The Lake Washington School District recognizes its responsibility to provide a safe and civil/educational environment that is free from all types of discrimination and harassment, bullying, and intimidation.
Appropriate consequences for students who violate this policy will be specified in the student code of conduct for each building and as set forth in Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying of Students Procedures 3207P. Any staff member who has been found, after appropriate investigation, to have harassed a student will be subject to disciplinary action and/or discharge, as appropriate pursuant to collective bargaining agreements and state and federal laws.
All students have the right to learn in an environment that is free from harassment intimidation, or bullying. Harassment, intimidation, or bullying means any intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by any characteristic in RCW 28A.640.010 and 28A 642.010, or other distinguishing characteristics, when the act:
- Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property;
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education;
- Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
- Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation, or bullying. “Other distinguishing characteristics” can include but are not limited to: physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, socioeconomic status, and weight. “Intentional acts” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the action(s).
This policy recognizes that ‘harassment,’ ‘intimidation,’ and ‘bullying’ are separate but related behaviors. Each must be addressed appropriately. The accompanying procedure differentiates the three behaviors; however, this differentiation should not be considered part of the legal definition of these behaviors.
Harassment, intimidation, or bullying can take many forms including, but not limited to, slurs, rumors, “put-downs,” jokes, innuendoes, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, oral, physical, or electronically transmitted messages or images.
This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the educational environment. Many behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation, or bullying may still be prohibited by other district policies or building, classroom or program rules.
This policy is a component of the district’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe, civil, respectful, and inclusive learning community and shall be implemented in conjunction with comprehensive training of students, staff, and volunteers.
The district will provide students with strategies aimed at preventing harassment, intimidation, and bullying. In its efforts to train students, the district will work in partnership with families, law enforcement, and other community agencies.
Interventions are designed to remediate the impact on the targeted student(s) and others impacted by the violation, to change the behavior of the perpetrator, and to restore a positive school climate.
The district will consider the frequency of incidents, developmental age of the student, and severity of the conduct in determining intervention strategies. Interventions may include counseling, correcting behavior and discipline, and referral to law enforcement.
Students with Individual Education Plans or Section 504 Plans
If allegations are proven that a student with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Section 504 Plan has been the aggressor or target of harassment, intimidation or bullying, the school will convene the student’s IEP or Section 504 team to determine whether the incident had an impact on the student’s ability to receive a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). The meeting should occur regardless of whether the harassment, intimidation, or bullying incident was based on the student’s disability. During the meeting, the team will evaluate issues such as the student’s academic performance, behavioral issues, attendance, and participation in extracurricular activities. If a determination is made that the student is not receiving a FAPE as a result of the harassment, intimidation, or bullying incident, the district will provide additional services and supports as deemed necessary, such as counseling, monitoring and/or reevaluation or revision of the student’s IEP or Section 504 plan, to ensure the student receives a FAPE.
Retaliation is prohibited and will result in appropriate discipline. It is a violation of this policy to threaten or harm someone for reporting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
It is also a violation of district policy to knowingly report false allegations of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Any employee who is found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment consistent with collective bargaining agreements and state and federal laws. Students or employees will not be disciplined for making a report in good faith. However, persons found to knowingly report or corroborate false allegations will be subject to appropriate discipline.
The superintendent will appoint a compliance officer as the primary district contact to receive copies of all formal complaints and ensure policy implementation. The name and contact information for the compliance officer will be communicated throughout the district. Any complaint received will be promptly investigated, and the district will take corrective action where appropriate.
The superintendent is authorized to direct the implementation of procedures addressing the elements of this policy. This policy and related procedure/administrative guidelines will be posted and disseminated in each work site and reviewed with employees and students on an annual basis.