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August 20, 2017
School Board Policy

Guilford County Board of Education Board Policy

Descriptor Term: STUDENT HARASSMENT, BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION FREE ENVIRONMENT

Descriptor Code: JCDAD

Presented to Board:
1st Reading: April 8, 2008
2nd Reading: May 8, 2008
Continuation of 2nd Reading: June 26, 2008

Adopted by Board: June 26, 2008

Revised by Board:
The Board acknowledges the dignity and worth of all students and employees and strives to create a safe, positive and caring environment to facilitate learning and achievement. It is the policy of the Guilford County Board of Education to maintain a learning environment that is free from harassment, bullying, and discrimination. Students are prohibited from engaging in harassment, bullying, or discrimination based on an individual's real or perceived race, color, sex, religion, creed, political belief, age, national origin, linguistic and language differences, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, socioeconomic status, height, weight, physical characteristics, marital status, parental status, disability, or any other characteristic or feature that becomes the focus of unwanted and unwelcome behavior as described below. Similarly, the Board prohibits harassment, bullying and discrimination based on a student or employee’s association with others.

Students who violate this policy shall be disciplined pursuant to policy JD, the Student Code of Conduct and students may be reassigned where appropriate.

Bullying or harassing behavior includes, but is not limited to acts of disrespect, intimidation, threats or any pattern or gesture which takes place on school property at any school sponsored function or otherwise related to school which is reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, including those listed above. Further, such behavior either places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property or creates a hostile educational environment, which does, or is certain to substantially interfere with or impair a student’s educational performance, opportunities or benefits or an employee’s ability to function successfully in the work place.

Persons who believe they have been bullied, harassed or discriminated against shall inform a teacher, counselor or the school principal and all staff persons observing behavior have a duty to report such conduct to the principal. Students may anonymously report inappropriate activity; however, anonymous reports cannot be the sole basis of student discipline and consequently are not encouraged. The principal will follow the procedures accompanying this policy in JCDAD-P and promptly assure that all allegations are investigated. If a GCS employee knowingly fails to report or take proper action, or knowingly provides false information in an incident of student bullying, harassment or discrimination the employee will be subject to disciplinary action.

Persons who report bullying, harassment or discrimination pursuant to this policy have a right to know the outcome of the investigation of the allegations within the bounds of the law, unless the report was anonymous. Additionally, any person who reported conduct pursuant to this policy who is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation has a right to file a grievance pursuant to policy JCE (Grievances by Students and Parents).

No one is permitted to retaliate against persons who allege a violation of this policy. GCS will take steps to prevent a recurrence of the conduct and will take steps to correct any discriminatory effects, including reassignment of students where necessary.

The Board directs the Superintendent to provide training to staff and students designed to prevent harassment, bullying and discrimination and to foster an atmosphere of respect and understanding for all members of the school community. The Superintendent will develop procedures for maintaining records of training, giving notice to students and others in the school community about this policy and procedures and evaluating the effectiveness of the procedures.