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Cyberbullying and Harrassment

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Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullying is the use of electronic information and communication devices to willfully and repeatedly harm either a person or persons through the medium of electronic text, photos, or videos. Examples of this behavior include but are not limited to:

  • Sending/posting false, cruel, hurtful or vicious messages/comments.
  • Creating websites that have stories, cartoons, pictures, and jokes ridiculing others.
  • Breaking into an email account and sending vicious or embarrassing materials to others.
  • Engaging someone in electronic communication, tricking that person into revealing sensitive personal information and forwarding that information to others.
  • Posting of a student picture without their permission.

Bullying of this nature creates a hostile, disruptive environment on the school campus and is a violation of a student’s right to be safe and secure. Actions deliberately threatening, harassing, intimidating an individual or group of individuals, placing an individual in reasonable fear of harm or damaging the individual’s property; or disrupting the orderly operation of the school, will not be tolerated.

The online activities and technologies often used by students engaged in Cyber Bullying include but are not limited to social networking sites, chat rooms and discussion groups, instant messaging, text messaging, computers, cell phones and personal digital devices, digital cameras, cell phone cameras, and web cams. As new technologies emerge, they too may be included with the above forms of electronic communication.

Consequences for Harassment and/or Cyber Bullying

 

Education Codes 48900.4 and 48900 (r), strictly prohibit harassment or bullying of any kind and such behavior is subject to consequences, including possible expulsion.

  • Sexually explicit material that is transmitted electronically may result in parents or police being notified, and that material may be reported as suspected child abuse or neglect.
  • All students involved in the transmission and/or possession of such images or text may be disciplined under California Education Code 48900 (i): Committed an obscene act or engaged in habitual profanity or vulgarity.
  • If reasonable suspicion exists that a student has been involved in possessing or transmitting such material, the electronic device involved may be confiscated and searched by school officials.

If the conduct occurs off school grounds and causes or threatens to cause a substantial disruption at school or interferes with the rights of students to be secure, school administration may impose consequences. The Administration may also report the Cyber Bullying to the police.

Actions Steps to Respond to Cyber Bullying or Harassment

  • Save the evidence. Print the online harassing.
  • Identify the Cyber Bully.
  • Clearly tell the Cyber Bully to stop.
  • Ignore the bully by leaving the online environment and/or blocking communications.
  • File a complaint with the internet or cell phone company.
  • Contact the Cyber Bully’s parents.
  • Contact the school administration.
  • Contact the police.

Complaint Procedure

Step I – Informal Resolution: It is desirable that problems and complaints of alleged sexual harassment be resolved promptly and equitably. If possible, such problems and complaints should be resolved in an informal manner. Students and employees are encouraged, but not required, to inform the offender directly that his/her conduct is unwelcome or offensive and must stop.

Step II – Verbal or Written Complaint: Students should follow complaint procedures designated in Administrative Regulation 5145.7, Sexual Harassment, Students. A student should initiate a complaint to a teacher or administrator verbally or in written form. The complaint should include information regarding the name(s) of the person(s) who engaged in offensive conduct, the description of the offensive conduct (i.e. when and where the conduct occurred, the number of times it occurred, any informal attempts at resolution), and the names of any witnesses.

Employees or applicants for employment who feel that they have been sexually harassed should contact their supervisor, principal, other district administrator or the superintendent in order to obtain procedures for reporting a complaint. Complaints of sexual harassment against a district employee may be filed in accordance with AR 1312, Complaints Against School Personnel. Complaints alleging that a specific action, procedure or practice sexually discriminates can be filed in accordance with AR 4031, Complaints Concerning Discrimination in Employment.

Any supervisor who receives a sexual harassment complaint shall notify the superintendent or designee, who shall ensure uniform application of this policy and that the complaint is appropriately investigated.