just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse – more 9th grade Key West High School student suicide nuclear fallout

head up assSchool District response

There is a new post today at www.birmingham.com, which might interest some people, and probably not others. It was spawned by an email from a Birmingham bigot I know somewhat, who so far has indicated zero concern about the death of Matthew Gelleran. You should be able to get there at any time by clicking on this link: bigotry against homosexuals ain’t holy just because the Bible sez so

Meanwhile, more armor-piercing comments in The Citizen Blog re the suicide of Key West High School 9th grader Matthew Gellerman, Friday before last; followed by a bunker buster from Nashville J; followed by a thermonuclear lazer strike from Larry Murray, onto which I tossed my own plutonious thoughts:

Bullying

Submitted on Fri, 01/18/2013 – 8:23am by dalton2kw

Both of my children were bullied in high school. Fortunately, they went on to college & had great experiences there & are outstanding adults. However, it is often very difficult to get past those high school years. There are usually too few peers, too few teachers and, certainly, way too few administrators to care. What a loss. My heart breaks for this young man’s family & friends.

Tragedy deserves truth –

Submitted on Thu, 01/17/2013 – 6:28pm by Key West Guy

There’s a disconnect from reality, when the administration insists that bullying was not involved, but the students at the memorial speak of those “being hounded by cruel and thoughtless classmates.”

That is because the majority

Submitted on Fri, 01/18/2013 – 6:45am by george

That is because the majority of the bullies are conchs or star athletes. The whole culture of bullying is ridiculous down here. The kids see their conch parents bully their way into office and jobs and push around the non conchs, and the athletes know that they are athlete students not student athletes, where they are even excused from skipping class or walking off campus because “sports is their only chance”. To bad they cant’ read. Then again what do you expect from an elementary principle running the high school like key west was some small town.

===============================

From Nashville J yesterday:

Sloan:

So, from the Key West Citizen article we have THIS:

“When I first found out about [what happened], my friend and I were talking about how people were saying really negative things on Facebook, about how the people who bullied Matthew should go and kill themselves,” Cooper said. “We thought, ‘This is so negative.’ That’s why we helped organize this with my other friend, Morgan, from Stand Up Against Bullying. I just hope that this moment brings people closer together at the school, and that people learn to accept each other as one human family. People are always talking about that, but they aren’t acting like it lately.”

It is fairly clear to me that the kids thought he was being bullied – otherwise why the comment about negative things on Facebook and the people who bullied Matthew should go kill themselves? Does the Principal and Police check out Facebook?? Why, when those with Matthew everyday mention the bullying, Bosco and the Police say there was none?

So, Stand Up Against Bullying helped organize the gathering for Matthew. IF there was no bullying as Bosco said and it was just “teasing” – why would the organization be involved?? Is there a Stand Up for Teasing group?

“The candles were lit, and Morgan Denhart of Stand Up told her classmates never to be afraid to look intolerance in the eye, and to always know that help is available for students being hounded by thoughtless and cruel classmates.”

But, there was no help for Matthew or he did not think there was because Prnicipal Bosco, teachers or no one else put a stop to the bullying OR as Bosco said, “teasing”. Is Matthew any less dead because Bosco and others THOUGHT it was just “teasing”? NO!

Bosco then entreated her students to douse their candles, but never their memory, of a caring boy who loved helping people, doing his schoolwork — and chocolate milk.

“He will always live on,” Bosco said.

NO, Principal Bosco, Matthew is DEAD, he will NOT live on, he can be remembered, loved, missed but he lost his Life. Could you or other teachers or police kept it from happening had you not just considered it “teasing”? Or the policy was NOT that you have to be a serial bullier before anyone pays attention! We will never know the answer to that question for Matthew.

May Matthew rest in peace and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. I pray that no more students feel they have to take their own lives from “teasing” or “bullying”.

J

========================

From Larry Murray yesterday:

Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2013 17:04:48 -0800 From: citizenlarry007@yahoo.com Subject: Fw: Teasing vs. Bullying To: mark.porter@keysschools.com CC: captecoed@aol.com; robin.smith-martin@keysschools.com; ron.martinsb@keysschools.com; John.Dick@KeysSchools.com; andy@fishandy.com

Superintendent Porter:

They say that three times is a charm. Purportedly, according to your IT Department, the first two attempts to send this to you were foiled because the word “sex” appears in it. Where does it appear? Why, in the School Board Policies and Procedures, not anything I said. How is that for a Catch-22?

Larry Murray

Dr. Larry Murray

Fiscal Watchdog and Citizen Advocate

—– Forwarded Message —– From: Lawrence Murray <citizenlarry007@yahoo.com> To: Mark Porter <mark.porter@keysschools.com> Cc: Ed Davidson <captecoed@aol.com>; Rob Smith-Martin <robin.smith-martin@keysschools.com>; Ron Martin <ron.martinsb@keysschools.com>; John Dick <John.Dick@KeysSchools.com>; Andy Griffiths2 <andy@fishandy.com> Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 4:26 PM Subject: Fw: Teasing vs. Bullying

Second attempt. First try returned as undeliverable.

Dr. Larry Murray

Fiscal Watchdog and Citizen Advocate

—– Forwarded Message —– From: Lawrence Murray <citizenlarry007@yahoo.com> To: Mark Porter <mark.porter@keysschools.com> Cc: Ed Davidson <captecoed@aol.com>; Rob Smith-Martin <robin.smith-martin@keysschools.com>; Ron Martin <ron.martinsb@keysschools.com>; John Dick <John.Dick@KeysSchools.com>; Andy Griffiths2 <andy@fishandy.com> Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 4:12 PM Subject: Teasing vs. Bullying

Superintendent Porter:

In a radio interview broadcast today by Bill Becker during his “Morning Magazine”, KWHS principal Amber Bosco stated that there have been recent incidents at KWHS of “teasing” of students, but there have been no reported occurrences of “bullying”. Investigation by Principal Bosco and staff have confirmed this or so she reported.

I am confused. The District policy with regard to bullying, School Board Policies and Procedures 5517.01-ANTI-BULLYING POLICY, under “Definitions”, identifies “teasing” as the first example of “bullying” behavior. That being the case, I fail to understand the distinction that Principal Bosco is making. It seems that, in her mind, there is a difference between “teasing” and “bullying”, yet, in the Board policies, they are one and the same.

Presumably, in Principal Bosco’s mind, “teasing” is not a form of “bullying” and thus is acceptable at KWHS. Is that the case?

Larry Murray

Dr. Larry Murray

Fiscal Watchdog and Citizen Advocate

5517.01 – ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

The School Board is committed to providing an educational setting that is safe, secure, and free from harassment and bullying for all of its students and school employees.

The District will not tolerate bullying and harassment of any type. Conduct that constitutes bullying and harassment, as defined herein, is prohibited:

A.

during any education program or activity conducted by the District;

</

B.

during any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity or on a school bus of the District; or

</

C.

through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network of the District

</

This policy has been developed in consultation with District students, parents, teachers, administrators, school staff, school volunteers, community representatives, and local law enforcement agencies as prescribed in F.S. 1006.147 and in conformity with the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) Model Policy.

The Superintendent shall develop a comprehensive plan intended to prevent bullying and harassment and to cultivate the school climate so as to appropriately identify, report, investigate, and respond to situations of bullying and harassment as they may occur on school grounds, at school-sponsored events, and through school computer networks or that may impact the safety of students while at school. Implementation of the plan will be ongoing throughout the school year and will be integrated with the school curriculum, District disciplinary policies, and violence prevention efforts.

Definitions

“Bullying”

means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one (1) or more students or employees. It is defined as any unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation; and may involve but not limited to:

A.

teasing

</

B.

social exclusion

</

C.

threat

</

D.

intimidation

</

E.

stalking

</

F.

physical violence

</

G.

theft

</

H.

public humiliation

</

I.

destruction of property

</

“Bullying” and “harassment” also encompass:

A.

Retaliation against a student or school employee by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying of harassment. Reporting an act of bullying or harassment that is not made in good faith is considered retaliation.

</

B.

Perpetuation of conduct listed in the definition of bullying and/or harassment by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause emotional or physical harm to a student or school employee by:

</

1.

incitement or coercion;

</

2.

accessing or knowingly and willingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the District school system;

</

3.

acting in a manner that has an effect substantially similar to the effect of bullying or harassment;

</

4.

engaging in bullying against an individual on the basis but not limited to the individual’s: sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability (physical, mental, or educational), marital status, socio-economic background, ancestry, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, linguistic preference, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or social/family background, or being viewed as different in its education programs, or admissions to education programs.

</

“Cyber-bullying”

means electronically transmitted acts (i.e., internet, e-mail, cellular telephone, personal digital assistance (PDA), or wireless hand-held device) that a student or a group of students exhibits toward another particular student(s) and the behavior both causes mental and/or physical harm to the other student and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s).

“Cyber-stalking”

means to engage repetitively in an unwanted course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

“Harassment”

means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:

A.

places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property;

</

B.

has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or

</

C.

has the effect of substantially negatively impacting a student’s or employee’s emotional or mental well-being; or

</

D.

has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.

</

“Stakeholders”

include Any School Board member, District employee, consultant, contractor, agent, visitor, volunteer, student or other person in the school or at school sponsored events or on school buses, or other district facilities.

Expected Behavior

Behavior is essential in maintaining an environment that provides each student the opportunity to obtain a high quality education in a uniform, safe, secure, efficient, and high quality system of education.

The District expects all stakeholders to conduct themselves in keeping with their levels of development, maturity, and demonstrated capabilities with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students and school staff, the educational purpose underlying all school activities, and the care of school facilities and equipment.

The standards for student behavior shall be set cooperatively through interaction among students, parents/guardians, staff and community member, producing an atmosphere that encourages students to grow in self-discipline. The development of such an atmosphere requires respect for self and others, as well as for District and community property on the part of students, staff, and community members. School board, administrators, faculty, staff, community partners and volunteers serve as role models for students and are expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment or bullying.

Students are expected to conform to reasonable standards of socially acceptable behavior; respect the person, property, and rights of others; obey constituted authority; and respond appropriately to those who hold that authority.

The District shall provide for appropriate recognition and positive reinforcement for good conduct, self-discipline, good citizenship, and academic success.

Consequences

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for students who commit acts of bullying or harassment or found to have falsely accused another as a means of bullying or harassment may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, as outlined in the Student Handbook. [I, Sloan, added the bold.]

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have committed an act of bullying or harassment or found to have falsely accused another as a means of bullying or harassment shall include discipline in accordance with District policies, administrative procedures, and the collective bargaining agreement. Egregious acts of harassment by certified educators may result in a sanction against an educator’s State-issued certificate. (See the Principles of Professional

[The rest of it was not in Larry’s email. The entire School Disrtict anti-bullying/anti-harassment policy is at the end of this post.  The School District put in a lot of time and thought to developing that policy, which means the School District knew there was a bullying/harassment problem when the policy was created.]

I replied to Larry/All:

From: keysmyhome@hotmail.com To: citizenlarry007@yahoo.com; mark.porter@keysschools.com CC: captecoed@aol.com; robin.smith-martin@keysschools.com; ron.martinsb@keysschools.com; john.dick@keysschools.com; andy@fishandy.com Subject: RE: Teasing vs. Bullying Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2013 06:18:16 -0500

Hi, Larry:

I think I found the sex offenders:

“engaging in bullying against an individual on the basis but not limited to the individual’s: sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability (physical, mental, or educational), marital status, socio-economic background, ancestry, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, linguistic preference, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or social/family background, or being viewed as different in its education programs, or admissions to education programs.”

If the School District spent 1 percent as much effort defending its students from bullying, teasing, harassment, hazing, etc., as it spends protecting its server from words I imagine every student, parent and school district employee uses privately, you would not have written your email, Amber Bosco would not have been interviewed by Bill Becker, and Matthew Gelleran might be alive.

The way Matthew’s death has been handled by the “magnificent six” is a joke. An F-minus grade would be way too high. Their best career move right now is to resign. However, at the very least they should muzzle Amber Bosco and put her on administrative leave pending the outcome of a thorough investigation. And they should be at Key West High School first thing Monday morning to meet one on one with the students in Matthew’s classes and give them a chance to say what they know.

Sloan

This bounced right back:

From: postmaster@mail.hotmail.com To: keysmyhome@hotmail.com Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2013 03:18:19 -0800

Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Failure)

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

mark.porter@keysschools.com robin.smith-martin@keysschools.com ron.martinsb@keysschools.com john.dick@keysschools.com

==============================

5517.01 – ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

The School Board is committed to providing an educational setting that is safe, secure, and free from harassment and bullying for all of its students and school employees.

The District will not tolerate bullying and harassment of any type. Conduct that constitutes bullying and harassment, as defined herein, is prohibited:

A.

during any education program or activity conducted by the District;

</

B.

during any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity or on a school bus of the District; or

</

C.

through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network of the District

</

This policy has been developed in consultation with District students, parents, teachers, administrators, school staff, school volunteers, community representatives, and local law enforcement agencies as prescribed in F.S. 1006.147 and in conformity with the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) Model Policy.

The Superintendent shall develop a comprehensive plan intended to prevent bullying and harassment and to cultivate the school climate so as to appropriately identify, report, investigate, and respond to situations of bullying and harassment as they may occur on school grounds, at school-sponsored events, and through school computer networks or that may impact the safety of students while at school. Implementation of the plan will be ongoing throughout the school year and will be integrated with the school curriculum, District disciplinary policies, and violence prevention efforts.

Definitions

“Bullying”

means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one (1) or more students or employees. It is defined as any unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation; and may involve but not limited to:

A.

teasing

</

B.

social exclusion

</

C.

threat

</

D.

intimidation

</

E.

stalking

</

F.

physical violence

</

G.

theft

</

H.

public humiliation

</

I.

destruction of property

</

“Bullying” and”harassment” also encompass:

A.

Retaliation against a student or school employee by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying of harassment. Reporting an act of bullying or harassment that is not made in good faith is considered retaliation.

</

B.

Perpetuation of conduct listed in the definition of bullying and/or harassment by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause emotional or physical harm to a student or school employee by:

</

1.

incitement or coercion;

</

2.

accessing or knowingly and willingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the District school system;

</

3.

acting in a manner that has an effect substantially similar to the effect of bullying or harassment;

</

4.

engaging in bullying against an individual on the basis but not limited to the individual’s: sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability (physical, mental, or educational), marital status, socio-economic background, ancestry, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, linguistic preference, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or social/family background, or being viewed as different in its education programs, or admissions to education programs.

</

“Cyber-bullying”

means electronically transmitted acts (i.e., internet, e-mail, cellular telephone, personal digital assistance (PDA), or wireless hand-held device) that a student or a group of students exhibits toward another particular student(s) and the behavior both causes mental and/or physical harm to the other student and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student(s).

“Cyber-stalking”

means to engage repetitively in an unwanted course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

“Harassment”

means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:

A.

places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property;

</

B.

has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or

</

C.

has the effect of substantially negatively impacting a student’s or employee’s emotional or mental well-being; or

</

D.

has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.

</

“Stakeholders”

include Any School Board member, District employee, consultant, contractor, agent, visitor, volunteer, student or other person in the school or at school sponsored events or on school buses, or other district facilities.

Expected Behavior

Behavior is essential in maintaining an environment that provides each student the opportunity to obtain a high quality education in a uniform, safe, secure, efficient, and high quality system of education.

The District expects all stakeholders to conduct themselves in keeping with their levels of development, maturity, and demonstrated capabilities with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students and school staff, the educational purpose underlying all school activities, and the care of school facilities and equipment.

The standards for student behavior shall be set cooperatively through interaction among students, parents/guardians, staff and community member, producing an atmosphere that encourages students to grow in self-discipline. The development of such an atmosphere requires respect for self and others, as well as for District and community property on the part of students, staff, and community members. School board, administrators, faculty, staff, community partners and volunteers serve as role models for students and are expected to demonstrate appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment or bullying.

Students are expected to conform to reasonable standards of socially acceptable behavior; respect the person, property, and rights of others; obey constituted authority; and respond appropriately to those who hold that authority.

The District shall provide for appropriate recognition and positive reinforcement for good conduct, self-discipline, good citizenship, and academic success.

Consequences

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for students who commit acts of bullying or harassment or found to have falsely accused another as a means of bullying or harassment may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion, as outlined in the Student Handbook.

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have committed an act of bullying or harassment or found to have falsely accused another as a means of bullying or harassment shall include discipline in accordance with District policies, administrative procedures, and the collective bargaining agreement. Egregious acts of harassment by certified educators may result in a sanction against an educator’s State-issued certificate. (See the Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida – F.A.C. 6B-1006)

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor or volunteer found to have committed an act of bullying or harassment or found to have falsely accused another as a means of bullying or harassment shall be determined by the school administrator after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act, including reports to appropriate law enforcement officials if appropriate.

Procedure for Reporting

Any student or student’s parent/guardian who believes s/he has been or is the victim of bullying or harassment should immediately report the situation to the school principal. The student may also report concerns to teachers and other school staff who will be responsible for notifying the appropriate administrator. Complaints against an employee should be reported to their supervisor. All reports should be filed as soon as possible and may be filed up to ninety days after the last alleged act of bullying occurred.

All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy.

Written and oral reports shall be considered official reports. Reports may be made anonymously. Reports may be delivered to the front office at each school. A reporting form can be found at Keysschools.com Formal disciplinary action may not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

The principal shall establish and prominently publicize to students, staff, volunteers, and parents the procedure for reporting bullying and how such a report will be acted upon. A victim of bullying and/or harassment, anyone who witnessed the act, and anyone who has credible information that an act of bullying and/or harassment has taken place may file a report.

Procedure for Investigation

All complaints about bullying and/or harassment that may violate this policy shall be promptly investigated by an individual, designated by the principal, who is trained in investigative procedures. Documented interviews of the victim, alleged perpetrator, and witnesses shall be conducted privately and shall be confidential. The investigator shall collect and evaluate the facts including but not limited to:

A.

the nature of the behavior;

</

B.

how often the conduct occurred;

</

C.

whether there were past incidents or past continuing patterns of behavior;

</

D.

the relationship between the parties involved;

</

E.

the characteristics of the parties involved;

</

F.

the identity of the alleged perpetrator, including whether the individual was in a position of power over the individual allegedly subjected to bullying or harassment;

</

G.

the number of alleged bullies/harassers;

</

H.

the age of the alleged bully/harasser;

</

I.

where the bullying and/or harassment occurred;

</

J.

whether there have been other incidents in the school involving the same or other students;

</

K.

whether the conduct adversely affected the student’s education or educational environment;

</

L.

the context in which the alleged incidents occurred; and

</

M.

the physical location or time of access of a computer-related incident cannot be raised as a defense in any disciplinary action initiated pursuant to this policy.

</

Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of the policy requires a determination based on all the facts and surrounding circumstances and shall include:

A.

a recommendation of remedial steps necessary to stop the bullying and/or harassing behavior; and

</

B.

a written report to the principal or supervisor

</

Reasonable effort shall be made to respond expeditiously to all reports of bullying. A maximum of ten (10) school days shall be the limit for the initial filing of incidents and completion of the investigative procedural steps. The highest level of confidentiality possible shall be provided regarding the submission of a complaint or a report of bullying and/or harassment and for the investigative procedures that are employed.

Scope

The investigator will provide a report on the results of the investigation with recommendations for the principal to make a determination if an act of bullying or harassment falls within the scope of District authority. If the action is within the scope of the District, District procedures for investigating bullying and/or harassment shall be followed. If the action is outside the scope of the District, and believed to be a criminal act, the action shall be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If the action is outside the scope of the District and believed not a criminal act, the principal shall inform parents/guardians of all students.

Parent Notification

The principal or designee shall report the occurrence of an incident of bullying as defined by District policy to the parent/guardian of all students known to be involved in the incident after a determination has been made that there has been an incident of bullying as it is defined. Notification shall be by telephone or by personal conference and in writing and shall be consistent with the student privacy rights under applicable provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The notice shall advise the individuals involved of their respective due process rights including the right to appeal any resulting determination or action to the State Board of Education.

If the bullying incident results in the perpetrator being charged with a crime, the principal shall inform the parent/guardian of the identified victim(s) involved in the bullying incident about the Unsafe Schools Choice Option (No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Title IX, Part E, Subpart 2, Section 932) that states:

 

“A student attending a persistently dangerous public elementary school or secondary school, as determined by the State in consultation with a representative sample of local educational agencies, or a student who becomes a victim of a violent criminal offense, as determined by State law, while in or on the grounds of a public elementary or secondary school that the student attends, be allowed to attend a safe public elementary school or secondary school within the local educational agency, including a public charter school.”

 

Upon the completion of the investigation and if criminal charges are to be pursued against the perpetrator, the appropriate law enforcement agencies shall be notified by telephone and/or in writing.

Counseling Referral

The District shall provide a referral procedure for interventions that will go to a committee when such support is needed. Each school principal will establish which committee will review referrals at their school for bullying intervention.

School-based intervention and assistance will be determined by the school-based committee and may include, but is not limited to:

A.

counseling and support to address the needs of the victims of bullying

</

B.

counseling intervention to address the behavior of those who bully (e.g., empathy training, anger management)

</

C.

intervention which includes assistance and support provided to parents

</

D.

analysis and evaluation of school culture with resulting recommendations for interventions aimed at increasing peer ownership and support

</

Data Report

The District will utilize Florida’s School Environmental Safety Incident Reporting (SESIR) Statewide Report on School Safety and Discipline Data as prescribed. If a bullying and/or harassment incident occurs it will be reported in SESIR, coded appropriately using the relevant incident code and the related element code. Discipline and referral data will be recorded in Student Discipline/Referral Action Report and Automated Student Information System. Using a district defined code the District shall include each reported incident of bullying or harassment that does not meet the criteria of a prohibited act under this policy with recommendations regarding such incidents.

The District will provide bullying incident, discipline, and referral data to the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) in the format requested, through Survey 5 from Education Information and Accountability Services, and at designated dates provided by the Department.

Training and Instruction

Training for students, parents teachers, area/district staff, school board, district and school based administrators, students support staff, counseling staff, bus drivers, School Resource Officers, contractors, and school volunteers on identifying, preventing and responding to bullying will be conducted.

At the beginning of each school year, the school principal and department heads shall provide awareness of this policy, as well as the process for reporting incidents, investigation and appeal to students, school staff, parents, or other persons responsible for the welfare of students through appropriate references in the Student Handbook, Employee Handbooks, the district website, and/or through other reasonable means.

Victim’s Parent Reporting

The principal shall report the occurrence of an incident of bullying as defined herein to the parent/guardian of students known to be involved in the incident after a determination has been made that there has been an incident of bullying as it is defined. Notification shall be by telephone or in conference and shall be consistent with the student privacy rights under applicable provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). According to the level of infraction, the victim’s parents will be notified by telephone and/or in writing of actions being taken to protect the child; the frequency of notification will depend on the seriousness of the bullying or harassment incident.

Policy Publication

At the beginning of each school year, the Superintendent shall inform school staff, parents/guardians/other persons responsible for the welfare of a student of the District’s student safety and violence prevention policy.

The District shall provide notice to students and staff of this policy in the Student Handbook, employee handbooks and the district website. The Superintendent will also provide such notification to all District contractors.

Each principal shall implement a process for discussing, at least annually, the District policy on bullying and harassment with students. Reminders of the policy and bullying prevention messages will be displayed, as appropriate, at each school and at District facilities.

Immunity

A school employee, school volunteer, students, parent/guardian, or other persons who promptly reports in good faith an act of bullying or harassment to the appropriate school official and who makes this report in compliance with the procedures set forth in District policy is immune from a cause of action for damages arising out of the reporting itself or any failure to remedy the reported incident.

Submission of a good faith complaint or report of bullying or harassment will not affect the complainant or reporter’s future employment, grades, learning or working environment, or work assignments. Such immunity from liability shall not apply to an employee, student, or volunteer determined to have made an intentionally false report about harassment, intimidation, and/or bullying.

Privacy/Confidentiality

A.

To the greatest extent possible, all complaints will be treated as confidential and be handled in accordance to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and any other applicable law.

</

B.

Limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation. The District’s obligation to investigate and take corrective action may supersede an individual’s right to privacy.

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C.

The complainant’s identity shall be protected, but absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. The identity of the victim of the report shall be protected to the extent possible.

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Retaliation Prohibited

A.

Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment in connection with filing a complaint of assisting with an investigation under this Policy.

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B.

Retaliatory or intimidating conduct against any individual who has made a bullying complaint or any individual who has testified, assisted, or participated, in any manner, in a investigation is specifically prohibited, and will be treated as another incidence of bullying.

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Constitutional Safeguard

This policy does not imply to prohibit expressive activity protected by the First Amendment of the United State Constitution or Article I, Section of the Florida Constitution.

F.S. 110.1221, 1002.20, 1006.13, 1006.147 Florida Department of Education Model Policy (June 2008)

Adopted 11/18/08 Revised 4/21/09

1362 – ANTI-HARASSMENT

General Policy Statement

It is the policy of the School Board to maintain an education and work environment which is free from all forms of unlawful harassment, including sexual harassment. This commitment applies to all School District operations, programs, and activities. All students, administrators, teachers, staff, and all other school personnel share responsibility for avoiding, discouraging, and reporting any form of unlawful harassment. This policy applies to unlawful conduct occurring on school property, or at another location if such conduct occurs during an activity sponsored by the Board.

The Board will vigorously enforce its prohibition against harassment based on race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, marital status, or age, or any other legally prohibited basis, and encourages those within the School District community as well as third parties, who feel aggrieved to seek assistance to rectify the problems. The Board will investigate all allegations of unlawful harassment and in those cases where legally prohibited harassment is substantiated, the Board will take immediate steps to end the harassment. Individuals who are found to have engaged in unlawful harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

For purposes of this policy, “School District community” means students, administrators, teachers, staff, and all other school personnel, including Board members, agents, volunteers, contractors, or other persons subject to the control and supervision of the Board.

For purposes of this policy, “third parties” include, but are not limited to, guests and/or visitors on School District property (e.g., visiting speakers, participants on opposing athletic teams, parents), vendors doing business with, or seeking to do business with, the Board, and other individuals who come in contact with members of the School District community at school-related events/activities (whether on or off School District property).

Furthermore, the Board is committed to providing an educational setting that is safe, secure, and free from harassment and bullying for all of its students and school employees. Policy5517.01 – Anti-Bullying Policy addresses those instances of bullying and harassment which do not rise to the level of legally protected harassment under Federal law, but are, nonetheless, behaviors that may occur on school grounds, at school-sponsored events, and through school computer networks that will not be tolerated and must be appropriately identified, reported, investigated, and, when substantiated, be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.

Other Violations of the Anti-Harassment Policy

The Board will also take immediate steps to impose disciplinary action on individuals engaging in any of the following prohibited acts:

A.

Retaliating against a person who has made a report or filed a complaint alleging unlawful harassment, or who has participated as a witness in a harassment investigation.

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B.

Filing a malicious or knowingly false report or complaint of harassment.

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C.

Disregarding, failing to investigate adequately, or delaying investigation of allegations of unlawful harassment, when responsibility for reporting and/or investigating unlawful harassment charges comprises part of one’s supervisory duties.

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Definitions

Sexual Harassment

Pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX or the Florida Educational Equity Act, “sexual harassment” is defined as:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

A.

Submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or status in a class, educational program, or activity;

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B.

Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual;

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C.

Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity.

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Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either gender against a person of the same or opposite gender.

Prohibited acts that constitute sexual harassment may take a variety of forms. Examples of the kinds of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

A.

Unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, solicitations, and flirtations.

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B.

Physical assault.

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C.

Threats or insinuations that a person’s employment, wages, academic grade, promotion, classroom work or assignments, academic status, participation in athletics or extra-curricular programs or events, or other conditions of employment or education may be adversely affected by not submitting to sexual advances.

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D.

Unwelcome verbal expressions of a sexual nature, including graphic sexual commentaries about a person’s body, dress, appearance, or sexual activities; the unwelcome use of sexually degrading language, jokes or innuendoes; unwelcome suggestive or insulting sounds or whistles; obscene telephone calls.

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E.

Sexually suggestive objects, pictures, videotapes, audio recordings, or literature, placed in the work or educational environment, which may embarrass or offend individuals.

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F.

Unwelcome and inappropriate touching, patting, or pinching; obscene gestures.

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G.

A pattern of conduct, which can be subtle in nature, that has sexual overtones and is intended to create or has the effect of creating discomfort and/or humiliation to another.

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H.

Remarks speculating about a person’s sexual activities or sexual history, or remarks about one’s own sexual activities or sexual history.

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I.

Consensual sexual relationships where such relationship leads to favoritism of a subordinate employee with whom the superior is sexually involved and where such favoritism adversely affects other employees or otherwise creates a hostile work environment.

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Not all behavior with sexual connotations constitutes unlawful sexual harassment. Conduct must be sufficiently severe, pervasive, and persistent such that it adversely affects an individual’s employment or education, or such that it creates a hostile or abusive employment or educational environment.

NOTE: Any teacher, administrator, coach, or other school authority who engages in sexual conduct with a student may also be guilty of a crime.

Race/Color Harassment

Prohibited racial harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual’s race or color and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person’s race or color, such as racial slurs, nicknames implying stereotypes, epithets, and/or negative references relative to racial customs.

Religious (Creed) Harassment

Prohibited religious harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual’s religion or creed and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or of interfering with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person’s religious tradition, clothing, or surnames, and/or involves religious slurs.

National Origin Harassment

Prohibited national origin harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual’s national origin and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance; of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or interfering with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person’s national origin, such as negative comments regarding customs, manner of speaking, language, surnames, or ethnic slurs.

Disability Harassment

Prohibited disability harassment occurs when unwelcome physical, verbal, or nonverbal conduct is based upon an individual’s disability and when the conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment; or with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from a class or an educational program or activity. Such harassment may occur where conduct is directed at the characteristics of a person’s disabling condition, such as negative comments about speech patterns, movement, physical impairments or defects/appearances, or the like. Such harassment may further occur where conduct is directed at or pertains to a person’s genetic information.

Reports and Complaints of Harassing Conduct

Members of the School District community and third parties are encouraged to promptly report incidents of unlawful harassing conduct to an administrator, supervisor or other School District official so that the Board may address the conduct before it becomes severe, pervasive, or persistent.

Members of the School District community or third parties who believe they have been unlawfully harassed by another member of the School District community or a third party are entitled to utilize the Board’s complaint process that is set forth in Policy 1362.02 – Anti-Harassment Complaint Procedure. Initiating a complaint, whether formally or informally, will not adversely affect the complaining individual’s employment or participation in educational or extra-curricular programs unless the complaining individual makes the complaint maliciously or with knowledge that it is false. While there is a 180 day time limit for initiating complaints of harassment under this policy, individuals should make every effort to file a complaint as soon as possible after the conduct occurs while the facts are known and potential witnesses are available.

The titles of the Anti-Harassment Compliance Officer with whom complaints of sexual and other forms of unlawful harassment should be filed are set forth in Policy1362.02 – Anti-Harassment Complaint Procedures. The titles of these individuals will be published annually on the School District’s web site, and shall also appear in District publications such as announcements, bulletins, brochures, student applications and admission forms, catalogs, and other recruitment materials that are made available to students, parents, staff, and the general public.

The formal and informal processes for making a charge of harassment, a process for investigating claims of harassment, and a process for rendering a decision regarding whether the claim of legally prohibited harassment was substantiated are set forth in Policy 1362.02 – Anti-Harassment Complaint Procedure. This policy and Policy 1362.02 – Anti-Harassment Complaint Procedure will be readily available to all members of the School District community and posted in appropriate places throughout the School District.

Any Board employee who directly observes unlawful harassment of a student is obligated, in accordance with this policy, to report such observations to one of the Anti-Harassment Compliance Officers. Thereafter, the Compliance Officer must contact the student, if over age eighteen (18) or the student’s parents if under the age eighteen (18), to advise s/he/them of the Board’s intent to investigate the alleged misconduct, including the obligation of the compliance officer or designee to conduct an investigation following all the procedures outlined for a formal complaint.

Confidentiality

The School District will make reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of the parties involved in an investigation of unlawful harassment. Confidentiality, however, cannot be guaranteed.

Informal Process for Addressing Complaints of Harassment

An informal complaint process to provide members of the School District community or third parties who believe they are being unlawfully harassed with a range of options designed to bring about a resolution of their concerns is set forth in Policy 1362.02 – Anti-Harassment Complaint Procedure. Members of the School District community or third parties who believe that they have been unlawfully harassed may initiate their complaint through this informal complaint process, but are not required to do so. The informal process is only available in those circumstances where the parties (alleged target of harassment and alleged harasser(s)) agree to participate in the informal process. Those members of the School District community or third parties who believe that they have been unlawfully harassed may proceed immediately to the formal complaint process and individuals who seek resolution through the informal procedure may request that the informal process be terminated at any time to move to the formal complaint process. However, all complaints of unlawful harassment involving a District employee or any other adult member of the School District Community against a student will be formally investigated.

Formal Process for Addressing Complaints of Harassment

Policy 1362.02 – Anti-Harassment Complaint Procedure also includes a formal complaint process. While the formal complaint process may serve as the first step to resolution of a charge of unlawful harassment, it is also available in those circumstances when the informal complaint process fails to satisfactorily resolve a concern. Because of the need for flexibility, no specific time lines are established for initiating the formal complaint process; however, once the formal complaint process is begun, the investigation will be completed in a timely manner (ordinarily, within thirty-one (31) calendar days of the complaint being received).

Members of the School District community or third parties who feel they have been unlawfully harassed should file a formal written complaint with the principal of their school building or with one of the compliance officer identified in Policy 1362.02 – Anti-Harassment Complaint Procedure. Oral complaints of harassment will be reduced to writing by the individual receiving the complaint and the complainant will be asked to verify the accuracy of the reported charge by signing the document. Complaints received by a school building principal will be immediately reported to the appropriate compliance officer identified in Policy1362.02 – Anti-Harassment Complaint Procedure and the principal will not conduct an investigation unless directed to do so by the Compliance Officer.

The complaint process, which is set forth in Policy1362.02 – Anti-Harassment Complaint Procedure, is not intended to interfere with the rights of a member of the School District community or a third party to pursue a complaint of unlawful harassment with the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, the Florida Commission on Human Relations, or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The District reserves the right to investigate and resolve a complaint or report of unlawful harassment regardless of whether the member of the School District community or third party alleging the unlawful harassment pursues the complaint. The Board also reserves the right to have the formal complaint investigation conducted by an external person in accordance with this policy and Policy1362.02 or in such other manner as deemed appropriate by the Board or its designee.

Sanctions and Monitoring

The Board shall vigorously enforce its prohibitions against unlawful harassment. While observing the principles of due process, a violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including the discharge of an employee or the suspension/expulsion of a student. All disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with applicable State law and the terms of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s). When imposing discipline, the Superintendent shall consider the totality of the circumstances involved in the matter, including the ages and maturity levels of those involved. In those cases where unlawful harassment is not substantiated, the Board may consider whether the alleged conduct nevertheless warrants discipline in accordance with other Board policies, consistent with the terms of the relevant collective bargaining agreement(s).

Where the Board becomes aware that a prior remedial action has been taken against a member of the School District community, all subsequent sanctions imposed by the Board and/or Superintendent shall be reasonably calculated to eliminate such conduct in the future.

Education and Training

In support of this policy, the Board promotes preventative educational measures to create greater awareness of unlawful discriminatory practices. The Superintendent or designee shall provide appropriate training to all members of the School District community related to the implementation of this policy and Policy1362.02. All training regarding this policy, Policy1362.02, which sets forth the anti-harassment complaint procedure and harassment in general, will be age and content appropriate.

F.S. 110.1221, 760.01, 760.10, 1000.05 42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq. 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. 29 U.S.C. 621 et seq. 29 U.S.C. 794 29 C.F.R. Part 1635 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq. 42 U.S.C. 1983 42 U.S.C. 2000ff et seq., The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act National School Boards Association Inquiry and Analysis – May 2008

Revised 1/25/11

Student Handbook KWHS 2012

http://kwh.keysschools.schoolfusion.us/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1523243/File/Student%20Handbook%202011-12.pdf?sessionid=9b89ce9cf0816874b6f093e24af1f7f4

About Sloan

That's what this website is about, also goodmorningkeywest.com and goodmorningbirmingham.com. If you can't get a publisher to take on your wacky musing, you do it yourself.
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