Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying

BP 5131.43


The Board is dedicated to providing a safe and civil learning environment.  Harassment, intimidation and bullying disrupt a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate.  Students and staff are expected to demonstrate positive character traits and values. Conduct and speech must be civil and respectful in order to promote harmonious and courteous relations in the school environment.
(cf. 5137 – Positive School Climate)

Students, staff and volunteers are prohibited from engaging in any form of harassment, intimidation, or bullying while on school property, on school buses, at the bus stop, or at school-sponsored activities or functions.  Students who engage in such acts are subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or expulsion. Staff who engage in acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying are also subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including suspension and termination. Volunteers who engage in such acts will be denied the opportunity to volunteer in the future.

To promote an environment free of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, the principal or designee shall take appropriate actions such as removing vulgar or offending graffiti, establishing site rules, and providing staff inservice and student instruction and counseling.  Teachers shall discuss this policy with their students in age appropriate ways and assure students that they need not endure any form of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

The district will provide parent and community information, and age-appropriate student instruction, on how to identify, respond to, and prevent harassment, intimidation, and bullying.

(cf. 5131.5 – Vandalism, Theft and Graffiti)
(cf. 5144 - Discipline)
(cf. 5144.1 – Suspension and Expulsion)

Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying Defined

Harassment, intimidation, or bullying means an intentional act, whether written, oral, electronic or physical, when the act is undertaken with the intent of threatening, intimidating, harassing, or frightening the student, and 

  1. physically harms the student or damages the student’s property;
  2. has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s education;
  3. is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
  4. has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

(cf. 5145.3 – Nondiscrimination)


All forms of harassment, intimidation or bullying via electronic means, commonly referred to as cyberbullying, are prohibited. Cyberbullying also includes, but is not limited to, other misuses of technology to threaten, harass, intimidate or bully, including sending or posting inappropriate email messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or Web site postings, including blogs. An individual who redistributes a cyberbullying communication can be found in violation of this policy, even if the individual did not author or create the original communication or image.

The district’s computer network, including access to the Internet via that network, whether accessed on campus or off campus, during or after school hours, may not be used for the purpose of harassment, intimidation, or bullying.  Users are responsible for the appropriateness of the material they transmit over the system. 

In situations in which the cyberbullying originates from a private (non-school) computer or other electronic device, but is brought to the attention of school officials, disciplinary measures may be imposed when the communication:

  1. Is of a criminal nature, including but not limited to, threats of violence or harm against staff members, students, or their property;
  2. Suggests or advocates physical harm to staff members or students;
  3. Causes a student or staff member to experience a substantially detrimental effect on his or her physical or mental health;
  4. Causes a student or staff member to experience substantial interference with academic or work performance, or with his or her ability to participate in or benefit from district services or activities;
  5. Threatens vandalism to school property; or
  6. Creates a significant disruption to the school’s educational mission, purpose or objectives.

Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, the loss of student activity eligibility, the loss of computer privileges, detention, suspension, or expulsion for those committing acts of cyberbullying.  In addition, any kind of threat or hate crime will be reported to law enforcement officials.           

Students and staff who believe they have been the victims of cyberbullying, as described in this policy, should not erase the offending material from the system. A copy of the material should be printed and a report made under this policy. 

(cf. 6161.4 – Internet)
(cf. 6161.5 – Web Sites / Pages)


Students or staff members who have witnessed or have reliable information that a student has been subjected to harassment, intimidation or bullying should report the incident immediately to the principal or his/her designee, who shall promptly initiate an investigation.  The investigation shall include an assessment of what actions should be taken, as appropriate, to protect the student who has been found to be the victim of harassment, intimidation or bullying.  Such actions may include the provision of support services necessary to permit the student to feel safe and secure in attending school.  The Superintendent shall develop procedures to implement this policy.


In determining the appropriate response to students who commit one or more acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying, the following factors should be considered:

  1. the development and maturity levels of the parties involved;
  2. the level of harm;
  3. the surrounding circumstances;
  4. past incidences or past continuing patterns of behavior;
  5. the relationships between the parties involved;
  6. the level of disruption in or interference with the orderly operation of the school. 

This policy should not be interpreted to prohibit a reasoned and civil exchange of opinions or debate that is protected by law and Board policy.

(cf. 5145.2 – Freedom of Speech/Expression)

Conduct that does not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation or bullying may still be prohibited by other policies or rules.

(cf. 5131 –  Conduct)

(cf. 5131.4 – Campus Disturbances)
(cf. 5131.41 – Violent and Aggressive Conduct)
(cf. 5131.42 – Threats of Violence)
(cf. 5131.5 – Vandalism, Theft & Graffiti)
(cf. 5137 – Positive School Climate) 

Legal Reference:

            14.33.200 Harassment, intimidation and bullying policy

            14.33.210 Reporting of incidents of harassment, intimidation or bullying
            14.33.220 Reporting, no reprisals
            14.33.230 Immunity from suit
            14.33.250 Definitions
            11.61.120 Harassment in the second degree 

            28 CFR Part 35, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

            34 CFR Part 104, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504)
            34 CFR Part 300, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)


Adoption Date:  10/26/05
Revision Date: 10/27/2010
Revision Date: 8/08/2012
Revision Date: 2/08/2017


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