The Rockland Public Schools recognizes that bullying and intimidation have a negative effect on school climate. Students who are intimidated and fearful cannot give their education the single-minded attention they need for success. Bullying can also lead to more serious violence. Every student has the right to an education and to be safe in and around school.
Definition of bullying . Bullying is a pattern of abuse over time and involves a student being "picked on." Bullying includes physical intimidation or assault; extortion; oral or written threats; teasing; putdowns; name-calling; threatening looks; gestures, or actions; cruel rumors; false accusations; and social isolation.
Bullying is prohibited . The Rockland Public Schools and staff shall not tolerate any bullying on school grounds or at any school activity on or off campus.
Staff Intervention . The school expects all staff members who observe, suspect, or become aware of an act of bullying to immediately notify the Principal and to take appropriate steps to intervene--unless intervention would be a threat to staff members' safety. If the bullying persists, the School Principal will conduct an investigation leading to possible intervention/disciplinary action.
Students and parents shall report bullying . The system expects students and parents who become aware of an act of bullying to report it to the School Principal for further investigation. Any student who retaliates against another for reporting bullying will be subject to the consequences listed below in paragraph 6.
Investigation procedures . Upon learning about a bullying incident, the Principal or designee shall contact the parents of both the aggressor and the victim, interview both students, and thoroughly investigate. This investigation may include interviews with students, parents, and school staff; review of school records; and identification of parent and family issues.
Consequences/Intervention . Consequences for students who bully others shall depend on the results of the investigation and may include counseling; a parent conference; detention; suspension and/or expulsion; or involuntary transfer to another district school. Depending on the severity of the incident, the Principal may also take appropriate steps to ensure student safety. These may include implementing a safety plan; separating and supervising the students involved; providing staff support for students as necessary; reporting incidents to law enforcement if appropriate; and developing a supervision plan with the parents.
Approved by Rockland School Committee 10/28/02