Workplace Bullying

Code Number: 403.5

The purpose of this policy is to promote a healthy, positive workplace climate so that every individual is able to contribute fully to our educational community. Every person has the right to dignity at work. The rights and responsibilities described in this policy apply to all employees, parents, and all who utilize or visit District facilities.

Bullying is defined as conduct that a reasonable person would find hostile, intimidating, offensive, humiliating, or an abuse of authority. It may be verbal, nonverbal, public, or private. It is typically behavior repeated across multiple incidents; a single incident is usually not a violation unless it is a serious incident. It may originate from any employee or from any individual to another. It is also bullying to continue such conduct when the targeted individual requests that it cease.

Bullying conduct can include, but is not limited to:

  1. Provocative or dehumanizing name-calling
  2. Belittling the person
  3. Exclusion
  4. Physical isolation
  5. Rumors or gossip about a person which is libelous, defamatory, obscene, or maliciously false or which is meant to harm a person’s reputation
  6. Discounting or humiliating the person at meetings
  7. Deliberate exclusion from job-critical decision-making opportunities
  8. Yelling at, or threatening a person, or prohibiting a person from speaking to others
  9. Intentional deception about the true purpose of an investigatory or disciplinary meeting
  10. Preventing an employee from meeting students’ needs
  11. Moving or hiding items required for productive work

For an individual to allege a policy violation, to call it bullying according to this policy’s standard, the targeted individual must be able to demonstrate that due to the alleged bullying activity he/she has experienced negative consequences affecting the ability to perform his/her job. It is the intent of this policy that such issues are identified early by the targeted individual, a co-worker or colleague, and the issue is resolved at the earliest possible stage.

This policy supplements but does not replace the District’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy (Board Policy 103).

Bullying must not be confused with the non-abusive exercise of management rights to assign tasks, coach, and reprimand or take disciplinary actions against employees. Any administrator, supervisor or individual in a position of leadership to whom a complaint is reported (verbally or in writing) must take appropriate action according to internal procedures. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action.

Freedom from retaliation is protected under this policy. Retaliation is a separate offense from the original claim of bullying. Protected individuals include complainants, or anyone who testifies, assists, or participates in any manner in an investigation or proceeding, internal or external, pertaining to the allegation of bullying.

Misuse of the policy is a violation of the policy itself.

First Adoption:
Revision Adoption:
February 11, 2013/ July 20, 2015/ January 27, 2020
Reviewed Dates:
December 16, 2019
Legal Reference:
Iowa Code §279.8
Cross Reference: Board Policy 103


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