Preventing Bullying and Other Aggressive Behaviors
Bullying is contrary to Illinois law and District policy. Bullying
and other aggressive behaviors diminish a student’s ability to learn and
a school’s ability to educate. Deterring students from engaging in
these disruptive behaviors and providing all students access to a safe,
non-hostile learning environment are important District goals.
The District prohibits and will not tolerate aggressive student
behavior, including bullying conduct of any type or on any basis, as
defined below. The District will protect students against retaliation
for reporting incidents of aggressive behavior and bullying and will
take disciplinary action against any student who participates in such
conduct. Students are expected to act respectfully towards their peers
and to avoid bullying and aggressive behaviors in their interactions
with other students.
In addition, bullying that is based on actual or perceived race,
color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,
gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical
or mental disability, military status, unfavorable discharge status
from the military service, order of protection status, status of being
homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including
pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the
aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other
distinguishing characteristic is prohibited and may amount to a
violation of a student’s civil right and of Policy 7:20 Harassment.
For purposes of this policy, the term bullying includes
cyber-bullying, and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act
or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically,
directed toward a student that has or can be reasonably predicted to
have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property.
- Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health.
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance.
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to
participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges
provided by a school.
Bullying may take various forms, including without
limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats,
intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual
violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or
retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is
meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.
Aggressive conduct towards other students that is not severe or
pervasive shall not be deemed as bullying, but may constitute gross
disobedience or misconduct leading to discipline under Policy 7:190 Student Discipline
of any student who engages in such behavior. Students who engage in
bullying conduct shall also be disciplined under Policy 7:190.
Cyber-bullying means bullying through the use of technology
or any electronic communication, including without limitation any
transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or
intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire,
radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical
system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet
communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying
includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator
assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of
another person as the author of posted content or messages if the
creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the
definition of bullying. Cyber-bullying also includes
the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one
person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be
accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates
any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying.
Restorative measures means a continuum of school-based
alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions and
expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs of the school
and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining school safety, (iii)
protect the integrity of a positive and productive learning climate,
(iv) teach students the personal and interpersonal skills they will need
to be successful in school and society, (v) serve to build and restore
relationships among students, families, schools, and communities, and
(vi) reduce the likelihood of future disruption by balancing
accountability with an understanding of students’ behavioral health
needs in order to keep students in school.
School personnel means persons employed by, on contract
with, or who volunteer in the School, including without limitation
school administrators, teachers, school guidance counselors, school
social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses,
cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, school resource officers,
and security guards.
Bullying is prohibited in each of the following situations:
- During any school sponsored education program or activity.
- While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school
vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school bus, or
at school sponsored or school sanctioned events or activities.
- Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a
school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment.
- Through the transmission of information from a computer that is
accessed at a non-school related location, activity, function, or
program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is
not owned, leased, or used by the School District or school if the
bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or
orderly operation of a school. This paragraph (item #4) applies only
when a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying
through this means has occurred; it does not require staff members to
monitor any non-school related activity, function, or program.
The Superintendent or designee shall develop and maintain a bullying
prevention and response program based on the engagement of a range of
school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians that:
- 1. Fully implements and enforces all applicable Board policies by including provisions that address the following:
conducting a prompt and thorough investigation of alleged incidents of
bullying, intimidation, harassing behavior, or similar conduct, (b)
making reasonable efforts to complete the investigation within ten (10)
school days after the report of the alleged incident was received, (c)
taking into consideration additional relevant information received
during the course of the investigation of the reported incident, (d)
involving appropriate school support personnel and other school staff
persons with knowledge, experience, and training on bullying prevention,
as deemed appropriate, in the investigation process, (e) providing each
student who violates one or more of these policies with appropriate
consequences and remedial action, (f) protecting students against
retaliation for reporting such conduct, and (g) consistent with federal
and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, providing
parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation
information about the investigation and an opportunity to meet with the
Building Principal or school administrator or his or her designee to
discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the
actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying. The
Superintendent or designee shall investigate whether a reported incident
of bullying is within the permissible scope of the District’s
jurisdiction. The District shall provide both the victim and the
aggressor with information regarding services that are available within
the District and community, such as counseling, support services, and
- Examines the appropriate steps to understand and rectify conditions
that foster bullying, intimidation, and harassment; this contemplates
taking action to eliminate or prevent these disruptive behaviors beyond
traditional punitive disciplinary actions. In addition, interventions
shall be utilized to address bullying, which may include, but are not
limited to school social work services, restorative measures,
social-emotional skill building, counseling, school psychological
services, and community-based services.
- Includes bullying prevention and character instruction in all grades in accordance with State law and Board policy 6:60 Curriculum Content.
This includes incorporating student social and emotional development
into the District’s educational program as required by State law and in
alignment with Board policy 6:65 Student Social and Emotional Development.
- Fully informs staff members of the District’s goal to prevent
students from engaging in bullying and the measures being used to
accomplish it. This includes: (a) communicating the District’s
expectation – and the State law requirement – that teachers and other
certificated employees maintain discipline, and (b) establishing a
process for staff members to fulfill their obligation to report alleged
acts of bullying, intimidation, harassment, and other acts of actual or
threatened violence, and (c) requiring staff to notify the Building
Principal or designee of the reported incident of bullying as soon as
possible after the report is received.
- Encourages all members of the school community, including students,
parents/guardians, District staff, volunteers, and visitors, to report
alleged acts of bullying, intimidation, harassment, and other acts of
actual or threatened violence to the Building Principal or any District
employee. A report may be made orally or in writing. Anonymous reports
are accepted. No disciplinary action will be taken solely on the basis
of an anonymous report.
The District 39 Complaint Manager is the Administrator for Student Services.
Dr. Denise Thrasher
615 Locust Wilmette, IL 60091
- Actively involves students’ parents/guardians in the remediation of
the behavior(s) of concern. This includes ensuring that all
parents/guardians are notified, as required by State law, whenever their
child engages in aggressive behavior. The Building Principal or
Designee shall, consistent with federal and State laws and rules
governing student privacy rights, promptly inform parents/guardians of
all students involved in the alleged incident of bullying and discuss,
as appropriate, the availability of services within the District and
community, such as social work services, counseling, school
psychological services, other interventions, and restorative measures.
- Communicates the District’s expectation that all students conduct
themselves with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other
students. This includes a process for commending or acknowledging
students for demonstrating appropriate behavior.
- A reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of
bullying is prohibited. A student’s act of reprisal or retaliation can
be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.
- A student will not be punished for reporting bullying or supplying
information, even if the District’s investigation concludes that no
bullying occurred. However, knowingly making a false accusation or
providing knowingly false information can be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.
- Posts this Policy on the District’s website and includes it in the
student handbook, and, where applicable, posts it where other policies,
rules, and standards of conduct are currently posted. Annually
communicates this policy to students and their parents/guardians, and
school personnel, including new employees when hired. This includes
annually disseminating information to all students and parents/guardians
explaining the serious disruption caused by bullying, intimidation, or
harassment and that these behaviors will be taken seriously and are not
acceptable in any form.
- Engages in ongoing monitoring that includes collecting and analyzing
appropriate data on the nature and extent of bullying in the District’s
schools to identify frequency of victimization student, staff, and
family observations of safety at a school; identification of areas of a
school where bullying occurs; the types of bullying utilized; and
bystander intervention or participation. The evaluation process also may
include the use of relevant data and information that the school
already collects for other purposes. After identifying appropriate
indicators, assesses the effectiveness of this Policy and the various
strategies, programs, and procedures, the results of this assessment
will be shared with the Board along with posting on the District
- Complies with State and federal law and is consistent with all other
Board policies. This includes prompting the Board to conduct a review
and re-evaluation of the Policy and make any necessary and appropriate
revisions every 2 years, and file the Policy with the Illinois State
Board of Education after the Board adopts or updates it.
This policy is not intended to infringe upon any right to exercise
free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based
views protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or
under Section 3 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
Adopted: January 23, 2012
Revised: November 17, 2014; January 25, 2016