Any student or visitor who observes a violation of the Code of Conduct should report it immediately to a staff member. Any staff member who observes, or is made aware of a violation of the Code of Conduct should address the violation directly or report it to an administrator.
Certain acts of misconduct which occur may require the exercise of reasonable judgment by staff in consultation with the principal or superintendent in order to determine whether referral to law enforcement officials is appropriate, or whether the matter will be handled solely through the district’s student discipline system. Examples of acts of misconduct which require the exercise of such judgment, but not limited to include fighting, threat of bodily harm to another individual or property, harassment, theft, and property damage. The District’s staff has the responsibility to administer district policies, rules and regulations governing student conduct in a reasonable manner taking into account the age level, maturity and/or disability of the particular student involved, as well as the seriousness of the offense.
Additional procedures for reporting information to police are described in Board Policy, 4250, “Referral of Student Misconduct to Police,” and its accompanying Administrative Regulation.
Reporting Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying
The school principal is the school employee charged with receiving all reports of harassment, bullying and discrimination; however, students and parents may make an oral or written complaint of harassment, bullying or discrimination to any teacher, administrator or school employee. The district will act to promptly investigate all complaints, verbal or written, formal or informal, of allegations of discrimination, harassment and bullying; and will promptly take appropriate action to protect individuals from further discrimination, harassment and bullying.
It is essential that any student who believes he/she/they has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, bullying or retaliatory behavior, as well as any individual who is aware of and/or who has knowledge of, or witnesses any possible occurrence, immediately report same to any staff member or administrator. The staff member/administrator to whom the report is made (or the staff member/administrator who witnesses or suspects bullying/cyberbullying behavior) shall document and take appropriate action to address the immediacy of the situation and shall promptly report in accordance with the following paragraphs.
Upon receipt of a complaint (even an anonymous complaint), or if a district official otherwise learns of any occurrence of possible conduct prohibited by this policy, the school employee shall promptly and orally notify the school principal no later than one school day after such school employee witnesses or receives the complaint or learns of such conduct. Such school employee shall also file a written report with the school principal no later than two school days after making such oral report.
After receipt of a complaint, the school principal shall lead or supervise a thorough investigation of the alleged harassing, bullying and/or retaliatory conduct. The principal or the principal’s designee shall ensure that such investigation is completed promptly and in accordance with the terms of district policy. All complaints shall be treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints.
Based upon the results of this investigation, if the district determines that a district official, employee, volunteer, vendor, visitor and/or student has violated the District’s Code of Conduct or a material incident of harassment, bullying and/or discrimination has occurred, immediate corrective action will be taken as warranted, it will take prompt action reasonably calculated to end the violation, eliminate any hostile environment, create a more positive school culture and climate, prevent recurrence of the behavior, and ensure the safety of the student or students against whom such violation was directed.
As a general rule, responses to acts of harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination against students by students shall incorporate a progressive model of student discipline that includes measured, balanced and age-appropriate remedies and procedures that make appropriate use of prevention, education, intervention and discipline, and considers among other things, the nature and severity of the offending student’s behavior(s), the developmental age of the student, the previous disciplinary record of the student and other extenuating circumstances, and the impact the student’s behaviors had on the individual(s) who was physically injured and/or emotionally harmed. Responses shall be reasonably calculated to end the harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination, prevent recurrence, and eliminate the hostile environment.
In the event that the principal is the alleged offender, the report will be directed to the superintendent of schools. All complaints of alleged harassing, bullying and/or retaliatory conduct shall be:
- promptly investigated in accordance with the terms of District policy;
- forwarded to the program’s Dignity Act Coordinator for monitoring; and
- treated as confidential and private to the extent possible within legal constraints.
The principal must notify promptly the superintendent of schools and the appropriate local law enforcement agency when the administrator believes that any harassment, bullying or discrimination constitutes criminal conduct. The principal shall provide a regular report at least once during each school year on data and trends related to harassment, bullying, and/or discrimination to the superintendent. Retaliation against any individual who, in good faith, reports or assists in the investigation of a complaint alleging harassment, bullying or discrimination shall be prohibited.
Prevention is the cornerstone of the District’s effort to address bullying and harassment. In order to implement this anti-bullying prevention program, the board will designate, at its annual organizational meeting, the principal at each school to act as the Dignity for All Students Act Coordinator (Dignity Act Coordinator. The district’s designated Dignity Act Coordinators are:
District Coordinator: Scott Sugar, 315-692-1919, firstname.lastname@example.org
F-M High School: Patrick McNamara, 315-692-1882, email@example.com
Eagle Hill Middle School: Elizabeth Smith, 315-692-1400, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellwood Middle School: Alexis Smith, 315-692-1300, email@example.com
Enders Road Elementary School: Deborah Capri, 315-692-1500, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fayetteville Elementary School: Eileen Lux, 315-692-1600, email@example.com
Mott Road Elementary School: Jonna Johnson, 315-692-1700, firstname.lastname@example.org
Each coordinator shall be employed by the district and be licensed and/or certified by the Commissioner as a classroom teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, school nurse, school social worker, school administrator or supervisor, or superintendent of schools. These individuals shall be thoroughly trained to handle human relations in the areas of race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender, sex or any other legally protected status as well as provided with training which addresses the social patterns of harassment, bullying and discrimination; the identification and mitigation of harassment, bullying and discrimination; and strategies for effectively addressing problems of exclusion, bias, and aggression in educational settings.
Reporting Sex Crimes
If school staff members learn of child abuse in an educational setting, they shall prepare a written report of the allegations and transmit it to the school administrator. The written report from the mandatory reporter must be completed and turned in immediately upon learning of the conduct. Upon receipt of a written report of allegations of child abuse in the educational setting the school administrator must determine if there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the abuse has occurred. Upon making such a positive determination the report must be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
When an incident on school property or at school event involves allegations of child sexual abuse or any other sexual conduct, whether that conduct involves only students or an adult and a student, the matter shall be immediately referred the matter to the SIRO. In the absence of the SIRO, if school staff believes that sexual abuse or unlawful sexual contact has occurred; that such conduct must be immediately reported to the Abused Persons Unit of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office. School staff shall not conduct an interview or take affidavits from the victim, witnesses or the potential suspect. This must be left exclusively in the hands of the law enforcement agency. The superintendent must also be notified.