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104.00 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment Policy

The Ankeny Community School District is committed to providing all students, employees, and volunteers with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. Bullying and/or harassing behavior can seriously disrupt the ability of school employees to maintain a safe and civil environment, and the ability of students to learn and succeed. Bullying and/or harassment of or by students, staff, and volunteers is against federal and state law, as well as local policy and is not tolerated by the board.

Therefore, school employees, volunteers, and students shall not engage in bullying or harassing behavior while on school property, in a school-owned or school-operated vehicle, while attending or participating in school-sponsored or sanctioned activities, and and/or while away from school grounds if the conduct materially interferes with the orderly operation of the educational environment or is likely to do so.

Complaints may be filed with the superintendent/designee pursuant to the regulation accompanying this policy.  Complaints will be investigated within a reasonable time frame.

A school employee, volunteer, student, or student’s parent/guardian who promptly, reasonably, and in good faith reports an incident of bullying or harassment, in compliance with the procedures outlined by the district, to the appropriate school official designated by the school district, shall be immune from civil or criminal liability relating to such report and to participation in any administrative or judicial proceeding resulting from or relating to the report.

Retaliation Prohibited

Individuals who knowingly file false bullying or harassment complaints and any person who gives false statements in an investigation may be subject to discipline by appropriate measures.

Any student found to have violated or retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, suspension and expulsion.  Any school employee found to have violated or retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, termination of employment.  Any school volunteer found to have violated or retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, removal from service and exclusion from school grounds.

Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, the defined words shall have the following meaning:

  • “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.
  • “Harassment” and “bullying” mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward an individual based on any trait(s) or characteristic(s) of the individual which creates an objectively hostile school or work environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:
    1. Places the individual in reasonable fear of harm to the individual’s person or property.
    2. Has a substantial detrimental effect on the individual’s physical or mental health.
    3. Has the effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s academic or career performance.
    4. Has the effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
  • “Trait or characteristic” includes but is not limited to 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.

Filing a Complaint

A Complainant who wishes to avail him/herself of this procedure may do so by filing a complaint with the superintendent/designee. An alternate will be designated in the event it is claimed that the superintendent/designee committed the alleged discrimination or some other conflict of interest exists.

Complaints shall be filed within 15 days of the event giving rise to the complaint or from the date the Complainant reasonably should have been aware of the complained-about occurrence. The Complainant will state the nature of the complaint and the remedy requested. The Complainant shall receive assistance as needed.

School employees, volunteers, and students shall not engage in reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim, witness, or an individual who has reliable information about an act of bullying or harassment.

Investigation

The district will promptly and reasonably investigate allegations of bullying or harassment. The superintendent/designee shall name an investigator to handle a each complaint of bullying and/or harassment. Initial complaints of bullying and harassment start at the building level unless there are circumstances in which the investigation at the building level would be inappropriate.

The named investigator shall consider the totality of circumstances presented in determining whether complained-of-conduct objectively constitutes bullying or harassment.

The superintendent/designee shall be responsible for developing procedures regarding this policy.

Decision

If, after an investigation, a student is found to be in violation of this policy, the student shall be subject to appropriate discipline, which may include but is not limited to suspension and/or expulsion.  If after an investigation a school employee is found to be in violation of this policy, the employee shall be subject to appropriate discipline, which may include but is not limited to termination. If after an investigation a volunteer is found to be in violation of this policy, the volunteer shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include but is not limited to exclusion from school grounds.

Publication of Policy

The board will annually publish this policy. The policy may be publicized by the following means:

  • Inclusion in the student handbook,
  • Inclusion in the employee handbook
  • Inclusion in the registration materials
  • Inclusion on the school or school district’s web site.

Legal References:               
20 U.S.C. §§ 1221-1234i.
29 U.S.C. § 794.
42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d-2000d-7.
42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 2et. seq.
Iowa Code §§ 216.9; 280.28; 280.3.              
281 I.A.C. 12.3(6).
Morse v. Frederick, 551 U.S. 393 (2007)

Cross References: 
102 Equal Educational Opportunity
402.13 Harassment
502 Series Student Rights and Responsibilities
503 Series Student Discipline
504.45 Bullying
506 Series Student Records

Adopted:
July 1, 2016

COMPLAINT AND WITNESS FORMS

104.00 R&R 1

ANTI-BULLYING/ANTI-HARASSMENT INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES

Investigation

The district will promptly and reasonably investigate allegations of bullying or harassment. The superintendent/designee shall name an investigator to handle each complaint of bullying and/or harassment.

Initial complaints of bullying and harassment start at the building level unless there are circumstances in which the investigation at the building level would be inappropriate.

The named investigator shall consider the totality of circumstances presented in determining whether complained-of-conduct objectively constitutes bullying or harassment.

If the Complainant is under 18 years of age, the investigator shall notify the Complainant’s parent(s)/guardian(s) that they may attend investigatory meetings in which the Complainant is involved.

The complaint and identity of the Complainant, Respondent, or witnesses will only be disclosed as reasonably necessary in connection with the investigation or as required by law or policy. The investigation may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • A request for the Complainant to provide a written statement regarding the nature of the complaint;
  • A request for the individual named in the complaint (hereinafter “Respondent”) to provide a written statement;
  • A request for witnesses identified during the course of the investigation to provide a written statement; and
  • Review and collection of documentation or information deemed relevant to the investigation.

The Investigator shall consider the totality of circumstances presented in determining whether conduct objectively constitutes bullying or harassment. Upon completion of the investigation, the Investigator shall issue a report with respect to the findings. The complainant and the alleged wrongdoer will receive notice as to the conclusion of the investigation.

The principal will maintain a log of information necessary to comply with Iowa Department of Education’s reporting procedures. If it does not meet the definition of the Iowa Department of Education’s Inappropriate Student Interaction and harassment law, but meets the district’s definition, the complaint will be reported in Infinite Campus.

Decision

If, after an investigation, a student is found to be in violation of the policy, the student shall be subject to appropriate discipline, which may include but is not limited to suspension and expulsion.

If, after an investigation, a school employee is found to be in violation of this policy, the employee shall be subject to appropriate discipline, which may include but is not limited to termination.

If, after an investigation, a volunteer is found to be in violation of this policy, the volunteer shall be subject to appropriate measures, which may include but is not limited to exclusion from school grounds.

Adopted:
July 1, 2016

Reviewed:
June 18, 2018
September 16, 2021

Revised:
June 18, 2018
October 19, 2021

Legal References:
20 U.S.C. §§ 1221-1234i.
29 U.S.C. § 794.
42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d-2000d-7.
42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 2 et. seq.
Iowa Code §§ 216.9; 280.28; 280.3.
281 I.A.C. 12.3(6).
Morse v. Frederick, 551 U.S. 393

Cross References:
102.00  Equal Educational Opportunity
503.01 Student Discipline
503.60 Good Conduct
506.01 Student Records Access
402.13 Harassment