slurs
  • Hazing (initiation activities)
  • Unwanted / unwelcome written, verbal or electronic messages
  • Sexting (i.e. electronic transmission containing inappropriate sexual content)
  • Exploiting a physical / mental disability
  • Pressure for sexual activity
  • Threats / acts of aggression
  • Suggested favors to obtain preferential treatment
  • Extortion
  • Demanding compliance accompanied by implied / overt threats
  • Making demeaning comments in front of others
  • Spreading rumors
  • Unwanted questions or comments of a highly personal nature

Physical Could Include:

  • Unwanted / unwelcome touching / grabbing
  • Impeding / blocking the free movement of another
  • Staring / leering in a way that makes a person uncomfortable
  • Displaying offensive graphics / drawings / graffiti / cartoons
  • Intentional brushing against body
  • Obscene/Threatening gestures
  • Pranks
  • Lewd conduct

Reporting Incidents of Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying:

Students, parents and volunteers are encouraged to report incidents of harassment, intimidation or bullying to the appropriate school official. To report an incident, students, parents, and volunteers can report directly to school staff or they may use the Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Reporting Form located at http://www.edmonds.wednet.edu/cms/One.aspx?portalId=306754&pageId=612037   Disciplinary action will be taken to address the behavior or the perpetrator. No school district employee, student, or volunteer may engage in reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim, witness, or one with reliable information about an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. False reports or retaliation will receive consequences. Students who engage in harassment as defined above will be subject to school discipline including and up to suspension or expulsion from school.

Equal Educational Opportunity and Sexual Harassment:

The Edmonds School District will maintain a learning and work environment that is free from sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination which is prohibited under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. Sexual harassment substantially compromises the attainment of educational excellence, and the District will not tolerate such behavior by staff or by students, or by parents, volunteers or contractors while on school district grounds or participating in school-sponsored events.

All such complaints will be promptly investigated and, where appropriate, immediate corrective action will be taken.  To the highest degree possible, allowing for a fair investigation, all such complaints will be treated in a confidential manner.

The District prohibits retaliation against any employee, volunteer, parent, or student because he or she has made a report of alleged sexual harassment, or against any employee, volunteer, parent, or student, who has testified, assisted or participated in the investigation of a report.  Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, or adverse pressure. Retaliation is itself a violation of law and will lead to disciplinary action against the offender.

Persons who knowingly report false allegations of sexual harassment or corroborate false allegations of sexual harassment will be subject to appropriate discipline or other sanctions.

Any District staff member (regardless of area of responsibility) who knows or has reason to believe that sexual harassment is or may be occurring must take immediate steps to see that the matter is addressed or reported.  Such action must be taken whether or not the student(s), volunteer, or parent has reported the incident.

 

Sexual harassment is legally defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in which:

Submission to such conduct or communication is made either an explicit or implicit term or condition of success in school;
Submission to or rejection of such conduct or communication is used as a basis for educational decisions affecting that person; or
Such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with the individual's school performance, or of creating an intimidating hostile, or offensive educational environment.
An "intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment" means an environment in which:

Unwelcome racially or sexually-oriented jokes, innuendoes, obscenities, pictures/posters or any action with sexual connotation makes a student feel uncomfortable; or
Any aggressive, harassing behavior in the school that affects learning, whether or not sexual in connotation, is directed toward an individual based on his/her sex or sexual orientation.
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviors:

Insulting or degrading sexual remarks, written material, or conduct directed to a student or staff member;
Threats, demands, or suggestions that a person’s status is contingent upon his/her tolerance or acquiescence to advances;
Cornering or blocking of normal movements;
Displaying sexually suggestive pictures or objects in an educational/work environment;
Unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, leering or staring, sexual flirtation or propositions, sexual slurs, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments or sexually degrading descriptions, verbal comments about an individual’s body, overly personal conversation of a sexual nature, sexual jokes, stories, drawings, pictures or gestures, spreading of sexual rumors, touching of an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual way.

 

Reporting Incidents of Sexual Harassment:

If any student, parent or community member experiences or witnesses discrimination or sexual harassment, they are encouraged to report it immediately to any school administrator with whom they feel comfortable.  Reports of such incidents may also be reported to the district Equity Officer, Debby Carter, 425 431-7012

Students who engage in harassment as defined above will be subject to school discipline including and up to suspension or expulsion from school.

Legal References:

Washington State RCW 26.44.030, RCW9A.36.080 (3) and SHB 1444

Edmonds School District Policies #8200, 8205, 8206, 8207 and 8208                                                      2/19/04


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