It is the policy of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, Bennington School District, Inc., Mount Anthony Union School District, North Bennington Graded School District, Pownal School District, Shaftsbury School District, and Woodford School Districts to prevent the occurrence of bullying in their schools. Bullying is a form of dangerous and disrespectful behavior that will not be permitted or tolerated.
A. “Bullying an adult
” means any overt act or combination of such acts directed against an adult by another adult or a group and which:
(1) occurs during the work day;
(2) is intended to ridicule, humiliate, or intimidate a person; and
(3) is repeated over time.
(a) Bullying may involve a range of misconduct that, based on the severity, will warrant a measured response of corrective action. Behaviors that do not rise to the level of bullying, as defined above, still may be subject to intervention.
(b) Conduct that might otherwise be considered bullying but does not occur during the work day still may be subject to disciplinary action by the employer.
B. “Complaint” means an oral or written report by any person to an administrator or his/her designee alleging that a person has been subjected to conduct that may meet the definitions of bullying.
C. “Complainant” means a person who has filed an oral or written complaint to an administrator or his/her designee or is the alleged victim in a report made by another alleging conduct and/or incident(s) that may meet the definitions of bullying.
2. Notice of Prohibition Against Bullying
The Districts recognize that adults should have a safe, orderly, civil and positive work environment and that bullying has no place and will not be tolerated in the workplace. The Districts shall include the prohibition against bullying in the employee handbook and in other ways make adults aware of the prohibition against bullying, the penalties for engaging in bullying, and the procedures for reporting bullying.
3. Reporting, Investigating, and Notifying of Bullying Reports
To address bullying, the Districts shall:
(A) encourage adults to report personally or anonymously to administrators acts of bullying. The districts will establish methods for reporting acts of bullying.
(1) Anonymous Reporting: The districts shall communicate to the school community the means to make anonymous reports of bullying.
(B) encourage individuals to file written reports of suspected bullying through the processes described above.
(2) Personal Reporting shall be made to the appropriate administrator. The districts shall designate a person to whom reports of bullying shall be made, and will make that person’s identity known throughout the school community.
(C) require teachers and other school staff who witness acts of bullying or receive student reports of bullying to promptly notify an administrator.
(D) require the administrator to accept and review all reports of bullying, including anonymous reports. If after initial inquiry, an anonymous or oral report appears to warrant further investigation, the districts shall promptly continue with an investigation documented in written format. Administrators shall investigate any written reports.
(E) require school staff to notify the individual who commits a verified act of bullying, of the disciplinary response of the administration and consequences that may result from further acts of bullying.
(F) require the taking of appropriate disciplinary action against any adult who knowingly makes a false accusation regarding bullying.