Bullying/School Climate Plan
The policy of Grove School is to maintain a safe academic and residential environment that is free from bullying. Bullying activities of any type are inconsistent with the therapeutic goals of the program, contrary to State law and are always prohibited.
Bullying is defined as repeated written, oral, and electronic communications:
- by one or more students directed at or referring to another student
- and physical acts and gestures by one or more students that are repeatedly directed against another student and that:
- cause the student physical or emotional harm or damage his or her property,
- put the student in reasonable fear of harm or property damage,
- cause a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
- create a hostile school environment for the student,
- infringe on the student’s rights at school, or
- substantially disrupt the education process or Grove School’s orderly operation.
- substantially interferes with the student’s or students’ academic performance;
- substantially interferes with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided
A “Hostile Environment” is defined as one in which bullying among students is so severe or pervasive that it alters the school’s climate.
Bullying can take many forms including, but not limited to: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying
This explicitly includes conduct targeting a student’s actual or perceived possession of, or association with others possessing or perceived as possessing, any differentiating characteristic based on race; color; religion; ancestry; national origin; gender; sexual orientation; gender identity or expression; socioeconomic or academic status; physical appearance; or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability.
This includes “cyberbullying” defined as: acts of bullying carried out through mobile electronic devices or electronic communications, the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, or cell phones.
A “School Employee” is defined as anyone who is employed by the Grove School as a teacher, substitute teacher, school administrator, residential staff, counselor, therapist, nurse or anyone who provides services to or on behalf of students whose duties involve regular student contact.
The principal of Grove School will serve as the School Climate Coordinator and shall:
- facilitate the School Climate Team;
- ensure the implementation of the School Climate Plan;
- plan and implement annual training for School Climate Team members;
- ensure that all school employees receive annual training;
- facilitate annual revisions to the District School Climate Plan based on feedback from School Climate Team;
- review all reports of suspected bullying and investigation reports.
The principal will designate an existing committee or create a new committee to serve as the School Climate Committee
This Team shall:
- meet regularly
- review and amend, as necessary, the School Climate Plan;
- make recommendations to the Executive Director regarding necessary changes to the school policy;
- perform any other duties as determined by the principal that are related to improving school climate
- receive copies of completed reports following investigations of bullying;
- identify and address patterns of bullying among students in the school;
- educate students, school employees and parents and guardians of students on issues relating to school climate and bullying;
The assistant principal and dean of students will serve as the School Climate Specialists and shall:
- provide leadership to the school community in the prevention, intervention, and response to reports of bullying, discrimination, teen dating violence, and otherwise mean-spirited behavior in the school;
- ensure implementation of School Climate Plan;
- coordinate the provision of annual training to all staff on the prevention, intervention, and response to bullying
- ensure that all students, parents, and school employees are notified annually, at the beginning of the school year of process by which they can make reports of bullying, including anonymous/discrete reports;
- investigate or supervise the investigation of reported acts of bullying in accordance with the School Climate Plan;
- ensure the implementation of intervention/response plans for all verified acts of bullying
- collect and maintain records of reports and investigations of bullying in the school
Training and Professional Development
Grove School shall require that all school employees receive annual training that will include information addressing the prevention of, identification of and response to bullying. This training will be determined by the School Climate Team.
Students or Parents may file:
- oral Reports to school employees
- written reports through e-mail to the school principal; assistant principal, Dean of Students; or their child’s treatment team.
- If they wish, students will remain anonymous outside of the staff member who received the report and the principal. Anonymous reports must be reviewed by the principal and Dean of Students, but no disciplinary action may be taken solely on the basis of any anonymous report.
School employees who witness acts of bullying behavior or receive reports of bullying MUST report it to the principal.
School employees must:
- make that report as soon as possible, but not later that one (1) school day after such school employee witnesses or receives a report of bullying
- file a written report as soon as possible, but not later than two (2) school days after making such an oral report.
ALL reports of suspected bullying must be investigated. The Dean of Students must investigate or supervise the investigation of all incident reports including anonymous reports and ensure that such
investigations are completed thoroughly and promptly after receipt of any written report and that the parents or guardians of the student alleged to have committed an act or acts of bullying and the parent or guardians of the student against whom such alleged act or acts were directed receive prompt notice that such investigation has commenced. If the investigation determines that the reported act is not with in the scope of Grove Schools jurisdiction, Grove School will provide the individual who submitted the report resources in the community appropriate to address the reported act. Upon completion of the investigation the school climate specialist or the investigator shall complete a Bullying Determination report.
Verified Acts of Bullying
When an investigation concludes that there has been a verified act of bullying the parents of both the target and the perpetrator will be notified not later than 48 hours after the conclusion of the investigation. The notice must:
- describe the school’s response and any consequences that may result from further acts of bullying;
- invite the parents or guardians of a student who commits any verified act of bullying to a meeting to communicate to such parents or guardians the measures being taken by the school to ensure the safety of the student against whom such act was directed and the policies and procedures in place to prevent further acts of bullying and/or teen dating violence;
- invite the parents or guardians of the student against whom such act was directed, to a meeting to communicate to such parents or guardians the measures being taken by the school to ensure the safety of the student against whom such act was directed and policies and procedures in place to prevent further acts of bullying
Notification of Law Enforcement
The principal or his/her designee MUST notify the appropriate law enforcement agency when such principal or his/her designee believes that any behavior may constitute criminal activity.
School Safety and Intervention Plans
For each verified act of bullying a written plan must be developed for both the target and the perpetrator.
For the target this plan must:
- include a school safety plan that describes what school staff will do to ensure safety in the school environment.
- include an intervention strategy to teach the skills and dispositions necessary to decrease the likelihood of further victimization.
- be monitored by the Dean of Students or his/her designee (to be identified in the plan) to ensure implementation fidelity and adjusted as necessary to provide a safe environment
- be provided to the parent and shared with the student
For the perpetrator this plan must:
- include any disciplinary action to be taken,
- next steps should bullying occur again (repeated acts of bullying may lead to suspension and/or expulsion.
- clearly state that retaliation against the target, the reporter, or any individual participating in the investigation is prohibited;
- be provided to the parent and shared with the student
- Include an intervention strategy designed to teach the skills and dispositions necessary for participation in a safe school climate