514 Bullying Prohibition Policy PROCEDURE
I. REPORTING PROCEDURE
A. Any person who believes he or she has been the target or victim of bullying or any person with knowledge or belief of conduct that may constitute bullying or prohibited conduct under this policy shall report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate school district official designated by this policy (see Paragraph C in this section). A person may report bullying anonymously. All anonymous reports are investigated, however, the school may not rely solely on an anonymous report to determine discipline or other remedial responses.
B. The school district encourages the reporting party or complainant to use the Bullying Report form available from the principal or supervisor of each school or available in the school district office. The Bullying Report Form can also be completed online and submitted to building administration. Both oral and online reports shall be considered complaints as well.
C. The principal and assistant principals at each school (hereinafter the “school report taker”) are the individuals responsible for receiving reports of bullying or other prohibited conduct at the building level. Any person may also report bullying or other prohibited conduct directly to either of the school district’s Assistant Superintendents for Academic Excellence and Accountability, 7362 East Point Douglas Road South, Cottage Grove, MN 55016-3025, (651) 425-6203 or (651) 425-6208. If the complaint involves the school report taker, the complaint shall be made or filed directly with either of the Assistant Superintendents, at the addresses listed above.
The school report taker shall ensure that this policy and its procedures, practices, consequences, and sanctions are fairly and fully implemented and shall serve as the primary contact on policy and procedural matters. The school report taker or a third party designated by the school district shall be responsible for the investigation. The school report taker shall provide information about available community resources to the target or victim of the bullying or other prohibited conduct, the perpetrator, and other affected individuals as appropriate.
D. A teacher, school administrator, volunteer, contractor, or other school employee shall be particularly alert to possible situations, circumstances, or events that might include bullying. Any such person who witnesses, observes, receives a report of, or has other knowledge or belief of conduct that may constitute bullying or other prohibited conduct shall make reasonable efforts to address and resolve the bullying or prohibited conduct and shall inform the school report taker immediately. School district personnel who fail to inform the school report taker of conduct that may constitute bullying or other prohibited conduct or who fail to make reasonable efforts to address and resolve the bullying or prohibited conduct in a timely manner may be subject to disciplinary action.
E. Reports of bullying or other prohibited conduct are classified as private educational and/or personnel data and/or confidential investigative data and will not be disclosed except as permitted by law. The school report taker, in conjunction with the responsible authority, shall be responsible for keeping and regulating access to any report of bullying and the record of any resulting investigation.
F. Submission of a good faith complaint or report of bullying or other prohibited conduct will not affect the complainant’s or reporter’s future employment, grades, work assignments, or educational or work environment.
G. The school district will respect the privacy of the complainant(s), the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses as much as possible, consistent with the school district’s obligation to investigate, take appropriate action, and comply with any legal disclosure obligations. However, the school district is unable to guarantee confidentiality to any individual.
V. SCHOOL DISTRICT PROCEDURES
A. The school district shall undertake or authorize an investigation by the school report taker or a third party designated by the school district.
B. The investigation may consist of a review of written witness statements or personal interviews with the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and others who may have knowledge of the alleged incident(s) or circumstances giving rise to the complaint. The investigation may also consist of any other methods and a review of any documents deemed pertinent by the investigator. The scope of the investigation will depend on the circumstances of each complaint.
C. The school report taker or other appropriate school district officials may take immediate steps, at their sole discretion, to protect the target or victim of the bullying or other prohibited conduct, the complainant, the reporter, and students or others, pending completion of an investigation of the bullying or other prohibited conduct, consistent with applicable law. Protective measures, if any, will be based on the circumstances of each situation and may include, but are not limited to, counseling, academic support, and scheduling changes for classes,
or extracurricular activities, or out of school time programming. Any protective measures will be implemented at the sole discretion of the school district and will be designed by the school district to minimize the burden on a student’s educational program.
D. The alleged perpetrator of the bullying or other prohibited conduct shall be allowed the opportunity to present information, evidence, and witnesses during the investigation or prior to the imposition of discipline or other remedial responses.
E. The investigation will be completed within 7 days or 5 school days of the date the complaint was filed. The results of the investigation must be documented in writing, which shall include a determination of whether the allegations have been substantiated as factual using a preponderance of the evidence standard and whether they appear to be violations of this policy in accordance with the definitions outlined in this policy. The breadth and detail of the investigation report will depend on the circumstances of each complaint.
F. Upon completion of an investigation that determines that bullying or other prohibited conduct has occurred, the school district will take appropriate action. Such action may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, remediation, termination, or discharge. Disciplinary consequences will be sufficiently appropriate to deter violations and to discipline prohibited conduct. Remedial responses to the bullying or other prohibited conduct shall be tailored to the particular incident and nature of the conduct and shall take into account the factors specified in Section III.F of this policy. School district action taken for violation of this policy will be consistent with the requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements; applicable statutory authority, including the Minnesota Pupil Fair Dismissal Act; the student discipline policy and other applicable school district policies; and applicable regulations.
G. The result of the school district’s investigation of each complaint filed under these procedures will be reported in writing to the complainant and the respondent within 7 days or 5 school days of the date the complaint was filed, to the extent permitted by the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and any other applicable law. In the event the report cannot be provided to the complainant and respondent within 7 days or 5 school days, the school district will notify both parties, and will provide an anticipated date of report completion.
H. The school district is not authorized to disclose to a victim private educational or personnel data regarding an alleged perpetrator who is a student or employee of the school district. School officials will notify the parent(s) or guardian(s) of students who are targets of bullying or other prohibited conduct and the parent(s) or guardian(s) of alleged perpetrators of bullying or other prohibited conduct who have been involved in a reported and confirmed bullying incident of the remedial or disciplinary action taken to the extent permitted by the Minnesota Government Data Practice Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and any other applicable law.
I. In order to prevent or respond to bullying or other prohibited conduct committed by or directed against a child with a disability, the school district shall, when determined appropriate by the child’s individualized education program (IEP) team or Section 504 team, allow the child’s IEP or Section 504 plan to be drafted to address the skills and proficiencies the child needs as a result of the child’s disability to allow the child to respond to or not to engage in bullying or other prohibited conduct.
Minn. Stat. Ch. 13 (Minnesota Government Data Practices Act)
Minn. Stat. § 120A.05, Subds. 9, 11, 13, and 17 (Definition of Public School)
Minn. Stat. § 120B.232 (Character Development Education)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.03 (Sexual, Religious and Racial Harassment and Violence)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.031 (School Student Bullying Policy)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.0311 (Notice of Rights and Responsibilities of Students and Parents under the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act)
Minn. Stat. §§ 121A.40-121A.56 (Pupil Fair Dismissal Act)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.69 (Hazing Policy)
Minn. Stat. § 124D.10 (Charter School)
Minn. Stat. Ch. 363A (Minnesota Human Rights Act)
20 U.S.C. § 1232g et seq. (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)
34 C.F.R. §§ 99.1 - 99.67 (Family Educational Rights and Privacy)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 403 (Discipline, Suspension, and Dismissal of School District Employees)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 413 (Harassment and Violence)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 414 (Mandated Reporting of Child Neglect or Physical or Sexual Abuse)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 415 (Mandated Reporting of Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 423 (Employee-Student Relationships)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 501 (School Weapons Policy)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 506 (Student Discipline)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 507 (Corporal Punishment)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 515 (Protection and Privacy of Pupil Records)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 521 (Student Disability Nondiscrimination)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 522 (Student Sex Nondiscrimination)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 524 (Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 525 (Violence Prevention)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 526 (Hazing Prohibition)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 529 (Staff Notification of Violent Behavior by Students)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 709 (Student Transportation Safety Policy)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 711 (Video Recording on School Buses)
MSBA/MASA Model Policy 712 (Video Surveillance Other Than on Buses)
PROCEDURE ADOPTED: August 17, 2017