• All EWSD schools should be educational settings where students are free from harassment. EWSD schools are committed to providing safe and respectful learning conditions for all students. We support and value tolerance and responsibility, and expect students to treat each other and with respect.


    Harassment will not be tolerated in EWSD schools, and any student who participates in the harassment of another individual or group while at school or attending a school-sponsored activity will be subject to the full range of disciplinary actions used by the school. This includes, but is not limited to: restorative practices, detention, loss of school sponsored privileges, suspension, and/or long-term suspension. Please note that harassment is behavior which can happen on and off school grounds. EWSD schools will take appropriate steps to respond to harassment that happens off school grounds, given it has a connection to the school surroundings, and where the bad behavior can be shown to present a clear and big interference with another student's equal access to educational programs.


    Definitions and Examples: As it relates to students and the schools, "harassment" means an event or events of verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct, including any event conducted by electronic means, based on or motivated by a student's or a student's family member's actual or perceived race, religious belief, color, national origin, whether someone is single, married, divorced, etc., sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability that has the purpose or effect of without emotion and in an important way interfering with and taking away from or interfering with a student's educational performance or access to school supplies or creating a threatening, hateful, or offensive surrounding.


    Harassment can also include conduct such as not wanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to that conduct is made either clearly and definitely or in a hinting way a term of condition of the student's education, or submission or rejection of the conduct is used as a part for decisions affecting the student.


    Harassment can also include conduct directed at the features/qualities/traits of the student's or their family's actual or perceived race or color, religious belief, national origin, whether someone is single, married, divorced, etc., sex, sexual orientation, or disability. It can include the use of prejudiced mental picture), racial slurs, comments, insults, insulting statements, actions, threats, graffiti, display or circulation of written or visual material and teases in a mean way on the manner of a student's speech or negative references to racial customs.


    Examples of harassment based or because of the features qualities/traits organized and listed above can include:


    • Verbal: Foul, racist, offensive, or insulting language; constant teasing, offensive or insulting jokes or comments; embarrassing someone with comments or cracks, making fun of the way someone talks or looks, using insulting words to describe someone; over and over again flirting with someone who's not interested, participating in talk about other people's personal business, passing stories that may or may not be true or threats, etc.

    • Non-Verbal: hand/arm movements/actions, graffiti or pictures on books, lockers, hats, clothing; suggestive, obscene, or insulting sounds, whistling, staring; sexually suggestive objects, notes, or other writings of a teasing, insulting, racist or otherwise offensive nature; displays of obscene or sexually explicit materials.

    • Physical: Unwanted contact which may include: touching, pinching, pushing, hitting or brushing up against someone's body. Unwanted contact could also include an attack and involve the police and DCF.

    • Electronic Means: Includes harassing behavior which happens via the internet or cell phone, such as email communication(s), web postings, voice mail(s), and texting.


    Reporting Harassment: If a student feels that they are being harassed, and it is safe to do so, the student may tell that person to stop. Victims and witnesses are asked to report harassment to their grade-level administrator, or if this proves very hard, any teacher or staff member. Any student or parent/guardian of a student who believes they have been the victim of harassment should report the matter immediately to the principal.


    Administrative Procedures: EWSD schools getting information of possible behavior equal to harassment will quickly try to find the truth about the matter. After receiving an actual written statement (a written complaint or oral information that harassment may have happened), the school official will provide the possible victim and the person accused (or their parents/guardians if under the age of 18) with a copy of the EWSD policy and procedure. The school official will quickly start asking questions, trying to find the truth of the complaint no later than one school day from the filing of the complaint. The formal decision should be completed no later than five days from the filing of the complaint with the person (unless special facts or conditions exist).


    If harassment is found to have happened, the school will act fast with appropriate actions that will educate and fix the issue  to stop it. The EWSD has teamed with the Community Justice Center to help with restorative justice in parallel to legally needed actions, with permission from both parties in appropriate situations. The privacy of the complainant, accused individual(s), and witnesses will be maintained. If either the complainant or the accused individual(s) are under the age of 18, subject to state and/or federal laws protecting the very private nature of personal student information, the complainant and accused individual(s) will be informed in writing of the results.


    EWSD schools also provide students with the opportunity to have an independent review of the final decision of the school or the school's response to the recorded harassment.


    Consequences for Harassment: Recorded acts of harassment will result in the accused facing disciplinary results and/or restorative practices. The results include the full range of disciplinary results organized and listed in the EWSD student discipline policies and school restorative justice and/or discipline plans. These include, but are not limited to: after-school detention, loss of privileges, loss of ability to participate in after-school and school sponsored activities, required remedial classes, parent/guardian meetings, and suspension. Disciplinary results may also include a recommendation to the School Board for long-term suspension. The school will provide a written statement to the parents/guardians and complainant of the results of the investigation. The school will also provide clear communication to the parents/guardians of the student who commits a proven act of harassment of the school's response and what would happen if any further harassment took place by their child. Police may be contacted upon checking for the truth of acts of harassment.


    At all stages of the act of asking questions and formal decision process, different argument settling methods such as mediation are available to the complainant to resolve the complaint.


    It should be noted that some bad behavior, while serious, may not meet all the standards of harassment. However, the EWSD schools may respond to such behavior in the proper manner to prevent bad behavior from increasing to harassment. Therefore, 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.


    Harassment incidents are subject to reporting the needed information of the VT Secretary of Education. All EWSD schools will collect data on the number of reported and proven times this harassment happened. For more information on the harassment, please see policy C10 on the EWSD site.