Below is the model bullying policy made available by the Wyoming State Department of Education for school districts within Wyoming to use when crafting their own bullying and cyberbullying policies. Each state’s policies vary when it comes to how they: define bullying, harassment, threats, intimidation, and violence; expect reporting and investigating to be carried out, specify response strategies, define penalties, and prescribe certain types of prevention programs and practices.
We recommend that you review and consider updating your own bullying policy on an annual basis with input from educators, administrators, counselors, mental health professionals, parents, and students themselves. That will optimize the likelihood that the policy you implement achieves its goals.
Last Updated: August 7, 2019
URL of Source: https://edu.wyoming.gov/in-the-classroom/health-safety/facilities-safety/
Anti-Bullying Model Policy I
July 17, 2009
This model policy is adapted from select existing Wyoming district policies. It recognizes district expertise. Changes from this basic template, however, are expected to ensure that the collective product is suited to the unique circumstances of each school district and is brought into compliance with all expectations of the Safe School Climate Act (W.S. 21-4-311 through 21-4-315).
Bullying Prevention and Education
___________________School District No. __ supports a secure school climate, conducive to teaching and learning that is free from threat, harassment, and any type of bullying behavior. The purpose of this policy is to promote consistency of approach and to help create a climate in which all types of bullying are regarded as unacceptable.
Bullying is defined as any written or verbal expression, physical act or gesture, or any pattern thereof – that is intended to cause distress upon one or more students in the school environment. For purposes of this policy, the school environment includes school buildings, grounds, vehicles, bus stops, and all school-sponsored activities and events.
A student who engages in any act of bullying is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including suspension, expulsion, and/or referral to law enforcement authorities. The severity and pattern, if any, of the bullying behavior shall be taken into consideration when disciplinary decisions are made.
The Superintendent of Schools shall develop and use a comprehensive program to address bullying at all school levels. Parents, teachers, students, and school administrations shall be involved in the development and ongoing review of this program. The program shall be aimed toward accomplishing the following goals:
- To send a clear message to students, staff, parents, and community members that bullying will not be tolerated.
- To train staff and students in taking proactive steps to prevent
bullying from occurring.
- To implement procedures for immediate intervention, investigation,
and confrontation of students engaged in bullying behavior.
- To initiate efforts to change the behavior of students engaged in
bullying behaviors through re-education on acceptable behavior, discussions, counseling, and appropriate negative consequences.
- To foster a productive partnership with parents and community members in order to help maintain a bully-free environment.
- To support victims of bullying by means of individual and peer
- To help develop peer support networks, social skills, and
confidence for all students.
- To recognize and praise positive supportive behaviors of students
toward one another on a regular basis.
Definitions for Discrimination, Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, and Retaliation
School board policy prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, as defined by this policy, against students on or immediately adjacent to school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity, including athletic activities, and on school-provided transportation. The district expects that staff, volunteers, and students will provide equal treatment and access to educational programs, services, and aid to students without regard to their disability, race, color, gender, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, socioeconomic status, cultural background, family status, or physical characteristic of a national origin group.
- “Discrimination” means any act that has the purpose or effect
of unreasonably differentiating in treatment, based on disability, race, color, gender, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, characteristics, or linguistic characteristics of a national origin group.
- “Harassment” means unwanted behavior of a non-verbal, verbal, written, graphic, sexual or physical nature that is directed at an individual or group of students or staff on the basis of disability, race, color, gender, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, socioeconomic status, cultural
background, familial status, physical characteristic, or linguistic characteristics of a national origin group.
- “Intimidation or bullying” means any act that substantially
interferes with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, and that has the effect of:
- Physically harming a student or endangering a
- Knowingly placing a student in reasonable fear of physical harm to the student or damage to the student’s property.
- Creating a hostile educational environment.
- Verbal bullying.
- “Retaliation” means any verbal or physical action taken against any
person who reports, files a complaint, or participates in an investigation. Retaliation is prohibited and is considered a serious violation of board policy, independent of whether a complaint is substantiated. False charges shall also be regarded as a serious offense and will result in disciplinary action.
Actions Resulting from Discrimination, Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying, and Retaliation
Deliberate malevolent actions that destroy educational opportunities for students shall not be tolerated.
- A student or his or her parent/legal guardian who believes that
the student is the recipient of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying from another student, staff member, or volunteer is encouraged to report the incident to the staff member on duty at the time or to the student’s teacher or to the administrator. Information may be presented anonymously. Teachers and other staff who observe students engaging in discriminatory, harassing, intimidating, or bullying behaviors are responsible for taking action to deal with the behavior and reporting the incident to the administrator.
- There will be an attempt to assist students and/or parents in
resolving concerns and issues prior to the use of the formal
disciplinary or complaint procedures. This may include counseling, education, mediation, and/or other opportunities for problem solving between all parties.
- However, the severity of a specific incident may require immediate
disciplinary action. A student and his or her parent/legal guardian, are encouraged to resolve concerns through discussions with school staff. However, if they are unable to resolve the complaint and believe the student is the recipient of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, they are encouraged to follow the procedure outlined in the Student Handbook and the district’s discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying complaint process.
The internet may be an extremely useful and beneficial tool, but it is also creating many new problems for young people. Many students are unaware that questionable images that individuals post online may attract the attention of predators, thus jeopardizing safety – or of employers, thus jeopardizing future job opportunities. Many students do not realize the serious implications of electronic irresponsibility.
More immediate are the issues of cyber bullying that are diminishing the confidence and educational opportunities of other students. Harassment, intimidation, or bullying will not be tolerated. This includes cyber bullying. Below is one strategy path students may use to deal with cyber bullies.
- Keep cool. If you don’t respond to cruel emails, the bully may stop.
- Shut the bully out. Block their email address, screen name, or
- Tell them to stop.
- If you receive mean emails save them and print them for a record.
- Talk to a trusted adult.
- If the situation gets out of hand and you are harassed, threatened,
or blackmailed, ask an adult to contact the police or school resource officer.
Because of the magnitude of the potential harm that can occur to students because of the misuse of the internet, email, cell phones, and related support issues, school regulations regarding electronic abuse will be strictly enforced.
Anti-Bullying Model Policy II
July 17, 2009
This model policy is adapted from the “Bully Police USA Model Policy Reference” www.bullypolice.com. It may be added to or edited as the district sees fit and is not expected to be utilized word for word. However, the requirements of the Safe School Climate Act (W.S. 21-4-311 through 21-4-315) must be carried out in all cases.
Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying
The ________ School District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, volunteers, and patrons. It is also committed to stay free from harassment, intimidation, or bullying. “Harassment, intimidation, or bullying” means any intentional written, verbal, or physical act that:
- Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property; or
- Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education; or
- Is severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
- Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
- Conforms to the definitions found in W.S. 21-4-312.
Harassment, intimidation, or bullying can take many forms including: slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning comments, drawing cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, spoken or physical actions. “Intentional acts” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in that act.
This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the education environment. Many behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation, or bullying may still be prohibited by other district policies or building, classroom, or program rules.
Counseling, corrective discipline, referral to law enforcement, proven best practice, and/or other administrative insight may be used to positively influence (or change if possible) the behavior of the perpetrator and remediate the impact on the victim. This may include, but is not limited to, appropriate intervention(s), restoration of a positive climate, student- based programs, anti-bullying programs, mentor based initiatives, code-
of-conduct initiatives, and support for victims and others impacted by the violation. False reports or retaliation for harassment, intimidation, or bullying also constitute violations of this policy.
The superintendent, or the disciplinarian he or she so delegates, is authorized to direct the development and implementation of specific procedures addressing the elements of this policy, consistent with W.S. 21-4-311 through W.S. 21-4-315, 21-4-305, and 21-4-306.
Informal Complaint Process
Anyone may use informal procedures to report and resolve complaints of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. Such complaints must be appropriately investigated and handled consistent with due process requirements. Informal reports may be made to any staff member. Staff shall also inform the designated disciplinarian when they receive complaints of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, especially when the complaint is beyond their training to resolve or alleges serious misconduct.
Informal remedies can include an opportunity for the complainant(s) to explain to the alleged perpetrator that the conduct is unwelcome, disruptive, or inappropriate either in writing or face-to-face. They can also include a statement from a staff member to the alleged perpetrator that the alleged conduct is not appropriate and could lead to discipline if proven or repeated. Informal remedies can include a general public statement from an administrator in a building reviewing the district’s harassment, intimidation, or bullying policy without identifying the complainant, parent, or guardian.
Formal Complaint Process
Students should be made aware by the school administration that a formal complaint process exists for bullying.
Anyone may initiate a formal complaint of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, even if the informal complaint process is being utilized. Complainants should not be promised confidentiality at the onset of an investigation. Note: In those cases where students need anonymity to report danger or problems, they may call the state’s school safety tip line at __________. Otherwise, it cannot be predicted what will be discovered or what kind of hearing may result. Efforts should be made to increase the confidence and trust of the person making the complaint.
The district strictly forbids retaliation against complainants and witnesses. Student complainants and witnesses may have a parent or trusted adult with them, if requested, during any district initiated investigatory activity.
- Formal complaints record specific acts, conditions, or circumstances alleged to have occurred that may constitute harassment, intimidation, or bullying.
- Information in the SRO’s or officer’s possession may be cause for a formal complaint to be filed.
- All formal, written complaints of harassment, intimidation, or bullying shall be investigated.
- The district shall provide a written response of the complaint and the result of the investigation to the complainant.
- The disciplinarian shall respond in writing to the complainant and the accused as soon as practicable, but within ____ days, stating:
- That the district intends to take corrective action; or 2. That the investigation is incomplete to date and will be continuing; or 3. That the district does not have adequate evidence to conclude that bullying, harassment, or intimidation occurred.
- Corrective measures deemed necessary will be instituted as soon as practicable, but in no event more than ____ days after the superintendent’s written response (unless the accused is appealing the imposition of discipline and the district is holding to due process considerations or a lawful order from imposing the discipline until the appeal process is concluded.)
Students will be provided with age-appropriate information on the recognition and prevention of harassment, intimidation, or bullying, and their responsibilities under this and policy. Parents shall be provided with copies of this policy and its associated procedures.
To access a complaint form, see: http://www.bullypolice.org/KennForm01.pdf.