8-603 - Harassment of Students

Policy 8-603

HARASSMENT OF STUDENTS

The Newtown Board of Education affirms the right of all students to be protected from intimidation, discrimination, physical harm, and/or harassment.
Harassment or discriminatory behavior that denies civil rights or access to equal educational opportunities includes indecent, vulgar, or abusive epithets or gestures that are targeted at an individual or group. Such harassment or discriminatory behavior is not acceptable under this policy. It shall be an aggravating circumstance that the harasser selects the victim because of the victim's race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. If an indecent, vulgar, or abusive epithet is directed to the victim's race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability, this shall be
evidence that the victim was chosen because of that characteristic.

PROCEDURE

Staff members must inform the principal of any harassment incident that comes to their attention. A student and/or a parent may file a formal written complaint with the building principal. In all cases, the principal will thoroughly investigate the incident while protecting the due process and privacy rights of all parties to the complaint. The principal or designee must inform the parents involved. Following communication with the children, parents, and/or teachers involved, the principal shall determine appropriate actions to be taken. The principal will keep a written record of the incident. If, in the principal's judgment, the level of harassment is of such a high degree of severity that merits suspension beyond five days or expulsion, the principal must bring the case to the Superintendent of Schools for further action.

If a student commits a second harassment offense, a meeting of the principal with the student and parent(s) must occur. The principal or parent(s) may request that the Superintendent of Schools or the Assistant Superintendent attend this meeting. The principal shall be responsible for discipline in this second case after consultation with the Superintendent of Schools. In severe cases, the principal may bring the case to the Superintendent for further action. If, after investigation, the principal has determined that a third offense has taken place, the student shall be presented to the Board of Education
for consideration of lengthy suspension or expulsion.

In all cases of harassment, the principal will be responsible for taking appropriate actions to protect the victim from further harassment.

Adopted 10/10/95