Bullying & Affirmative Action Policies

 

HARASSMENT AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

The Board of Education of the Special Services School District and the Vocational School District of the County of Salem affirms its responsibility to ensure all students in public schools of the Salem County Vocational Technical Schools shall not be discriminated against for admission to, or in obtaining any advantages, privileges or courses of study of the school by reason of sex, race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, social, economic, political affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, or non-applicable handicap.  (18A 36:36-20 and U.S. Title IX – Prohibiting Sex Discrimination)

If you believe that you have been discriminated against, contact Bonnie Baker,  Affirmative Action Officer at 769-0101 x5391.

Sexual Harassment Policy

The Board of Education of the Special Services School District and the Vocational School District of the County of Salem shall continue to maintain a working and school environment that is free from sexual harassment.  Students and staff must report any instance of sexual harassment to the Affirmative Action Officer who, in turn, will carry out a thorough investigation.  The investigation will be protected, as will the rights of both the person making the complaint and the alleged harasser.  Findings of discrimination in the form of sexual harassment will result in appropriate action.

BULLYING

In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15 and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a) 2, the Board of Education of the Special Services School District and the Vocational School District of the County of Salem prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying.  Further, the Board of Education recognizes that it and all of its employees are responsible for implementation of this policy and the accompanying regulation.  The Board of Education therefore holds all employees, student, visitors or guests to its facilities or properties under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education to this standard of accountability.

 

For the purpose of this policy, harassment, intimidation, or bullying is defined as any gesture or written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any act or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or a mental, physical or sensory handicap, or by any other distinguishing characteristic, that takes place on school property at any school-sponsored function or on a school bus that is operated by the Board of Education that:

a)    a responsible person should know, under the circumstances, what will have the effect of harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in a reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property; or

b)    has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial inference with, the orderly operation of the school.  N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15 and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2.

 

Some acts of bullying are not based on the motivating factors cited in the statute but rather with one person exercising power and control over another either in isolated incidents (e.g., intimidation, harassment) or patterns of harassing or intimidating behavior (e.g., bullying).  These acts are prohibited and will be addressed appropriately in accordance with the SCVTS Student Code of Conduct.

 

*Electronic Communication – means a communication transmitted by means of electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, a cellular telephone, computer, or pager.

 

The following regulation has been developed to prohibit any such acts, remediate such acts, and to provide consequences for anyone committing such acts.

 

  1. Student Code of Conduct, Behavior and Demeanor.  Students of the SCVTS schools are expected and required to follow the Student Code of Conduct, Expected Student Behavior and Demeanor as provided for in Regulation R4-3.1a and b.

 

Students are prohibited from harassing, intimidating or bullying others traveling to and from school, while at school, and at all school functions or any function sponsored and/or sanctioned by the Board of Education of the Special Services School District and the Vocational School District of the County of Salem.  For students transported by vehicles owned or contracted by another Board of Education, any such acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying shall be reported to that Board of Education.

 

Students are encouraged to support other students who:

  • Walk away from acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying when they see them;
  • Constructively attempt to stop acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying; and
  • Report acts of harassment, intimidation, or bullying to the designated school staff.

 

  1. Remedial Actions and/or Support.  A remedial plan shall be developed for all students who commit an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.  The plan will be administered in accordance with the SCVTS Student Code of Conduct, R 4-3.1, see Unacceptable Behavior, number 14.

 

The following factors, at a minimum, shall be given full consideration by school administrators in the implementation of appropriate consequences or remedial measures for each act of harassment, intimidation or bullying by students.  Appropriate consequences or remedial actions are those that are graded according to the severity of the offenses, consider the developmental ages of the student offenders and students’ histories of inappropriate behaviors, per the Student Code of Conduct.

 

Factors for Determining Consequences:

  • Age, developmental and maturity levels of the parties involved;
  • Degrees of harm;
  • Surrounding circumstances;
  • Nature and severity of the behaviors;
  • Incidences of past or continuing patterns of behavior;
  • Relationships between the parties involved; and
  • Context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

 

Factors for Determining Remedial Measures

  • Personal
  • Life skill deficiencies;
  • Social relationships;
  • Strengths;
  • Traits;
  • Interests;
  • Extra-curricular activities;
  • Classroom participation; and
  • Academic performance.

Environmental

  • School culture;
  • School climate;
  • Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward the student;
  • General staff management of classrooms or other educational environments;
  • Staff ability to prevent and manage difficult or inflammatory situations;
  • Social-emotional and behavioral supports;
  • Social relationships;
  • Family situation.

 

The consequences and remedial measures may include, but not limited to, the examples listed below:

 

Examples of Consequences

  • Admonishment;
  • Temporary removal from the classroom;
  • Deprivation of privileges;
  • Classroom or administrative detention;
  • Referral to disciplinarian;
  • In-school suspension during the school week or the weekend;
  • After-school programs;
  • Out-of-school suspension (short-term or long-term);
  • Legal action; and
  • Expulsion.

 

Examples of Remedial Measures

  • Personal
  • Restitution and restoration;
  • Mediation;
  • Peer support group;
  • Recommendations of a student behavior or ethics council;
  • Corrective instruction or other relevant learning or service experience;
  • Supportive student interventions, including participation of the Intervention and Referral Services team, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8;
  • Behavioral assessment or evaluation, including, but not limited to, a referral to the Child Study Team, as appropriate;
  • Behavioral management plan, with benchmarks that are closely monitored;
  • Assignment of leadership responsibilities (e.g., hallway or bus monitor);
  • Involvement of school “disciplinarian;”
  • Student counseling;
  • Parent conferences;
  • Student treatment; or
  • Student therapy.
  • Environmental (Classroom, School Building or School District)
  • School and community surveys or other strategies for determining the conditions contributing to harassment, intimidation or bullying;
  • School culture change;
  • School climate improvement;
  • Adoption of research-based, systemic bullying prevention programs;
  • School policy and procedures revisions;
  • Modifications of schedules;
  • Adjustments in hallway traffic;
  • Supervision of student before and after school, including school transportation;
  • Targeted use of monitors (e.g., hallway, cafeteria, locker room, playground, school perimeter, bus);
  • Small or large group presentations for fully addressing the behaviors and the responses to the behaviors;
  • General professional development programs for certificated and non-certificated staff;
  • Disciplinary action for school staff who contributed to the problem;
  • Supportive institutional interventions, including participation of the Intervention and Referral Services team, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-8;
  • Parent conferences;
  • Family counseling;
  • Involvement of parent-teacher organizations;
  • Involvement of community-based organizations;
  • Development of a general bullying response plan;
  • Recommendations of a student behavior or ethics council;
  • Peer support groups;
  • School transfers; and
  • Law enforcement (e.g., school resource officer, juvenile officer) involvement.

 

  1. Reporting and Receiving Complaints.  In each school operated by the Board of Education of the Special Services School District and the Vocational School District of the County of Salem, the Principal and/or the Affirmative Action Officer is responsible for receiving complaints alleging violations of board policy for harassment, intimidation or bullying.  All school employees are required to report all violations or alleged violations of this policy to the principal and/or Affirmative Action Officer via a form provided for this purpose or by any other acceptable communication means as established by the building principal and/or the Affirmative Action Officer.  All other members of the SCVTS school community including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors are expected to report any act of harassment, intimidation or bullying that may be a violation of this policy.  While submission of the report form is not required, the reporting party is encouraged to use the report form available from the principal of each building or available at the school district’s central office, or the reporting party may use the district’s web-based reporting system.  Oral reports also shall be considered official reports.  Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action may not be based solely on an anonymous report.  N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15 (3) (b) (5) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2vii

 

  1. Investigation Hearing, Disciplinary Action or Follow-up.  The principal or his/her designee is responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy.  The principal may request and/or utilize all available facts including reports available from the Affirmative Action Officer.  The principal may also request that the Affirmative Action Officer provide input with regard to the violation or alleged violation.  All parties to any such investigation shall respect and maintain the confidentiality of information obtained as part of and/or related to any such investigation.  The principal or his/her designee shall conduct a prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of any reported alleged violation of this policy.  Such an investigation shall not exceed ten (10) days.

 

The district board of education recognizes that some acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may be isolated incidents requiring that the school officials respond appropriately to the individuals committing the acts. Other acts may be so serious or parts of a larger pattern of harassment, intimidation or bullying that they require a response either at the classroom, school building or school district levels or by law enforcement officials. Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, as permitted under N.J.S.A. 18A:37-1, Discipline of Pupils and as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, Short-term suspensions, N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.3, Long-term Suspensions and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.5, Expulsions.

 

In considering whether a response beyond the individual is appropriate, the administrator shall consider the nature and circumstances of the act, the degree of harm, the nature and severity of the behavior, past incidences or past or continuing patterns of behavior, and the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred. Institutional (i.e., classroom, school building, school district) responses can range from school and community surveys, to mailings, to focus groups, to adoption of research-based bullying prevention program models, to training for certificated and non-certificated staff, to participation of parents and other community members and organizations, to small or large group presentations for fully addressing the actions and the school’s response to the actions, in the context of the acceptable student and staff member behavior and the consequences of such actions, and to the involvement of law enforcement officers, including school resource officers.  . N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15(3)(b)(6) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2viii N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15(3)(b)(7) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2ix

 

  1. Reprisal or Retaliation.  The Board of Education prohibits reprisals or retaliations against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying.    The consequence and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the administrator after consideration of the nature, severity and circumstances of the act, in accordance with case law, Federal and State statutes and regulations and district policies and procedures.  N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15(3)(b)(8) and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.9(a)2x

 

  1. False Accusations.  Any person who shall be found to have falsely accused another person of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be subject to disciplinary procedures.

 

Students – The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a student found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, as permitted under N.J.S.A. 18A:37-1, Discipline of Pupils and as set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.2, Short-term suspensions, N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7., Long-term Suspensions and N.J.A.C. 6A:16-7.5, Expulsions.

 

School Employees – Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be disciplined in accordance with district policies, procedures and agreements.

 

Visitors or Volunteers – Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor or volunteer, found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be determined by the school administrator after consideration of the nature, severity and circumstances of the act, including reports to appropriate law enforcement officials.

 

  1. Publicizing.  The Board of Education requires school officials to annually disseminate the policy to all school staff, students and parents, along with a statement explaining that it applies to all applicable acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying that occur on school property, at school-sponsored functions or on a school bus.  The chief school administrator shall post the policy on the school district’s website as well as annually notify students and parents that the policy is available on the district’s website.  The chief school administrator shall develop and implement a process for annually discussing the school district policy on harassment, intimidation and bullying with students.