Diocesan Board of Education
Diocese of Belleville
Student Conduct and Safety - Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
A safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards; harassment, intimidation or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, is conduct that disrupts both a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment and is, therefore, not acceptable behavior.
“Harassment, intimidation or bullying” means any gesture or written, verbal or physical act that takes place at school, on school property, at any school sponsored function or on a school bus and that:
- is motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or a mental, physical or sensory disability; or,
- by any other distinguishing characteristic; and
- a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, that the act(s) will have the effect of harming a student or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his person or damage to his property; or
- has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.
Not all acts of bullying, however, are motivated by characteristics such as the targets race, color, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Some acts of bullying are simply one child exercising power and control over another in isolated incidents (e.g., intimidation, harassment) or patterns of harassing or intimidating behavior (e.g., bullying).
Students are expected to conduct themselves in keeping with their levels of development and maturity. Students are to show 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 best discipline is self-imposed, and it is the responsibility of staff to use disciplinary situations as opportunities to help students learn to assume and accept responsibility for their behavior and the consequences of their behavior. Staff members who interact with students shall apply best practices designed to prevent discipline problems and encourage students’ abilities to grow in self-discipline.
Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for students who commit an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion.
In addition, school administrators shall make resources (e.g., counseling) available to both the person doing the bullying and the individual victims of harassment, intimidation and bullying and respond in a manner that does not stigmatize victims.
Adopted: September 25, 2004
Revised: January 17, 2017
The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton
Bishop of Belleville