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Board Policies

Updated

Last Updated Date: 08/22/2023

Adoption Date: 06/22/2021

Revision History: 10/26/21(reviewed),10/11/22 (reviewed), 8/22/23 (updated), 9/23/26 (Reviewed)

The Iowa City Community School District is committed to providing all students, employees, and volunteers with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. Bullying and/or harassing behavior can seriously disrupt the ability of school employees to maintain a safe and civil environment, and the ability of students to learn and succeed.

Bullying and/or harassment of or by students, staff, and volunteers is against federal, state, and local policy and is not tolerated by the board.

Accordingly, school employees, volunteers, and students shall not engage in bullying or harassing behavior while on school property, while on school-owned or school-operated vehicles, while attending or participating in school-sponsored or sanctioned activities, and while away from school grounds if the conduct materially interferes with the orderly operation of the educational environment or is likely to do so.

Complaints may be filed with the superintendent or designee pursuant to the regulation accompanying this policy. The superintendent is responsible for the implementation of this policy and all accompanying procedures. Complaints will be investigated within a reasonable time frame. Within 24 hours of receiving a report that a student may have been the victim of conduct that constitutes bullying and/or harassment, the district will notify the parent or guardian of this student. 

If, as a result of reviewing surveillance system data or based on a report from a school district employee, the district determines that a student has suffered bullying or harassment by another student enrolled in the district, a parent or guardian of the student may enroll the student in another attendance center within the district that offers classes at the student's grade level, subject to the requirements and limitations established in Iowa Law related to this topic. 

A school employee, volunteer, or student, or a student’s parent or guardian who promptly, reasonably, and in good faith reports an incident of bullying or harassment, in compliance with the procedures in the regulation, to the appropriate school official designated by the school district, shall be immune from civil or criminal liability relating to such report and to participation in any administrative or judicial proceeding resulting from or relating to the report.

Retaliation Prohibited

Individuals who knowingly file false bullying or harassment complaints and any person who gives false statements in an investigation may be subject to discipline by appropriate measures.

Any student found to have violated or retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, suspension and expulsion. Any school employee found to have violated or retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, termination of employment. Any school volunteer found to have violated or retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to, and including, removal from service and exclusion from school grounds.

Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, the defined words shall have the following meaning:

  • “Electronic” means any communication involving the transmission of information by wire, radio, optic cable, electromagnetic, or other similar means. “Electronic” includes but is not limited to communication via electronic mail, internet-based communications, pager service, cell phones, and electronic text messaging.
  • “Harassment” and “bullying” shall mean any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student based on the individual’s actual or perceived age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status, and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:
    1. Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property.
    2. Has a substantial detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health.
    3. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance. Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
  • “Trait or characteristic of the student” includes but is not limited to age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status.
  • “Volunteer” means an individual who has regular, significant contact with students.

Filing a Complaint

A Complainant who wishes to avail themselves of this procedure may do so by filing a complaint with the superintendent or designee. An alternate will be designated in the event it is claimed that the superintendent or designee committed the alleged discrimination or some other conflict of interest exists. Complaints shall be filed within 180 days of the event giving rise to the complaint or from the date the Complainant could reasonably become aware of such occurrence. The Complainant will state the nature of the complaint and the remedy requested. The Complainant shall receive assistance as needed.

School employees, volunteers, and students shall not engage in reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim, witness, or an individual who has reliable information about an act of bullying or harassment.

Publication of Policy

The board will annually publish this policy. The policy may be publicized by the following means:

  • Inclusion in the student handbook,
  • Inclusion in the employee handbook
  • Inclusion in the registration materials
  • Inclusion on the school or school district’s web site,
  • (other)

Policy References:

Legal Reference:

20 U.S.C. §§ 1221-1234i.
29 U.S.C. § 794.
42 U.S.C. §§ 2000d-2000d-7. 
42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 2et. seq.
Iowa Code §§ 216.9; 280.3, 28;     
281 I.A.C. 12.3(6).
Morse v. Frederick, 551 U.S. 393 (2007)

Cross References:    

102           Equal Educational Opportunity
102.R1     Discrimination Complaint Process
102.E1     Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination
102.E2     Continuous Notice of Nondiscrimination
102.E3     Notice of Section 504 Student and Parental Rights
102.E4     Discrimination Complaint Form
102.E5     Witness Disclosure Form
102.E6     Disposition of Complaint Form
401.1       Equal Employment Opportunity
401.13     Staff Technology Use/Social Networking
401.13R1  Staff Technology Use/Social Networking - Regulation
402.3       Abuse of Students by School District Employees
404          Employee Conduct and Appearance
404.R1    Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics Regulation
404.R2    Code of Rights and Responsibilities Regulation
604.11     Appropriate Use of Online Learning Platforms
605.6       Internet - Appropriate Use
605.6R1   Internet - Appropriate Use - Regulation
 

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