Anti-Bullying/Harassment/Hazing

The District is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. Bullying, harassing, and hazing behavior as described below violates both state and District policy as it can seriously disrupt the ability of students to learn and succeed and the ability of school employees to maintain a safe and civil environment.

The District’s policies and procedures against the bullying, harassment, and hazing of students apply to incidents, including those occurring off school grounds, which have the effect of creating a hostile environment on school grounds virtually or online or at school-sponsored activities.

It is, therefore, the policy of the District that school employees, volunteers, and students in the District shall not engage in bullying, harassing, or hazing of students in school, on school property, or at any school function or school-sponsored activity regardless of its location and shall not engage in reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim, witness, or an individual who has reliable information about such behavior.

For purposes of this policy, the following definitions will apply:

“Bullying” and “harassment” shall be construed to mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:

  1. Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property.
  2. Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health.
  3. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance.
  4. Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

“Electronic” means any communication involving the transmission of information by wire, radio, optic cable, electromagnetic, or other similar means. “Electronic” includes but is not limited to communication via electronic mail, internet-based communications, pager service, cell phones, and electronic text messaging.

Hazing occurs when a person intentionally or recklessly engages in any act or acts involving forced activity which endanger the physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, any organization operating in connection with a District school regardless of the student’s willingness to participate in the activity.

“Trait or characteristic of the student” includes but is not limited to the student’s actual or perceived age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.

“Volunteer” means an individual who has regular, significant contact with students.
School employees, volunteers, parents or guardians, and students are all expected to assist with the enforcement of this policy, including but not limited to, assisting with education and preventative measures, reporting, and investigations of bullying, harassment, or hazing.

Bullying or harassment can occur directly or indirectly and may include, but is not limited to: teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments, unwanted advances, taunting, threats to injure, embarrassing someone, shunning, spreading rumors, offensive gestures; and physical harm, such as hitting, kicking, punching, tripping, pushing, and destroying property.

Violation of this policy shall subject a student and/or teacher or volunteer to appropriate discipline pursuant to the District policies and administrative regulations and authorizes the District to take any other measures that the District believes to be reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances. The superintendent shall oversee administrative procedures relative to prevention measures, reporting and investigation, and publication of bullying, harassment, and hazing data.

There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of bullying/harassment/hazing. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact Dr. Dora Jung, director of student services and equity education, at 627 4th Street, Sioux City, IA 51101, (712) 279-6075, jungd@live.siouxcityschools.com.

I. Procedures for making a report or filing a claim

District employees or volunteers who receive a complaint of, or who witness, bullying, harassment, or hazing must report the incident to a building administrator immediately. Students who feel that they have been bullied, harassed, or hazed should report the incident immediately to a teacher, counselor, or building administrator, and a written record shall be created. As explained in section three below, such a report should first be addressed at the building level, however, students, parents, or guardians always have the option of filing a District complaint by using Complaint Form 504.4-E, which can be obtained from a building administrator, on the District’s website, or from the District’s equity office by calling or emailing the director of student services and equity education, Dr. Dora Jung, at (712) 279-6075 or jungd@live.siouxcityschools.com.

II. Interim measures

Interim individualized measures should be considered and implemented as appropriate for either the reporting or responding party prior to an investigation or while an investigation is pending. Examples of such measures may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Implementing a student safety plan;
  • Providing counseling or other services;
  • Providing academic support services; and/or
  • Contacting law enforcement.

III. General Guidelines

The District will promptly and reasonably investigate reports of bullying, harassment, or hazing. Every effort will be made to resolve the matter informally at the building level and take such remedial measures as are deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

Although the outcome or conclusion of an investigation will be shared with the parties, student-specific information, including student discipline, will not be shared with the complainant unless it directly affects the complainant.

Nothing in these procedures will require the complainant and the respondent to appear in the same meeting or hearing room at the same time.

A. Level 1 -Building Administrator

Upon receipt of a report under this policy, the building administrator will gather additional information from the reporting party, the person(s) identified as the responsible party, and any appropriate witnesses. If it is determined by the building administrator that bullying, harassment, or hazing has occurred, appropriate remedial action shall be taken to address the conduct which may include appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the K-12 Student Code of Conduct. The building administrator shall document all actions taken.

The building administrator shall provide a written response to the involved parties within five (5) working days of the initial report indicating whether the reported conduct constitutes bullying, harassment, or hazing under this policy and if so, that appropriate action has been taken.

This Level is optional and may be bypassed if the reporting party or other affected party wishes to file a formal complaint by following the procedures in Level 2. Any party may appeal from a Level 1 determination to Level 2.

B. Level 2 – Director of Student Services & Equity Education

In the event the complainant wishes to bypass Level 1, the complainant should submit a completed Complaint Form 504.4E to the director of student services & equity.

In the event an appeal is being made from a Level 1 decision, Form 504.4E must be submitted to the director of student services & equity education within five (5) working days after receipt of the Level 1 determination from the building administrator.

Any party may request that a meeting concerning the complaint be held with the director of student services & equity education. The director of student services & equity education may also initiate a request for a meeting to discuss the complaint or appeal. A parent, guardian, or other representative may accompany a minor student. The director of student services & equity education, as the designee of the superintendent, will investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve it. The director will consider the totality of the circumstances presented in determining whether conduct objectively constitutes harassment or bullying.

Within ten (10) working days after receipt of the complaint or appeal, a written report from the director of student services & equity education regarding the outcome of the investigation or appeal will be sent to the complainant, the respondent, and the superintendent.

C. Level 3 -Superintendent

In the event either party is not satisfied with the decision made at Level 2, they may submit a written appeal to the superintendent within five (5) working days after receipt of the Level 2 written report from the director of student services & equity education. Any party may request a meeting with the superintendent. The superintendent may also initiate a request for a meeting to discuss the appeal. Within ten (10) working days after receipt of the written appeal or after meeting with the parties, whichever is later, the superintendent will issue a decision in writing to the complainant and the respondent.