Introduction
The Almond-Bancroft School District shall strive to provide a safe, secure and respectful learning environment for all students in school buildings, on school buses, and at school sponsored activities. Bullying, harassment, and intimidation have a harmful social, physical, psychological, and academic impact on the instigators, the victims, and the bystanders. The district will continuously and vigorously address bullying, harassment, and intimidation so that there is no disruption to the learning environment and learning process.

Bullying Definition
Bullying is intentional and unwanted behavior that involves an imbalance of power*. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying behaviors are aggressive and create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning environment.

*Imbalance of power: Using physical strength, access to embarrassing information, popularity (using bullying as a means to keep popularity/power OR using bullying as a means to climb the social ladder and/or lower someone else’s popularity), etc. to control or harm others.

 Types of Bullying

Verbal: ongoing name calling, teasing, gossip, threatening or intimidating language, making false accusations, put-downs, using profane or derogatory language towards someone

Physical: ongoing assault, hitting, tripping, shoving, slamming lockers closed, hitting objects out of someone’s hands, hazing, spitting, slapping, taking or breaking someone’s things, making mean or rude hand gestures, hair pulling, defacing or destroying property (such as making marks on clothing, books, backpacks, etc.), stealing, initiating fights or forcing someone to fight another person

Emotional: ongoing humiliating, taunting, and making fun of someone repeatedly in the presence of others (including online), dirty looks, insulting or threatening gestures, embarrassing, criticizing, or making negative comments

Relational: ongoing gossip and rumor spreading, lying about the victim, isolating, ignoring, excluding, disclosing private or sensitive information, telling others not to be friends with someone

Cyber: ongoing use of email, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, cell phones, social media (including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.) to threaten, harass, or intimidate; posting mean or hurtful comments or pictures

Direct: Teasing, name calling, kicking, hitting, spitting, shoving, damaging property, threatening

Indirect: Spreading rumors or gossip, social exclusion/isolation, disclosing private or sensitive information, telling
  others not to be friends with someone

Rude vs. Mean vs. Bullying: Students can make poor choices in how to treat each other; the behavior is considered bullying when it becomes ongoing and is directed toward the same individual. Bullying behavior is addressed in a different manner than isolated incidents of disrespect.

  Rude = Unintentionally saying or doing something that hurts someone else.
  Examples: jumping ahead in line, bragging, asking inappropriate questions

Mean = Purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice).
  Examples: criticizing clothing, appearance, intelligence; saying something in anger toward someone;
  argument between friends

Bullying = Intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power.

*It is not bullying when two kids with no perceived power imbalance fight, have an argument, or disagree.

Harassment Definition

Harassment is unwelcome conduct based on a protected class (race, national origin, color, sex-based (including sexual orientation), age, disability, religion) that is severe, pervasive, or persistent and creates a hostile environment. Harassment also includes sexual harassment, which refers to behaviors that are not welcome, that are personally offensive, that debilitate morale, and that interfere with the academic performance of its victims or their peers. Sexual harassment may also include, but is not limited to, actions such as sexually-oriented verbal “kidding” or abuse, pressure for sexual activity, sexual contact and unwelcomed touching, display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, demands for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment or threats concerning an individual’s employment or academic status, any job or academic-related action that is based upon an individual’s acceptance of, resistance to, or refusal of sexual overtures.

Intimidation Definition

Intimidation is behaving in such a way as to make another feel timid or fearful. This includes overt or implied threats and/or physical gestures.

Procedure for Reporting/Retaliation

It is the responsibility of all school staff members, students, parents, and concerned individuals who observe or become aware of acts of bullying, harassment, or intimidation, to report these acts confidentially to a School Counselor for initial review. If the bullying, harassment, or intimidation is occurring during athletic events, please also report your concerns to the Coach and Athletic Director.

Reports of bullying, harassment, or intimidation should be made as soon after the incident as possible to ensure that a thorough investigation can be conducted. Early reporting allows the School Counselor to potentially find supporting evidence and witnesses.

The district shall keep the complaint confidential to the extent permitted by law for both the accused and the accuser, until such time as the misconduct is confirmed and sanctions are imposed. If the report is determined to be valid and serious, parents/guardians will be notified of the report and any sanctions imposed on their child.

Links to the paper Report Form and Code of Conduct are available on the upper left. Please use the online or paper Report Bullying Form to submit any concerns of bullying, harassment, or intimidation. Reports may be made anonymously, but please keep in mind that Administration will not be able to follow up with reporters regarding the outcome of an investigation if no name is given. Please use the contact form to follow up with the School Counselors if you have any questions or concerns.