The Board of Education prohibits all acts of harassment and bullying (including “cyber-bullying”) of students as well as retaliation by other students, school officers/employees, volunteers, vendors or visitors on school property or at school functions/activities. The same actions occurring off-campus are also prohibited if the action or actions adversely affect the educative process and/or endangers the health, safety or morals of students.
“Harassment” is inappropriate conduct or speech, including but not limited to, verbal threats, intimidation or abuse that can interfere with a student’s educational performance and/or deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services or opportunities in the school’s programs. It includes such inappropriate conduct or speech based on a person’s actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender expression as well as any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state and/or local law. It also includes inappropriate conduct or speech that reasonably causes or would reasonably be expected to cause a student to fear for his or her physical safety.
“Bullying” is a form or harassment that consists of inappropriate persistent behavior including, but not limited to: threats of intimidation of others, treating others cruelly, terrorizing, coercing, stalking or habitual put-downs and/or badgering of others, whether done directly, indirectly, face-to-face or remotely through electronic communication (i.e. “cyber-bullying”).
Bullying can include:
Physical: Physical bullying involves harmful actions against another person’s body. Examples include, but are not limited to: biting, kicking, pushing, pinching, hitting, tripping, pulling hair and any form of violence or intimidation. Physical bullying may also involve the interference with another person’s property. Examples include, but are not limited to: causing another student to drop items s/he is carrying (such as books, cafeteria trays, etc.); damaging, hiding, withholding or stealing another student’s property.
Verbal: Verbal bullying involves speaking to a person or about a person in an unkind or hurtful way. Examples include, but are not limited to: sarcasm, teasing, put-downs, name calling, phone calls, spreading rumors or hurtful gossip.
Emotional: Emotional bullying involves behaviors that upset, exclude or embarrass a person. Examples include, but are not limited to: nasty notes, saying mean things, tormenting, threatening, humiliating or socially embarrassing another.
Cyber-bullying: Cyber-bullying is online social cruelty or electronic bullying. Cyber-bullying includes, but is not limited to the following misuses of technology: harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student or staff member by way of any technological tool, such as sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory email messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images or website postings (including blogs) which either has or could have the effect of:
- Physically, emotionally or mentally harming a student.
- Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical, emotional or mental harm
- Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property; or
- Interfering with a student’s educational performance and/or denying or limiting a student’s ability to participate in or to receive benefits, services or opportunities in the school’s programs.
“Staff” includes, but is not limited to, educators, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, athletic coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff and/or paraprofessionals.
“Retaliation” is a separate and distinct violation of this policy in which any member of the school community retaliates against any person who reports alleged harassment or against any person who testifies, assists or participates in an investigation, proceeding or hearing relating to such harassment. It is possible that an alleged harasser may be found to have violated this anti-retaliation provision even if the underlying complaint of harassment is not found to be a violation of this policy. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to any form of intimidation; reprisal or harassment and may be redressed through application of the same reporting, investigation and enforcement procedures as for harassment.
It is the policy of the Glens Falls City School District to maintain a learning and working environment that is free from sexual harassment. No employee or student of the District shall be subjected to sexual harassment. It shall be a violation of this policy for any member of the Glens Falls City School District staff to harass another staff member or student or visitor to the District through conduct or communications of a sexual nature as described in the definition section. It shall also be a violation of this policy for students to harass other students, staff or visitor to the District through conduct or communications of a sexual nature as described in the definition section.
Each administrator shall be responsible for promoting understanding and acceptance of, and assuring compliance with, state and federal laws and Board policy and procedures governing sexual harassment within his or her school or office.
Violations of this policy or procedure will be cause for disciplinary action.
- Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s employment or advancement or of a student’s participation in school programs or activities;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an employee or student is used as the basis for decisions affecting the employee or student;
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interfering with an employee or student’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment.
- Sexual harassment, as set forth in Section II-a, may include, but is not limited to the following:
- Verbal harassment or abuse
- Pressure for sexual activity
- Repeated remarks to a person, with sexual or demeaning implications
- Unwelcome touching
- Suggested or demanding sexual involvement accompanied by implied or explicit threats concerning one’s grades, job, etc.
- Any staff person who alleges sexual harassment by a staff member or student in the School District may use the procedure detailed in the Glens Falls City School District Grievance Procedure or may complain directly to his or her immediate supervisor, building principal, or District Title IX Coordinator. Filing of a grievance or otherwise reporting sexual harassment will not reflect upon the individual’s status nor will it affect future employment, grades, or work assignments.
- The right to confidentially, both of the complainant and of the accused will be respected consistent with the School District’s legal obligation of misconduct and to take corrective action when this conduct has occurred.
- A substantiated charge against a staff member in the School District shall subject such staff member to disciplinary action, up to and including the possibility of discharge.
- A substantiated charge against a student in the School District shall subject that student to disciplinary action which may include suspension or expulsion, consistent with the student discipline code.
Notice of this policy will be circulated to all schools and departments of the Glens Falls City School District and incorporated in teacher and student handbooks.
Training sessions on this policy and the prevention of sexual harassment shall be held for teachers and students in all schools.