Hazing, Harassment, Bullying, Threats, Assault, Intimidation, Menacing, and/or Other Illegal Discrimination Complaint Procedures - Staff
The following definitions and procedures shall be used for reporting, investigating and resolving complaints of hazing, harassment, intimidation, bullying, cyberbullying and menacing.
- “Third parties” include, but are not limited to, coaches, school volunteers, parents, school visitors, service contractors or others engaged in district business, such as employees of businesses or organizations participating in cooperative work programs with the district and others not directly subject to district control at inter-district and intra-district athletic competitions or other school events.
- “District” includes district facilities, district premises and non- district property if the employee is at any district-sponsored, district-approved or district-related activity or function, such as field trips or athletic events where students are under the control of the district or where the employee is engaged in district business.
- “Hazing” includes, but is not limited to, any act or acts against a staff member, or coercing a staff member to commit an act, that recklessly or intentionally endangers the physical health, mental health, or safety of the staff member, for the purpose of initiation or as a condition or precondition of attaining membership in, or affiliation with, any district-sponsored work activity, work group or work assignment; an act that requires, encourages, authorizes or permits another to be subject to wearing or carrying any obscene or physically burdensome article,; or the assignment of pranks to be performed or other such activities intended to degrade or humiliate regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.
- “Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any intentional act that takes place on District property, or at any District-sponsored activity, which subjects an individual or group to unwanted, abusive behavior of a nonverbal, verbal, written (including those that are electronically transmitted), or physical nature, including but not limited to ones shown to be motivated by any characteristic in RCW 49.60.215 (places of public accommodation: age, race; color; national origin; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability; the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; marital status, sexual orientation, including gender identity, or sex, source of income, cultural background, or socioeconomic status when an act:
- Physically harming a staff member or damaging a staff member's property;
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with a staff member's opportunities or performance;
- Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or hostile Working environment;
- Places a staff member in reasonable fear of physical or psychological harm or damage to the staff member's property; or
- Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school
- “Intimidation” also includes, but is not limited to, any threat or act intended to tamper, substantially damage or interfere with another’s property, cause substantial inconvenience, subject another to offensive physical contact or inflict serious physical injury on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.
- “Cyberbullying” is defined as any willful and repeated use of any electronic communication device to convey a message in any form (text, image, audio or video) that harasses, intimidates, or bullies (as defined herein) or is otherwise intended to harm, insult or humiliate another.
- “Menacing” is defined as any act which is intended to place a staff member in reasonable fear of imminent serious physical injury.
Retaliation or reprisal against any person who reports, is thought to have reported, files a complaint or otherwise participates in an investigation or inquiry is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline. Such retaliation shall be considered a serious violation of Board policy and independent of whether a complaint is substantiated. False charges shall also be regarded as a serious offense and will result in disciplinary according to applicable collective bargaining agreements, applicable statutory authority, school district policies, regulations, or other appropriate sanctions.
Principals and the superintendent have responsibility for investigations concerning hazing, harassment, intimidation, bullying or menacing. The investigator(s) shall be a neutral party having had no involvement in the complaint presented. Any employee who has knowledge of conduct in violation of this policy or feels he/she has been a victim of hazing, harassment, intimidation, bullying or menacing in violation of this policy shall immediately report his/her concerns.
All complaints will be promptly investigated in accordance with the following procedures:
Step 1 - Any hazing, harassment, intimidation, bullying or menacing information (complaints, rumors, etc.) shall be presented to the principal or superintendent. Complaints against the principal shall be filed with the superintendent. Information may be presented anonymously. Complaints against the superintendent shall be filed with the Board chair. All such information will be reduced to writing and will include the specific nature of the offense and corresponding dates.
Step 2 - The district official receiving the complaint shall promptly investigate. The district official will arrange such meetings as may be necessary with all concerned parties within [five] working days after receipt of the information or complaint. The parties will have an opportunity to submit evidence and a list of witnesses. All findings related to the complaint will be reduced to writing. The district official(s) conducting the investigation shall notify the complainant when the investigation is concluded and a decision regarding disciplinary action, as warranted, is determined. A copy of the notification letter or the date and details of notification to the complainant, together with any other documentation related to the incident, including disciplinary action taken or recommended, shall be forwarded to the superintendent.
Step 3 - If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision at Step 2, he/she may submit a written appeal to the superintendent or designee. Such appeal must be filed within 10 working days after receipt of the Step 2 decision. The superintendent or designee will arrange such meetings with the complainant and other affected parties as deemed necessary to discuss the appeal. The superintendent or designee shall provide a written decision to the complainant’s appeal within 10 working days.
Step 4 - If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision at Step 3, a written appeal may be Filed with the Board. Such appeal must be filed within 10 working days after receipt of the Step 3 decision. The Board shall, within 20 working days, conduct a hearing at which time the complainant shall be given an opportunity to present the complaint. The Board shall provide a written decision to the complainant within 10 working days Following completion of the hearing.
The district will take prompt and equitable corrective measures within its authority on findings of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Depending on the severity of the conduct, corrective measures may include counseling, education, discipline, and/or referral to law enforcement.
If the conduct was of a public nature or involved groups of students, staff or bystanders, the district should strongly consider school wide training or other activities to address the incident.
If staff have been found to be in violation of this policy and procedure, school districts may impose employment disciplinary action, up to and including termination. If a certificated educator is found to have committed a violation of WAC 181-87, commonly called the Code of Conduct for Professional Educators, OSPI’s Office of Professional Practices may propose disciplinary action on a certificate, up to and including revocation. Contractor violations of this policy may include the loss of contracts.
Documentation related to the incident may be maintained as a part of an investigation file.
Nothing in this procedure prevents a student, parent/guardian, school, or district from taking action to remediate discrimination or harassment based on a person’s membership in a legally protected class under local, state or federal law.
A harassment, intimidation, bullying, or hazing complaint may also be reported to the following state or federal agencies:
OSPI Equity and Civil Rights Office
Washington State Human Rights Commission
Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Region IX
Department of Justice Community Relations Service
Office of the Education Ombudsman
OSPI Safety Center
Adopted: February 13, 2012