Student Anti-Harassment (Bullying) / Sexual HarassmentSTUDENT BULLYING PREVENTIONThe Jamari Terrell Williams Student Bullying Prevention PolicyIt is the policy of the Board that no student shall engage in or be subjected to bullying, violence, threats of violence, or intimidation by any other student that is based on any of the specific characteristics that have been identified by the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education in this policy. Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary sanctions.The term "bullying" as used in this policy means a continuous pattern of intentional behavior that takes place on or off of school property, on a school bus, at a school-sponsored function including, but not limited to, cyberbullying or written, electronic, verbal, or physical actions that are reasonably perceived as being motivated by any characteristic of a student or by the association of a student with an individual who has a particular characteristic, if the characteristic falls into one of the characteristics contained in this policy. To constitute bullying, a pattern of behavior may do any of the following:
- place a student in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
- have the effect of substantially interfering with the educational performance, opportunities or benefits of a student;
- have the effect of substantially disrupting or interfering with the orderly operation of the school;
- have the effect of creating a hostile environment in the school, on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function;
- have the effect of being sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.
Bullying, intimidation, violence or threats of violence are prohibited and will be subject to disciplinary consequences and sanctions if the perpetrator of such action is found to have based the prohibited action on one or more of the following personal characteristics of the victim of such conduct:
- the student's race;
- the student's sex;
- the student's sexual orientation;
- the student's religion;
- the student's national origin; or
- the student's disability.
REPORTING, INVESTIGATION, AND COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCEDURES
- Complaints alleging violations of this policy must be made on Board-approved complaint forms available on the Tuscaloosa County School System website, the local school website, the school office, or in the Tuscaloosa County School System Student-Parent Information Guide. The complaint must be delivered to the Principal or his/her designee by either mail or personal delivery. Incidental or minor violations of this policy may be presented and resolved informally.
- Upon receipt of the complaint, the Principal or his/her designee will determine if the complaint alleges a serious violation of this policy. If the Principal or his/her designee determines that the complaint alleges a serious violation, the Principal or designee will undertake an investigation of the complaint in a reasonably prompt time period. The investigation will entail the gathering of relevant facts and evidence taking into account the circumstances of the complaint. If the investigation establishes a violation, appropriate disciplinary sanctions will be imposed on the offending student(s). Other measures that are reasonably calculated to prevent a recurrence of the violation(s) may also be imposed by the Principal or the school system.
- Any reprisal or retaliation against any student who has reported a violation of this policy or sought relief provided by this policy are prohibited and are themselves a violation of this policy. Any confirmed acts of reprisal or retaliation will be subject to disciplinary sanctions that may include any sanction, penalty, or consequence that is available to school officials under the Code of Student Conduct. A student who deliberately, recklessly, and falsely accuses another student of a violation of this policy is subject to dsciplinary sanctions as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.
- The complaint form developed to report violations of this policy will include a provision for reporting a threat of suicide by a student. If a threat of suicide is reported, the Principal or his/her designee is authorized to inform the student's parent or guardian of the report unless at the discretion of the school Principal or his/her designee the apparent cause of the threat of suicide is child abuse or other significant harm from a parent or guardian.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF STUDENTS
It is the policy of the Board that sexual harassment of a stuent by other students or employees is unlawful behavior and will not be permitted in the school setting. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- submission to such conduct is made either explicity or implicity as a term condition of the student's academic progress or completion of a school-related activity; or
- submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis in evaluation the student's performance in a course of study or other school-related activity; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the student's educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educaitonal environment.
A student who feels that he or she has been sexually harassed should report the incident to the school Principal and the designated reporting officer.* The student may request that the school Principal appoint a designee of the same sex to hear his/her complaint. The complaint should be made within ten (10) calendar days following the incident or the latest occurance in the series of such incidents. The complaint may be made to the Principal in person or may be made in writing, signed by the complainant, and then delivered to the reporting officer by the Principal. If such report is first made verbally, then it will be the responsibility of the Principal or reporting officer to reduce the same to writing and to have the complainant sign the written complaint (Policy: 3.43).
*The Tuscaloosa County School System's Sexual Harassment Officer may be contacted at (205) 342-2726.