504.45 Inappropriate Student Interaction
Inappropriate Student Interaction will not be tolerated in Ankeny Schools. The Board is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment that is free from Inappropriate Student Interaction and in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. The Board has in place policies, procedures, and practices designed to reduce and eliminate Inappropriate Student Interaction, as well as processes and procedures to deal with incidents of Inappropriate Student Interaction.
The State of Iowa has defined bullying and harassment for reporting purposes under Iowa law. Student behavior will be assessed under both policies: Board Policy 104.00 Anti-Bullying /Anti-Harassment Policy and this policy.
Inappropriate Student Interaction occurs when a person, alone or with others, intentionally engages in unwelcome verbal, written, and/or physical conduct toward a student that is sufficiently severe, persistent and/or pervasive that it causes physical and/or emotional harm to the student, damages property, and/or creates an intimidating, threatening, and/or abusive learning environment. Inappropriate Student Interaction includes conduct that occurs on school property, at school events, or, if away from school, which has a negative effect on the student while at school.
Inappropriate Student Interaction can include any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student.
“Electronic” means any communication involving the transmission of information by wire, radio, optical cable, electromagnetic, or other similar means. “Electronic” includes, but is not limited to, communication via electronic mail, internet-based communications, pager service, cell phones, electronic text messaging, social media, or other similar technologies.
Inappropriate Student Interaction may include, but is not limited to, the following behaviors and circumstances:
- Verbal, nonverbal, physical or written Inappropriate Student Interaction, hazing, and/or other victimization that has the purpose or effect of causing injury, discomfort, exclusion, fear, or suffering to the victim;
- Repeated remarks of a demeaning nature that have the purpose or effect of causing injury;
- Implied or explicit threats concerning one’s grades, achievements, property, etc. that have the purpose or effect of causing injury, discomfort, exclusion, fear, or suffering to the victim;
- Demeaning jokes, stories, or activities directed at the student that have the purpose or effect of causing injury, discomfort, fear, exclusion or suffering to the victim; and/or
- Use of one’s strength or popularity to injure, threaten, exclude or embarrass (humiliate or insult) another student on purpose.
This policy is in effect while students or employees are on property within the jurisdiction of the board; while on district -owned or district -operated vehicles; while attending or engaged in district-sponsored activities; and while away from district grounds if the Inappropriate Student Interaction behavior directly affects the good order, efficient management and welfare of the school or district.
If, after an investigation, a student is found to be in violation of this policy, the student shall be disciplined by appropriate measures up to and including, suspension and expulsion. If, after an investigation, a district employee is found to be in violation of this policy, the employee shall be disciplined by appropriate measures up to and including, termination. If after an investigation a volunteer is found to be in violation of this policy, the volunteer shall be subject to appropriate measures up to and including, exclusion from district grounds. “Volunteer” means an individual who has regular, significant contact with students. Student discipline is considered confidential under FERPA.
The district will promptly and reasonably investigate allegations of Inappropriate Student Interaction. The superintendent/designee shall name an investigator to handle a complaint of Inappropriate Student Interaction. It also is the responsibility of the superintendent/designee, in conjunction with the investigator and principals, to develop procedures regarding this policy.
Initial complaints of Inappropriate Student Interaction 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 Inappropriate Student Interaction.
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.
Students who knowingly file a false complaint may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Retaliation against any person because the person has filed an Inappropriate Student Interaction complaint or assisted or participated in an Inappropriate Student Interaction investigation or proceeding is also prohibited. Any student found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, suspension and expulsion. Any district employee found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, termination of employment. Any district volunteer found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, exclusion from District grounds.
The superintendent/designee is responsible for organizing training programs and learning opportunities for students, school officials, faculty, staff, and volunteers regarding the appropriate expectations. The training will focus on how to have appropriate interactions.
The superintendent/designee shall annually report to the board on the progress toward reducing incidents of Inappropriate Student Interaction. 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 district’s web site.
20 U.S.C. 1221-1234: (2004)
29 U.S.C. 794 (1994)
42 U.S.C. 2000d-2000d-7 (2004)
42 U.S.C. 12001 et. Seq. (2004)
Senate File 61, 1st Regular Session, 82nd General Assembly, (2007)
Iowa Code 216.9; 280.3 (2007)
281 I.A.C. 12.3 (6)
104.00 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment Policy
R. R. 504.45 Inappropriate Student Interaction
Students who feel they are a victim of Inappropriate Student Interaction should:
- Communicate to the student committing the inappropriate interaction that the behavior is to stop, if the student is comfortable doing so. If the student wants assistance communicating, the student should ask a teacher, counselor or principal to help. If the Inappropriate Student Interaction does not stop, the student should:
- tell a teacher, counselor or principal: and
- write down exactly what happened, keep a copy and give another copy to the teacher, counselor or principal including:
- what, when and where it happened;
- who was involved;
- exactly what was said or what the bully did;
- what the student said or did, either at the time or later;
- how the student felt; and
- response to the student.
Complaints of Inappropriate Student Interaction may be written using the designated form, 504.45F or by answering the above questions.
A student who believes that the student has been the subject of inappropriate interaction will first notify the principal/designee. The principal/designee may request the student complete the Inappropriate Student Interaction Complaint form, 504.45F or a written statement covering the specifics of the incident. The student will also be required to turn over evidence of the Inappropriate Student Interaction behavior, including, but not limited to, letters, tapes, pictures, or text messages. The principal/designee has the authority to initiate an investigation in the absence of a written complaint.
The principal/designee will assess the definition of Inappropriate Student Interaction provided in policy. If the principal/designee has a reasonable belief that evidence and statements support an Inappropriate Student Interaction an investigation will commence as promptly as reasonably possible after the receipt of the complaint. The principal/designee will interview the complainant, the student committing the inappropriate interaction, and other witnesses as the principal deems necessary. The accused student may file a written statement in response to the complaint.
If another policy should be reviewed, then it will also be reviewed under that policy. The principal will review the evidence to determine the appropriate administrative action. If the conduct complained of violates other behavior rules, discipline may occur based on those rules.
Upon completion of the investigation, the principal/designee will make a finding and conclusions as to the allegation of Inappropriate Student Interaction. Those findings will be appropriately documented and recorded.
Resolution of the Complaint
In the report the principal/designee will document the disciplinary action taken or any other action taken in response to the complaint within the student information system. The complainant and the accused student will receive notice as to the conclusion of the investigation.
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