All EWSD schools should provide safe and kind learning conditions, free from any bullying. Bullying is a form of dangerous and disrespectful behavior not permitted or tolerated within EWSD schools.
Definition: Bullying means any obvious 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 meant to criticize in a teasing way, embarrass, or threaten the student; and
happens 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 happen during the school day on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored activity and can be shown to present a clear and big interference with another student's right to access educational programs.
Please note that bullying behavior is behavior which can happen on or off school grounds and which can happen through electronic means (email, internet, cell phones, texting, etc.). EWSD schools will take appropriate steps to respond to bullying behavior that happens off school grounds as it affects the school or interferes in a big way with any student's ability to access educational programs at school.
Reporting Bullying: 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 very hard, any teacher or staff member. Without revealing their name, students may report acts of bullying to their teachers and school leaders, 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 workers must advance reports of bullying to their administrator or supervisor immediately.
Consequences: Substantiated bullying behavior will result in disciplinary action. The disciplinary results include the full range of restorative practices and/or disciplinary results organized and listed in EWSD discipline policies and the school discipline plan (e.g. taking a cell phone to stop illegal activity, denial of internet privileges, detention, loss of privileges, denial of participation in school activities and sports. Disciplinary results may also include a recommendation to the School Board for long-term suspension.
To the extent permitted by federal and state privacy laws, the school may tell 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 notice to the parents/guardians of the student who commits a proven act of bullying of the school's response and results of any further bullying by their child. Police may be contacted upon when checking for the truth of acts of bullying. It should be noted that bad behavior, 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 used by the school including, but not limited to, suspension and long-term suspension.
Bullying events are subject to report requirements of the Vermont Secretary of Education. All EWSD schools will collect data on the number of reported and proven events of bullying. For more information on bullying, please see policy C10 on the EWSD website.