1. Bullying committed by students toward other students is strictly prohibited. Engaging in bullying conduct described in this rule by use of data or computer software that is accessed through any computer, any computer system, or any computer network is also prohibited.
2. For purposes of this rule, bullying is defined as overt, unwanted, repeated acts or gestures, including verbal or written communications or images transmitted in any manner including electronically or digitally, physical acts committed, aggression, or any other similar behaviors that are committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the targeted student and create for the targeted student an objectively hostile school environment that:
3. This rule may be applied regardless of the physical location of the bullying behavior when a student committing bullying behavior and the targeted student attend a school within the school corporation and disciplinary action is reasonably necessary to avoid substantial interference with school discipline or prevent an unreasonable threat to the rights of other students to a safe and peaceful learning environment.
4. Any student or parent who has knowledge of conduct in violation of this rule or any student who feels he/she has been bullied in violation of this rule should immediately report the conduct to the principal or designee, who has responsibility for all investigations of student misconduct including bullying. A student or parent may also report the conduct to a teacher, counselor or social worker who will be responsible for notifying the principal or designee. This report may be made anonymously.
5. The principal or designee shall investigate immediately all reports of bullying made pursuant to the provisions of this rule. Such investigation must include any action or appropriate responses that may be taken immediately to address the bullying conduct wherever it takes place. The parents of the bully and the targeted student(s) shall be notified on a regular, periodic basis of the progress and the findings of the investigation and of any remedial action that has been taken.
6. The Director of Social and Student Services and/or the Assistant Superintendent or designated district administrator will be responsible for working with the school counselors, school social workers, and other community resources to provide information and/or follow-up services to support the targeted student and to educate the student engaging in bullying behavior on the effects of bullying and the prevention of bullying. In addition, the principal or designee will be responsible for determining if the bullying behavior is a violation of law required to be reported to law enforcement under Indiana law based upon their reasonable belief. Such determination should be made as soon as possible and once this determination is made, the report should be made immediately to law enforcement if warranted.
7. False reporting of bullying conduct as defined in this rule by a student shall be considered a violation of this rule and will result in the appropriate disciplinary action and/or sanctions if the investigation of the report finds it to be false. When deemed necessary, the principal or designee shall forward instances of false reporting to law enforcement who will work with the principal or designee, school counselors and school social workers to determine whether the student will be disciplined and whether criminal charges will be filed against the student making the false report.
8. A violation of this rule prohibiting bullying may result in appropriate disciplinary action or sanction, including suspension and/or expulsion.
9. Failure by a school employee who has a responsibility to report bullying or investigate bullying or any other duty under this rule to carry out such responsibility or duty will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from employment with the school corporation.
10. Counseling, corrective discipline, and/or referral to law enforcement will be used to change the behavior of the perpetrator. This includes appropriate intervention(s), restoration of a positive climate, and support for victims and others impacted by the bullying.
11. Educational outreach and training will be provided to school personnel, parents, and students concerning the identification, prevention, and intervention in bullying.
12. All schools in the corporation are encouraged to engage students, staff and parents in meaningful discussions about the negative aspects of bullying. The parent involvement may be through parent organizations already in place in each school.
superintendent or designee will be responsible for developing detailed
administrative procedures consistent with the Indiana Department of Education
guidelines for the implementation of the provisions of this rule.
LEGAL REFERENCE: I.C. 20-33-8-0.2