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Inspire Academy Policy on Bullying and Harassment

(also in the Family Crew Handbook)

 

BULLYING

Bullying is a form of abuse, where a person or group of people speaks or acts in an abusive manner in order to have physical or social power over another person(s). This can be an isolated incident but is more often a collection of incidents over time. Children’s learning how to resolve conflict and sometimes handling conflict immaturely does not always equate to bullying, and each situation will be handled in an age appropriate manner.

There are three types of abuse: emotional, verbal, and physical. Examples of emotional and verbal abuse include, but are not limited to, teasing, rumor-spreading, coercion, psychological manipulation, and exclusion from group activities. Examples of verbal abuse based on race/ethnicity include, but are not limited to, using racial slurs, making fun of customs, skin color, accent. Graffiti or written comments that are derogatory, threatening, or promote exclusivity may also be considered forms of emotional and verbal abuse. Examples of physical abuse include, but are not limited to, unwanted touching, tripping, and assault. Bullying can include all forms of sexual harassment and/or assault and examples include inappropriate touching and making suggestive sexual comments. Bullying may include criminal behavior that violates state and/or federal laws.

Bullying is physically and emotionally harmful; it negatively impacts a student’s ability to learn and socialize. Inspire Academy has zero tolerance for bullying. All reported incidents of bullying will be investigated. Students found in violation of school norms will face disciplinary consequences and may be suspended and/or expelled.

Cyberbullying

Bullying conducted through the use of technology (social networking websites, emails, webcams, instant messaging, text messaging, etc.) is known as cyber-bullying. We expect students to behave responsibly online. Inappropriate behavior will lead to disciplinary consequences.

Some examples of cyberbullying are spreading rumors via text messages, posting threatening comments on a person’s social networking page, and sending explicit images via email.

If you are a victim of cyberbullying take appropriate steps to deal with the problem. It’s natural to be angry, but be careful not to take revenge. The worst thing to do is mimic the negative behavior because then you will also be engaged in bullying. Instead, save the evidence in a folder (where possible), remove yourself from the bullying environment, then speak to a trusted family and/or staff member at school as soon as possible.

This policy is intended to comply with P.L. 285-2013, and should in no way be interpreted in opposition to P.L. 285-2013. Inspire Academy shall address all reports of bullying in compliance with P.L. 285-2013.

 

DISCRIMINATION POLICIES

Inspire Academy will take an assertive and active role in protecting its students and staff from harassment and/or discrimination. Harassment and/or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated on school grounds, at school-sponsored events or activities, or while traveling to and from school or school- sponsored events or activities.

Harassment on the basis of race, national origin, socio-economic status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation and/or disability includes:

·      unsolicited remarks and/or verbal comments


·      gestures and/or physical contact


·      display or circulation of written materials or pictures derogatory toward any gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation or disabled individuals or groups (At times, published tools of dissention and division will be used in an educational activity for critique and/or academic discussion, in which cases parents will be notified beforehand.)

·      unwanted sexual attention from peers, subordinates, supervisors, clients or anyone the victim may interact with in order to fulfill school or job duties

·      pressure for sexual activity


·      leering, pinching, patting and other forms of unwanted touching

·      sexual assault, rape, and attempted rape

If a person (staff or student) believes s/he is being harassed, s/he should:


a)    immediately inform the harasser that the behavior is offensive and request that it stop;


b)    or if that is not possible, report such behavior to the appropriate person (staff should report the offense to the School Leader, students report to the School Leader, Director of Culture, or other trusted staff member). Students are also encouraged to tell their parents, and parents are encouraged to talk to the School Leader.

Reports of harassment will be kept confidential, to the extent permitted by law. Once a staff member receives a complaint, s/he must document the incident in writing, and give it to the School Leader within one working day. The School Leader has the authority and the responsibility of ensuring that complaints are addressed promptly. The School Leader will review complaints and document and maintain all records of harassment. Any person who, after investigation, is found to have committed any act of harassment toward a student or staff member will be subject to disciplinary action or termination of employment.

 

 

ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY

IASI maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding aggressive physical contact between children. Hitting, scratching, pushing, kicking, and other physically harmful behaviors are strictly forbidden and are cause for immediate removal from school or suspension. Teasing, name-calling, and bullying are also grounds for removal from school or suspension. We understand that an occasional incident may be developmentally appropriate, but we maintain zero tolerance for persistent and/or extreme cases. Upon suspension, or when children are sent home early for disciplinary reasons, it is expected that parents will pick their child up within one hour of notification. Please provide the school with contact information so that you, or your designee, may be reached at all times. The School Leader reserves the right to make a final determination of the appropriate discipline for each student given the situation of the student and the circumstances surrounding the case. At the discretion of the School Leader or School Leader’s designee, the police may be called to handle a situation that is deemed unsafe for any student or staff member.

 

Report Bullying Form

Please use this form to anonymously report incidents of social isolation, discrimination, and bullying activity.


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