Published rules, student guides, and other appropriate means will be used to inform individuals of District and school rules related to bullying, mechanisms available for reporting incidents or threats, and the consequences for perpetrators of bullying. Students and parents may report bullying or cyberbullying through Sprigeo.com, a 24 hour, 7 day a week, reporting phone and web application, or by contacting a teacher, the principal, any other school employee, and/or the District’s Chief Equity Compliance Officer, Section 504 Coordinator, and Title IX Officer, Erin Johnston, by phone at (661) 631-4663, by email at email@example.com or in person at 1300 Baker Street, Bakersfield, CA 93305. if school personnel witnesses an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying they shall take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.
Complaints of bullying shall be handled in accordance with the following procedure:
1. Notice and Receipt of Complaint:
Any student, parent/guardian, or other individual who believes that a student has been subjected to bullying or who has witnessed bullying may report the incident to a teacher, the principal, a compliance officer, or any other available school employee. When a report of bullying is submitted, the principal or a District Chief Equity Compliance Officer shall inform the student or parent/guardian of the right to file a formal written complaint in accordance with AR 605.03 - Uniform Complaint Procedures. Within one business day of receiving such a report, a staff member shall notify the principal of the report, whether or not a uniform complaint is filed. In addition, any school employee who observes an incident of bullying involving a student shall, within one business day, report such observation to the principal or a District Chief Equity Compliance Officer, whether or not the alleged victim files a complaint. Within two business days of receiving a formal written complaint of bullying, the principal shall notify the District compliance officer identified in AR 605.03. The complaint shall be investigated in accordance with procedures outlined in AR 605.03. If the student, parent/guardian, or other individual who makes a report of bullying does not file a formal written complaint, the principal or designee shall investigate the alleged report of bullying using the procedures contained herein. All reports of bullying shall be recorded in the District’s student information system or on a District approved log. Logs recording reports of bullying, intimidation, harassment, and discrimination shall be turned in to the Compliance Equity Compliance Officer biannually.
When the circumstances involve cyberbullying, individuals with information about the activity shall be encouraged to save and print any electronic or digital messages that they feel constitute cyberbullying and to notify a teacher, the principal, or other employee so that the matter may be investigated. When a student uses a social networking site or service to bully or harass another student, the Superintendent or designee may file a request with the networking site or service to suspend the privileges of the student and to have the material removed.
2. Initiation of Investigation:
The Principal/Coordinator shall initiate an impartial investigation of an allegation of bullying promptly, but in no case later than five school days after receiving notice of the harassing behavior, regardless of whether a formal complaint has been filed. The District shall be considered to have "notice" of the need for an investigation upon receipt of information from a student who believes they has been subjected to bullying, the student's parent/guardian, and an employee who received a complaint from a student, or any employee or student who witnessed the behavior. If the Principal/Coordinator receives an anonymous complaint or media report about alleged bullying, they shall determine whether it is reasonable to pursue an investigation considering the specificity and reliability of the information, the seriousness of the alleged incident, and whether any individuals can be identified who were subjected to the alleged harassment.
3. Initial Interview with Student:
When a student or parent/guardian has complained or provided information about bullying, the Principal/Coordinator shall describe the District's grievance procedure and discuss what actions are being sought by the student in response to the complaint. The student who is complaining shall have an opportunity to describe the incident, identify witnesses who may have relevant information, provide other evidence of the harassment, and put their complaint in writing. If the student requests confidentiality, the student shall be informed that such a request may limit the District's ability to investigate.
4. Investigation Process:
The Principal/Coordinator shall keep the complaint and allegation confidential, except as necessary to carry out the investigation or take other subsequent necessary action (Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 4964). Communicating privileged information concerning the District's response to the bullying incident shall be done consistent with the laws regarding the confidentiality of student and personnel records. The Principal/Coordinator shall interview individuals who are relevant to the investigation; including, but not limited to, the student who is complaining, the person(s) accused of bullying, anyone who witnessed the reported bullying, and anyone mentioned as having relevant information. The Principal/Coordinator may take other steps such as reviewing any records, notes, or statements related to the bullying or visiting the location where the bullying is alleged to have taken place. When necessary to carry out his/her investigation or to protect student safety, the Principal/Coordinator also may discuss the complaint with the Superintendent or designee, the parent/guardian of the student who complained, the parent/guardian of the alleged harasser if the alleged harasser is a student, a teacher or staff member whose knowledge of the students involved may help in determining who is telling the truth, law enforcement and/or child protective services, and District legal counsel or the District's risk manager. If the alleged act(s) may be a violation of criminal law, the principal or designee will refer the matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency or Child Protective Services as applicable.
5. Interim Measures:
The Coordinator/Principal shall determine whether interim measures are necessary during and pending the results of the investigation (e.g., placing students in separate classes or transferring a student to a class taught by a different teacher).
6. Factors in Reaching a Determination:
In reaching a decision about the complaint, the Coordinator/Principal may take into account:
a. Statements made by the persons identified above;
b. The details and consistency of each person's account;
c. Evidence of how the complaining student reacted to the incident;
d. Evidence of any past instances of harassment by the alleged harasser; and
e. Evidence of any past harassment complaints that were found to be untrue.
To judge the severity of the harassment, the Principal/Coordinator may take into consideration:
a. How the misconduct affected one or more students' education;
b. The type, frequency, and duration of the misconduct;
c. The identity, age, and sex of the harasser and the student who complained, and the relationship between them;
d. The number of persons engaged in the harassing conduct and at whom the harassment was directed;
e. The size of the school, location of the incidents, and context in which they occurred; and
f. Other incidents at the school involving different students.
7. Response and Follow-Up:
No more than 60 days after receiving the complaint, the Principal/Coordinator shall conclude the investigation and prepare an oral or written response. This timeline may be extended for good cause. If an extension is needed, the Principal/Coordinator shall notify the complainant and explain the reasons for the extension. The response shall include the decision and the reasons for the decision and shall summarize the steps taken during the investigation. If it is determined that bullying occurred; the response shall also include any corrective actions that have or will be taken to address the bullying and prevent any retaliation or further bullying. The response shall be provided to the complainant. All responses of bullying shall be recorded in the District’s student information system or on a District approved log. Logs recording reports of bullying, intimidation, harassment, and discrimination shall be turned in to the Compliance Officer bi-annually. In addition, the principal or designee may provide a written report to the parent/guardian of any student involved in an incident regarding bullying, intimidation, harassment, or discrimination. In addition, the Principal/Coordinator shall ensure that the bullied student and the parent/guardian are informed of the procedures for reporting any subsequent problems. The Coordinator/Principal shall make follow-up inquiries to see if there have been any new incidents or retaliation and shall keep a record of