2338 3038 4038 6414
2338 3038 4038 6414
It is the priority of the Wake County Board of Education to
provide every student and employee in the school system with a safe and orderly
learning and working environment. To
this end, the Board specifically prohibits harassing or bullying behavior at
all levels: between students, between employees and students, between peers or
coworkers, between supervisors and subordinates, or between
non-employees/volunteers and employees and/or students. This policy is in
addition to Board Policy 2320/3035/4035/6415 - Sexual Harassment.
Students are expected to comply with the behavior standards
established by Board Policy and the Student Code of Conduct. Employees are expected to comply with Board
Policy and school system regulations.
Volunteers and visitors on school property also are expected to comply
with Board Policy and established school rules and procedures.
The Board specifically prohibits reprisal or retaliation against
any individual who makes a complaint or reports an incident of harassing or
bullying behavior or who participates in an investigation or grievance
proceeding initiated under this policy.
Reprisal or retaliation against any individual who reports an act of
harassment or bullying may result in disciplinary action being taken, up to and
including dismissal in the case of employees, or up to and including long-term
suspension or expulsion in certain cases for students.
This policy shall be distributed annually in the Wake County Schools
Student Handbook and the Wake County Schools Employee Handbook.
DEFINITION OF HARASSMENT AND BULLYING:
used in this policy, harassing or bullying behavior is any repeated,
systematic pattern of gestures or written, electronic, or verbal
communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication on
school property; at any school sponsored function; on a school bus; or as
otherwise stated in Board Policy 6400- Student Code of Conduct, and that:
- Places a student or school employee in actual and
reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;
- Creates or is certain to create a hostile environment by
substantially interfering with or impairing a student' educational performance,
opportunities, or benefits. A
hostile environment means that the victim subjectively views the
conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is
objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would
agree that it is bullying or harassing behavior.
- Harassing or bullying behavior includes, but is not limited
to, acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or
perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race,
color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status,
academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental,
physical, developmental, or sensory disability, or by association with a
person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics.
REPORTING HARASSING AND BULLYING BEHAVIOR:
student who believes that he or she has been harassed or bullied in
violation of this policy should report such behavior immediately to a
teacher, counselor or administrator at his/her school.
employee who believes that he or she has been harassed or bullied in
violation of this policy should report such behavior to their immediate
supervisor and/or the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources or
school employee who has witnessed or has reliable information that a
student or school employee has been subject to any act of harassing or
bullying behavior shall report the incident as follows:
- To the principal in the case of a student; or
immediate supervisor of the alleged harasser or bully and/or the
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.
- Failure to do so make such a report may subject the
employee to disciplinary action.
person may report an act of harassment or bullying anonymously. However, formal disciplinary action
may not be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
INVESTIGATION OF HARASSMENT AND BULLYING
complaints of harassing or bullying behavior made by students shall be
promptly and thoroughly investigated by the principal or designee. If the alleged harasser or bully is an
employee, the principal will determine if a referral to Human Resources
complaints of harassing or bullying made by employees shall be promptly reported
to their immediate supervisor and/or the Assistant Superintendent of Human
Resources. The investigation
shall be conducted or overseen by the Assistant Superintendent for Human
Resources or designee.
the individual required to investigate a complaint made under this
policy is the alleged harasser or bully, the investigation shall be
conducted by an appropriate school system administrator as designated by
the Superintendent. If the
alleged perpetrator is the Superintendent, the Board attorney is the
investigator. In such cases,
whoever receives a complaint of harassment or bullying shall immediately
notify the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, who shall
immediately notify the Board Chair.
The Board Chair shall direct the Board attorney to respond to the
complaint and investigate. If the
alleged perpetrator is a member of the Board, the Board attorney is the
investigator. In such cases,
whoever receives a complaint of harassment or bullying shall notify the
Superintendent who shall direct the Board attorney to respond to the
complaint and investigate. Unless
the Board Chair is the alleged perpetrator, the Superintendent shall
also notify the Board Chair of the complaint.
at any time during the investigation the school official investigating a
student' allegation of harassment or bullying receives information
alleging the harassment or bullying was based on sex or gender, the
school official shall notify the Title IX Coordinator. In such cases, the procedures outlined
in Board Policy 2320/3035/4035/6415 ? Sexual Harassment shall be
followed. Further, in any case of
alleged harassment or bullying, the school system shall notify any other
appropriate person or entity if required by law or Board Policy
2333/3033/4033- Reporting Information to Principals and External
actions taken in response to evidence of harassing or bullying behavior should
be reasonably calculated to end any harassment or bullying, eliminate a hostile
environment if one has been created, and prevent harassment from occurring
again. In addition to taking
disciplinary action as necessary, the principal or other school official
shall take appropriate remedial action to address the conduct fully.
of this policy shall be considered misconduct and will result in disciplinary
action up to and including long- term suspension or expulsion in the
case of students and disciplinary action up to and including dismissal
in the case of employees.
policy may not be construed to allow school officials to punish student
expression or speech based on an undifferentiated fear or apprehension
of disturbance or out of a desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness
that may accompany an unpopular viewpoint.
in this policy precludes the school system from taking disciplinary
action against a student or employee where the evidence does not
establish harassment but the conduct otherwise fails to satisfy the
school system' high expectations for appropriate conduct.
References: Title VI of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et
seq.; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et
seq.; Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq.; G.S. 126-16; North Carolina School Violence Prevention
Cross Reference: WCPSS Board Policy
2320/3035/4035/6415 - Sexual Harassment; WCPSS Board Policy 3033/2333/6415-
Reporting Information to Principals and External Agencies; Board Policy 6400-
Student Code of Conduct.
Adopted: May 3, 2004
Revised: April 18, 2006
Revised: November 17, 2009
March 6, 2012