All EWSD schools should be a safe and kind learning environment, free from any bullying. Bullying is a form of dangerous and disrespectful behavior not permitted or tolerated within EWSD schools.
“Bullying means any overt act or combination of acts, including an act conducted by electronic means, directed against a student by another student or group of students and which:
- Is repeated over time
- Is intended to ridicule, humiliate, or intimidate the student; and
- Occurs during the school day on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity, or before or after the school day on a school bus or at a school-sponsored activity; or does not occur during the school day on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity and can be shown to pose a clear and substantial interference with another student’s right to access educational programs.
Please note that bullying behavior is behavior which can occur on or off school grounds and which can occur through electronic means (email, internet, cell phones, texting, etc.). EWSD schools will take appropriate steps to respond to bullying behavior that takes place off school grounds as it affects the school environment or substantially interferes with any student’s ability to access educational programs at school.
If a student feels they are being bullied, and it is safe to do so, the student may tell that person to stop. Victims and witnesses are asked to report bullying to their grade-level administrator or, if this proves difficult, any teacher or staff member. Students may anonymously report acts of bullying to their teachers and school administrators, or can call the Safe Schools Hotline at 857-7977. Parents/guardians may file written reports of suspected bullying with the school. Any student or parent/guardian of a student who believes they have been a victim of bullying should report the matter immediately to the principal. All EWSD employees are required to advance reports of bullying to their respective administrator or supervisor immediately.
Bullying will result in the bully being disciplined. The disciplinary consequences include the full range of disciplinary consequences outlined in EWSD discipline policies and the school discipline plan (e.g. confiscation of cell phone, denial of internet privileges, detention, loss of privileges, denial of participation in co-curricular activities and sports). Disciplinary consequences may also include a recommendation to the School Board for long-term suspension.
To the extent permitted by federal and state confidentiality laws, the school may notify the parent/guardian of the student who is a victim of bullying of the action taken to prevent further acts of bullying.
The school will also provide notification to the parents/guardians of the student who commits a verified act of bullying of the school’s response and consequences of any further bullying by their child.
Law enforcement authorities may be contacted upon verification of acts of bullying. It should be noted that misconduct, while serious, may not meet all the standards of bullying. However, it may be behavior that is subject to the full range of disciplinary actions utilized by the school including, but not limited to, suspension and long-term suspension.
Bullying incidents are subject to report requirements of the Vermont Secretary of Education. All EWSD schools will collect data on the number of reported and verified incidents of bullying. For more information on the bullying, please see C10: Prevention of Harassment, Hazing and Bullying of Students on the EWSD website.