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Armenian Sisters’ Academy

BULLYING PREVENTION POLICY

Introduction

Each child should be challenged to reach his/her full potential develop a love of learning and learn in an environment that fosters respect and understanding of one another. It is essential that a safe, positive and productive educational environment be established where students can achieve the highest academic standards and where no student shall be subjected to Bullying, Cyber-Bullying or Retaliation. Bullying, Cyber-Bullying or Retaliation or other like disruptive or violent behaviors constitute conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe and embracing environment. Pastors, principals, faculty, Staff and volunteers are expected to demand that all students behave appropriately and treat others with civility and respect. Bullying, Cyber-Bullying and Retaliation are not to be tolerated.

 

Definitions

For purposes of this Policy, the following definitions shall apply:

“Aggressor”, means a student who engages in Bullying or Retaliation.

“Bullying” is the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal, or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at a Target that:

  • causes physical or emotional harm to the Target or damage to the Target’s  property;
  • places the Target in reasonable fear of harm to him/herself, or of damage to his/her property;
  • creates a Hostile Environment at school for the Target;
  • infringes on the rights of the Target at school; or
  • materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

 

For the purpose of this Policy, whenever the term “Bullying” is used it is to denote either Bullying or Cyber-Bullying.

“Cyber-Bullying” means Bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by:

  • Wire
  • Radio
  • Electromagnetic
  • Photo-electronic or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.

 

Cyber-Bullying shall also include the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or knowingly impersonates another person as author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of Bullying.

 

Cyber-Bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of Bullying.

 

“Hostile Environment” means a situation in which Bullying causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation, ridicule or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the student’s education.

 

“Plan” a bullying prevention and intervention plan established by a school.

 

“Retaliation” means any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment directed against a student who reports Bullying, provides information during an investigation of Bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about Bullying.

 

“School Grounds” mean property on which a school building or facility is located or property that is owned, leased or used by a school for a school-sponsored activity, function, program, instruction or training.

 

“Staff” includes, but is not limited to, educators, faculty, administrators, counselors, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, and bus drivers, and athletics coaches, advisors to extracurricular activities, support staff, and paraprofessionals.

 

“Target” a student against whom Bullying or Retaliation has been perpetrated.

 

Prohibition against Bullying and Retaliation

 

Bullying is prohibited:

  • On School Grounds owned, leased or used by a school;
  • On property immediately adjacent to School Grounds;
  • At any school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off School Grounds;
  • At a school bus stops;
  • On a school bus or any other vehicle owned, leased or used by the school; or,
  • Through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by a school;

 

Bullying is also prohibited at a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by a school if the act or acts in question:

  • Create a Hostile Environment at school for the Target;
  • Infringe on the rights of the Target at school; or
  • Materially and substantially disrupt the education process or the orderly operation of a school.

 

Prevention and Intervention Plan

On or before December 31, 2010, the Principal of each school in the Archdiocese that is subject to this Policy shall be responsible for overseeing the development of a prevention and intervention plan, in consultation with all stakeholders, which may include teachers, Staff, professional support personnel, school volunteers, administrators, community representatives, local law enforcement agencies, students, parents and guardians, consistent with the requirements of this Policy, as well as Massachusetts and federal laws. In particular, reference is made to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, and Section 37O. The consultation shall include, but not be limited to, notice and a comment period for all families that have a child attending the school.

As stated in our SCHOOL HANDBOOK under;

 

Conduct and Regulations

Respect and courtesy toward all school personnel and fellow students is expected and respect for the rights and property of others is an important moral value to be reinforced. Respect for property, both inside and outside the school, is a major requisite to becoming a good citizen as well as good Christian. The Armenian Sisters’ Academy provides an attractive and functional building with many resources, and while we encourage our students to take full advantage of the school’s resources, we expect that they cooperate in maintaining the cleanliness of the classrooms, corridors, lavatories, and the property surrounding the building.

We also expect students to answer politely and respectfully when interacting with teachers, faculty, staff and other students. When a student fails to follow and respect the school rules and regulations, a warning notice will be sent home, followed by a meeting with the parents to improve the behavior of their child. After the third warning notice, the student will be liable to suspension.

 

The following behaviors will render a student liable to suspension:

  1. Unacceptable form of behavior during school hours.
  2.  Insolence to teachers or staff members.
  3. Abusive behavior toward a fellow student.
  4. Misconduct outside the school that tarnishes the reputation of the Armenian Sisters’ Academy.
  5. Intentional damage to school or another’s property.
  6. Possession or use of a dangerous weapon (real or simulated).
  7. Fighting.
  8. Endangering the physical safety of another, by the use of force or threat of force.
  9. Assault.
  10. Verbal, physical, racial slurs or harassment of any kind against another individual.


In school Suspension            

Students will remain in school, but will do all their work separated from the class. The student will not return to class without a parent conference.

 

Out of school suspension

A suspended student may not return without a parent conference. If a test is taken while the student is suspended, the mark recorded for the student will be a ZERO.

 The Plan shall be reviewed and updated at least every two years.

 The Principal is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the Bullying prevention and implementation plan within his or her school.

 

Retaliation

Retaliation against a person who reports Bullying, provides information during an investigation of Bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about Bullying shall be prohibited.

 

Training

Annual training on the Plan shall be provided for Staff and, at the discretion of the Principal, for volunteers who have significant contact with students.

 

Publication and Notice

At the beginning of each school year, the Principal or his or her designee shall provide notice to the Staff of this Policy and the Plan. Relevant sections of the Plan relating to the duties of Staff shall be included in the school employee handbook.

Annual written notice of the relevant student-related sections of the Plan shall be included in the school handbook provided to students and their parents or guardians, in age-appropriate terms and in languages which are most prevalent among the students, parents or guardians.

The Plan shall be posted on the school’s website.

 

Reporting

A member of a Staff shall immediately report any instance of Bullying or Retaliation the Staff member has witnessed or become aware of to the school Principal or to the Staff member designated in the Plan as responsible for receiving such reports, or to both the Principal and such designee.

 

Investigation

Upon receipt of such a report, the Principal or his or her designee shall promptly conduct an investigation.

 

Minimum Required Actions

If the Principal or his or her designee determines that Bullying or Retaliation has occurred, he/she shall:

  • notify the local law enforcement agency if the Principal or his or her designee believes that criminal charges may be pursued against an Aggressor;
  • take appropriate disciplinary action;
  • notify the parents or guardians of the Aggressor; and
  • notify the parents or guardians of the Target and, to the extent consistent with Massachusetts and federal law, notify them of the action taken to prevent any further acts of Bullying or Retaliation.

If the reported incident of Bullying or Retaliation involves students from more than one school district, Catholic school, charter school, non-public school, approved private special education day or residential school, or collaborative school, the Principal or his or her designee first informed of the incident shall, subject to Massachusetts and federal law, promptly notify the appropriate administrator of the other school district or school(s) of the incident so that each school district and school may take appropriate action.

 If an incident of Bullying or Retaliation occurs on School Grounds and involves a former student under the age of 21 who is no longer enrolled in school, the Principal or his or her designee informed of such incident shall contact the local law enforcement agency if he or she has a reasonable basis to believe that criminal charges may be pursued against the Aggressor.

 

Target Assistance

Each school shall provide counseling or referral to appropriate services, including

guidance, academic intervention, and protection to students, both alleged Targets and Aggressors, affected by Bullying or Retaliation, as necessary.

 

 
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