BULLYING OR HARASSING BEHAVIOR
The Board of Trustees of the Hollandale School District prohibits bullying or harassing behavior of students, school employees, or volunteers. (HB 263- A) The Hollandale School District will make every reasonable effort to ensure that no person or school employee is subjected to bullying or harassing behavior by other students or other school employees.
Definitions Bullying or harassing behavior is any pattern of gestures or written, electronic, or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication, or any act reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic that:
(a) places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property, or
(b) creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by substantially interfering with or impairing a student's education, including but not limited to educational performance, opportunities, or benefits.
A "hostile environment" means that the victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would agree that it is bullying or harassing behavior.
The above conduct constitutes bullying if that conduct interferes with a student's education or substantially disrupts the operation of a school. (HB 263 - 6)
Bullying or harassing behavior will not be condoned or tolerated when it takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function, or on a school bus, or when it takes place off school property when such conduct, in the determination of the school superintendent or principal, renders the offending person’s presence a disruption to the operation of the educational environment of the school or a detriment to the best interest and welfare of the pupils and teacher of such class as a whole.
The District encourages anyone who has witnessed or has reliable information that a student or school employee has been subject to any act of bullying or harassing behavior to report the incident to the appropriate school official. Retaliation or reprisal against any person, including a victim, a witness, or another person, who in good faith provides information concerning an incident of bullying or harassing behavior, is prohibited. (HB 263 - B)
The Hollandale School District recognizes the fundamental right of every student to take “reasonable actions” as may be necessary to defend himself or herself from an attack by another student who has evidenced menacing or threatening behavior through bullying or harassing.
“Reasonable action” includes, but is not limited to, promptly reporting the bullying or harassing behavior to a teacher, principal, counselor, or other school employee.
These procedures shall be appropriately placed in District personnel policy handbooks, school handbooks that include discipline policies and procedures, and any other policy or procedure that deals with student or employee behavior.
The School Board directs the superintendent or designee to design and implement procedures for reporting, investigating, and addressing bullying and harassing behaviors.
Legal Reference: MS Code of 1972 37-11-67 and 37-11-69