Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors and providing all students equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment are important District goals.
Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, military status, unfavorable discharge status from military service, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, order of protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in each of the following situations:
Definitions from Section 27-23.7 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-23.7)
Bullying includes cyber-bullying and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act of conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
Cyber-bullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyber-bullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying.
Restorative measures means a continuum of school-based alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining school safety, (iii) protect the integrity of a positive and productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in school and society, (v) serve to build and restore relationships among students, families, schools, and communities, (vi) reduce the likelihood of future disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding of students’ behavioral health needs in order to keep students in school.
School personnel means persons employed by, on contract with, or who volunteer in a school district, including without limitation school and school district administrators, teachers, school guidance counselors, school social workers, school counselors, school guidance counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, school resource officers, and security guards.
Bullying Prevention and Response Plan
The Superintendent or designee shall develop and maintain a bullying prevention and response plan that advances the District’s goal of providing all students with a safe learning environment free of bullying and harassment. This plan must be consistent with the requirements listed below; each numbered requirement, 1-12, corresponds with the same number in the list of required policy components in 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7 (b) 1-12.
1. The District uses the definition of bullying as provided in this policy.
2. Bullying is contrary to State law and the policy of this District. However, nothing in the District’s bullying prevention and response plan is intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or under Section 3 or Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
3. Students are encourages to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to the Nondiscrimination Coordinator, Building Principal, Assistant Building Principal, Dean of Students, a Complaint Manager or any staff member with whom the students is comfortable speaking. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report it to the District named officials or any staff member. The District named officials and all staff members are available for help with a bully or to make a report about bullying. Anonymous reports are also accepted.
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services
15732 S. Howard Street
Plainfield, IL 60544
4. Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, the Superintendent or designee shall promptly inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) of every student involved in an alleged incident of bullying and discuss, as appropriate, the availability of social work services, counseling, school psychological services, other interventions, and restorative measures.
5. The Superintendent or designee shall promptly investigate and address reports of bullying, by, among other things:
Making all reasonable efforts to complete the investigation within 10 school days after the date the report of a bullying incident was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported bullying incident.
The Superintendent or designee shall investigate whether a reported incident of bullying is within the permissible scope of the District’s jurisdiction and shall require that the District provide the victim with information regarding services that are available within the District and community, such as counseling, support services, and other programs.
6. The Superintendent or designee shall use interventions to address bulling, that may include, but are not limited to, school social work services, restorative measures, social-emotional skill building, counseling, school psychological services, and community-based services.
7. A reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying is prohibited. A student’s act of reprisal or retaliation will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequence or other appropriate remedial actions.
8. A student will not be punished for reporting bullying or supplying information, even if the District’s investigation concludes that no bullying occurred. However, knowingly making a false accusation or providing knowingly false information will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.
9. The District’s bullying prevention and response plan must be based on the engagement of a range of school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians.
10. The Superintendent or designee shall post this policy on the District’s website, if any, and include it in the student handbook, and where applicable, post it where other policies, rules, and standards of conduct are currently posted. The policy must also be distributed annually to parents/guardians, students, and school personnel (including new employees when hired), and must also be provided periodically throughout the school year to students and faculty.
11. The Superintendent or designee shall assist the Board with its evaluation and assessment of this policy’s outcomes and effectiveness. This process shall include, without limitation:
The evaluation process may use relevant data and information that the District already collects for other purposes. The Superintendent or designee must post the information developed as a result of the policy evaluation on the District’s website, or if a website if not available, the information must be provided to school administrators, Board members, school personnel, parents/guardians, and students.
12. The Superintendent or designee shall fully implement the Board policies, including without limitation, the following:
Full implementation of the above policies includes each school’s adoption of formal Bullying/Harassment Investigation Procedures requiring: (a) a prompt and thorough investigation of alleged incidents of bullying, intimidation, harassing behavior, or similar conduct, (b) a determination by a preponderance of the evidence that bullying or harassment has occurred; (c) the provision of appropriate consequences and remedial action to students who violate on or more of these policies,(d) protection of students against retaliation for reporting such conduct, and (e) notification of all involved parties the outcome of the District’s investigation. Such notification must be consistent with the requirements of the Illinois School Student Records Act. Each building shall utilize the District’s Student Tracking and Reporting System to maintain and track this information.
13. Encourages all members of the school community, including students, parents/guardians, volunteers and visitors, to report alleged acts of bullying, intimidation, harassment, and other acts of actual or threatened violence.
LEGAL REF.: 405 ILCS 49/, Children’s Mental Health Act.
105 ILCS 5/10-20.14, 5/24-24, and 5/27-23.7.
23 Ill.Admin.Code §§1.240 and §1.280.
CROSS REF.: 2:240 (Board Policy Development), 2:260 (Uniform Grievance Policy), 4:170 (Safety), 5:230 (Maintaining Student Discipline), 6:60 (Curriculum Content), 6:65 (Student Social and Emotional Development), 7:20 (Harassment of Students Prohibited), 7:185 (Teen Dating Violence Prohibited), 7:190 (Student Behavior), 7:220 (Bus Conduct), 7:230 (Misconduct by Students with Disabilities), 7:240 (Conduct Code for Participants in Extracurricular Activities), 7:285 (Food Allergy Management Program), 7:310 (Restrictions on Publications), 9:01 (Acceptable Use of Technology)
ADOPTED: June 22, 2009
REVISED: March 22, 2010
January 24, 2011
June 9, 2014
May 26, 2015
January 22, 2018