SCHS Student Handbook

Bullying Prevention Policy

Bullying is a major distraction from learning and both the target and the perpetrator suffer significant negative consequences when engaged in this type of anti-social behavior. The grades of the victim can suffer. Fear can lead to chronic absenteeism, truancy, or even dropping out of school. Bystanders feel both guilty and helpless for not standing up to the bully. Bullying of any type has no place in a school setting. The Springfield Public Schools will endeavor to maintain a learning environment free from bullying. To this end, the Springfield Public Schools set forth the following policy for the identification and reporting of bullying for the overall goal of the protection of students and their ability to learn in a safe environment.

Definitions of Bullying

Bullying - The severe or repeated use by one or more perpetrators of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at a victim that has the effect of:

  1. Causing physical or emotional harm to the victim or damage to the victim’s property;
  2. Placing the victim in reasonable fear of harm to him/her or of damage to his/her property;
  3. Creating a hostile environment at school for the victim;
  4. Infringing on the rights of the victim at school;
  5. Materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

In some circumstances, bullying may be established based on a single incident, due to its severity, despite the fact that the conduct is not repetitive. “Severe” means the incident was significantly offensive based objectively from the perspective of a “reasonable person”. Bullying shall include cyber-bullying.

Examples of Bullying

Include but are not limited to:

Cyber bullying - bullying through the use of technology or any electronic means or communication, which shall include, but not limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo- optical system, including but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.

Hostile Environment - A situation in which bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student's education.

School Grounds - Property on which a school building or facility is located; or property that is owned, leased or used by the Springfield Public Schools for any school sponsored activities, functions, programs, instruction or training.

Victim - The student who has been bullied or retaliated against.

Expectations

Bullying is prohibited by the Springfield Public School system. In addition, retaliation against a person for reporting bullying or who has cooperated in an investigation of a complaint under this policy is prohibited and will not be tolerated by Springfield Public Schools.

Any violation (s) or infraction (s) of Central High School's Bullying Prevention Policy is subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Springfield Public School System's Code of Conduct.


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