The Board of Trustees of the Sweetwater Union High School District affirms that every student and staff member has the right to a safe and secure school environment, free of humiliation, intimidation, fear, harassment, or any form of bullying behavior. Furthermore, the Board believes that a healthy, positive, psychosocial school environment enhances and increases academic achievement and pro-social development and, therefore, the prevention, reduction, elimination and effective disposition of bullying are fundamental to educational goals. The district, students, families, and staff have an obligation to create an environment that celebrates and respects diversity and human dignity and admonishes bullying behavior. To this end, the district has in place policies, procedures, and practices that are designed to reduce and eliminate bullying and harassment as well as address incidents of bullying and harassment when they occur.
The district will not tolerate bullying as defined in this policy – or any behavior that infringes on the safety or well-being of students, staff, or any other persons within the district’s jurisdiction whether directed at an individual or group.
To address incidents of bullying and the potential culture that supports such behavior, this policy has the following objectives:
- Cultivate a culture of empathy, kindness, respect, and mutual trust among students and between students and staff
- Create a school climate which encourages students to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying, both in their roles as victims, perpetrators and bystanders
- Demonstrate a commitment to address incidents of bullying by outlining the school response to any such behaviors
Bullying means “any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of electronic act, on or off campus, as defined, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, hate violence, or harassment, threats, or intimidation, that has the effect or can reasonably be predicted to have the effect of placing a reasonable pupil as defined*, in fear of harm to that pupil’s or those pupils’ person or property, causing a reasonable pupil to experience a substantial detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health, causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her academic performance, or causing a reasonable pupil to experience substantial interference with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by a school.” (Education Code 48900(r))
Reasonable pupil means “a pupil including but not limited to an exceptional needs pupil who exercises average care, skill and judgment in conduct for a person of his or her age or for a person of his or her age with his or her exceptional needs.” (Education Code 48900.4(3))
Cyberbullying is bullying by means of an “electronic act”. An electronic act is defined as the creation and transmission originated on or off the school site, by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone, or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager, of a communication, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(a) A message, text, sound, or image.
(b) A post on a social network Internet Web site, including, but not limited to:
(1) Posting to or creating a burn page. “Burn page” means an Internet Web site created for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed in the first paragraph.
(2) Creating a credible impersonation of another actual pupil for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed in the first paragraph. “Credible impersonation” means to knowingly and without consent impersonate a pupil for the purpose of bullying the pupil and such that another pupil would reasonably believe, or has reasonably believed, that the pupil was or is the pupil who was impersonated.
(3) Creating a false profile for the purpose of having one or more of the effects listed in the first paragraph. “False profile” means a profile of a fictitious pupil or a profile using the likeness or attributes of an actual pupil other than the pupil who created the false profile.
An electronic act shall not constitute pervasive conduct solely on the basis that it has been transmitted on the Internet or is currently posted on the Internet.
Parents and Students should be aware of and monitor the Social Media posting and browsing of students. Social Media bullying occupies many different forums including: Internet websites with free registration and ease of registration, internet websites offering peer to peer instant messaging, internet websites offering comment forums or sections, and internet websites offering image or video posting platforms
Click here for the Student Training Module on Bullying and Nondiscrimination.
The CDE has compiled a list of community-based resources for addressing bullying.