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7:180 Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment

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 the 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:

1. During any school sponsored education program or activity.
2. While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school bus, or at school sponsored or school sanctioned events or activities.
3. Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment.
4. Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a non-school-related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by the School District or school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school. This paragraph (item #4) applies only when a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred; it does not require staff members to monitor any non-school-related activity, function, or program. 

Definitions from 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:

1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property.
2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
3. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
4. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

Bullying may take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.
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, and (vii) increase student accountability if the incident of bullying is based on religion, race, ethnicity, or any other category that is identified in the Ill. Human Rights Act
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  counselors, school social workers, school 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 encouraged 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 student 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; however, this shall not be construed to permit formal disciplinary action solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

The Superintendent shall insert into this policy the names, office addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of the District’s current Nondiscrimination Coordinator and Complaint Managers.
Nondiscrimination Coordinator:
Mina Griffith
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services
15732 S. Howard Street
Plainfield, IL 60544
(815) 577-4000;
Complaint Managers:
Jennifer Orlos
Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Personnel
15732 Howard Street
Plainfield IL 60544
(815) 577-4000;
Mina Griffith
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services
15732 Howard Street
Plainfield IL 60544
(815) 577-4000;

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:

a. 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.
b. Involving appropriate school support personnel and other staff persons with knowledge, experience, and training on bullying prevention, as deemed appropriate, in the investigation process.
c. Notifying the Building Principal or school administrator or designee of the reported incident of bullying as soon as possible after the report is received.
d. Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, providing parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation information about the investigation and as opportunity to meet with the Building Principal or school administrator or his or her designee to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying.
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 bullying, 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. Any person’s act of reprisal or retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge with regard to employees, or suspension and/or expulsion14 with regard to students.
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 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:

a. The frequency of victimization;
b. Student, staff, and family observations or safety at a school;
c. Identification of areas of a school where bullying occurs; 
d. The types of bullying utilized; and
e. Bystander intervention or participation.

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: 

a. 2:260, Uniform Grievance Procedure.  A student may use this policy to complain about bullying. 
b. 2:265, Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure.  Any person may use this policy to complain about sexual harassment in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. 
c. 6:60, Curriculum Content. Bullying prevention and character instruction is provided in all grades in accordance with State law.
d. 6:65, Student Social and Emotional Development. Student social and emotional development is incorporated into the District’s educational program as required by State law. 
e. 9:01, Acceptable Use of Technology. This policy states that the use of the District’s electronic networks is limited to: (1) support of education and/or research, or (2) a legitimate business use. 
f. 7:20, Harassment of Students Prohibited. This policy prohibits any person from harassing, intimidating, or bullying a student based on an identified actual or perceived characteristic (the list of characteristics in 7:20 is the same as the list in this policy).
g. 7:185, Teen Dating Violence Prohibited. This policy prohibits teen dating violence on school property, at school sponsored activities, and in vehicles used for school-provided transportation. 
h. 7:190, Student Behavior. This policy prohibits, and provides consequences for hazing, bullying, or other aggressive behaviors, or urging other students to engage in such conduct.
i. 9:01, Acceptable Use of Technology. This policy prohibits students from and provides consequences for: (1) accessing and/or distributing at school any written, printed, or electronic material, including material from the Internet, that will cause substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, and (2) creating and/or distributing written, printed, or electronic material, including photographic material and blogs,  that causes substantial disruption to school operations or interferes with the rights of other students or staff members. 

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. 
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.:     105 ILCS 5/10-20.14, 5/10-22.6(b-20), 5/24-24, and 5/27-23.7.
405 ILCS 49/, Children’s Mental Health Act.
775 ILCS 5/1-103, Ill. Human Rights Act.
23 Ill.Admin.Code §§1.240 and §1.280.

CROSS REF.: 2:240 (Board Policy Development), 2:260 (Uniform Grievance Procedure), 2:265 (Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure), 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), 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
May 26, 2020
June 14, 2021
September 13, 2021
May 9, 2022

Reviewed: September 11, 2023