Bullying - means a student or groups of students repeatedly use their personal power with the clear intention to hurt another student or group of students. Bullying may include, but not limited to physical (hitting, pushing, punching, cornering), verbal (calling names or insults, threatening, telling cruel jokes), and indirectly (isolating, rejecting, excluding, ranking or rating, giving hateful looks,). Bullying often occurs without apparent provocation. Bullying is not playful teasing between relatively equal individuals.

An act of harassment, intimidation or bullying may also be committed through the use of a land line, car phone or wireless telephone or through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system, or computer network.

Cyber bullying is an aggressive, intentional act carried out by an individual or group using electronic forms of contact. These include but are not limited to:

  • Text message bullying involves sending unwelcome tests that are threatening or cause discomfort.
  • Picture/video-clip bullying via mobile phone cameras is used to make the person being bullied feel threatened or embarrassed, with images usually sent to other people.
  • Phone call bullying via mobile phone uses silent calls or abusive messages.
  • Email bullying uses email to send bullying or threatening messages.
  • Chat room bullying involves sending menacing or upsetting responses to children or young people when they are in a web-based chat room.
  • Bullying through instant messaging (IM) is an Internet-based form of bullying where students are sent messages as they conduct real-time conversations online.
  • Bullying via websites includes the use of defamatory blogs (web blogs), personal websites and online personal polling sites.

Prohibited Behavior - Students attending district schools are prohibited from engaging in the following behaviors:

  • Physical abuse against a student, including, but not limited to, hitting, pushing, tripping, kicking, blocking, or restraining another’s movement; causing damage to another’s clothing or possessions; and another’s belongings.
  • Verbal abuse against a student, including, but not limited to, name calling, threatening, taunting, & malicious teasing.
  • Psychological abuse against a student, including, but not limited to, spreading harmful or inappropriate rumors regarding another, drawing inappropriate pictures or writing inappropriate statements regarding another, & intentionally excluding another from groups, or similar activities.
  • Bullying also includes any act of retaliation taken against:

    - Any person bringing a complaint of bullying 
    - Any person assisting another person in bringing a complaint of bullying, or 
    - Any person participating in an investigation of an act of bullying.

Hazing includes but is not limited to, any act that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental health, physical health, or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or as a condition or pre condition of attaining membership in, or affiliation with, any District sponsored activity or grade level attainment such as but not limited to:

  • Compelled ingestion of any drink, alcoholic beverage, drug, or controlled substance;
  • Forced exposure to the elements;
  • Requiring total or substantial nudity on the part of the person;
  • Requiring, encouraging, authorizing or permitting another to be subject to wearing or carrying any obscene or physically burdensome article;
  • Physical assaults upon the person;
  • Offensive physical contact with the person;
  • Participation by the person in boxing matches, excessive number of calisthenics, or other physical contests;
  • Transportation and abandonment of the person;
  • Forced prolonged exclusion from social contact;
  • Confinement to unreasonably small, unventilated, unsanitary or unlighted areas;
  • Sleep deprivation;
  • Assignment of pranks to be performed;
  • Any forced activity that could adversely affect the mental or physical health or safety of a student; or
  • Any other activities intended to degrade or humiliate.

The term hazing, as defined in this section does not include customary athletic event/ activity or similar contests or competitions, and is limited to those actions taken and situations created in connection with initiation into or affiliation with any group or organization. The term “hazing” does not include corporal punishment administered by officials or employees of the District Board Policy 1005.1, Freedom from Abuse. For the purposes of the definition, any activity described in the definition shall be presumed to be “forced” activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.

Harassment involves any conduct by a student-whether verbal, written, graphic, or physical—relating to another student’s race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, color, disability, or sex that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent as to:

  • Interfere with or limit the ability of a student to participate in the or benefit from the district’s programs or activities;
  • Create an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment;
  • Substantially or unreasonably interfere with a student’s academic performance; or
  • Otherwise adversely affect a student’s educational opportunities.
  • Harassment also includes an act of retaliation:

    - Any person brining a complaint of harassment;
    - Any person assisting another person in bringing a complaint of harassment;
    - Any person participating in an investigation of an act of harassment.

  • Actions that may constitute harassment may include, but are not limited to:

- Physical acts (i.e. aggression or assault, battery, damage to property, intimidation, vandalism, implied or overt threats of violence); 
- Verbal acts (i.e. demeaning jokes, bullying, taunting, hazing, intimidation, hate speech, slurs, derogatory nicknaming, innuendoes, or other negative remarks);
- Visual acts (i.e. graffiti, slogans or visual displays such as cartoons or posters depicting derogatory sentiments); or 
- Criminal acts (acts in violation of Idaho Criminal codes or Idaho Human Rights Commission Code)

On district premises or at any District sponsored activity, regardless of location: shall include, but not limited to buildings, facilities, and grounds on the District campus, school buses, District parking areas; and the location of any District sponsored activity. This includes instances in which the conduct occurs off the district premises but impacts a District related activity.

District official includes, but not limited to, teacher, school counselor, school nurse, coach, activities director, principal, and assistant principal, or District administrator.

It is the policy of Idaho Falls School District 91 Board of Trustees to maintain a safe school environment for all students, employees, and visitors while attending school, riding the school bus, and attending district-sponsored activities on school premises or at other locations. Acts of Social Violence include but are not limited to: Bullying, Cyber bullying, Intimidation, Hazing, and Harassment (peer, racial, color, and national origin, sexual orientation, religious, disability, and sexual), regardless of the specific nature of the students’ behavior, is disruptive to a safe school environment and will not be tolerated.

It shall be a violation of this policy for any District student, employee, or visitor to bully, haze, intimidate, or harass another individual, while on any school premises or at any school sponsored activity, regardless of location. Violation of this policy may be subject to school disciplinary action even if the threat is not substantial, direct, or specific enough to constitute a violation of state or federal law.

Other Policies for Federal Requirements
If the bullying, hazing, or harassment allegations fall within the areas protected by federal law, one or more of the following policies may also apply: Civil Right Grievance #3211, #5212, Section 504 Hearing #3212, or Sexual Harassment #3232, #5211, #4418.

Reporting
It is everyone’s responsibility to eliminate the behavior prohibited by this policy. Anyone who believes he/she has knowledge of a person or persons affected by a violation of this policy should immediately report it to a District official.

District personnel receiving a report of a violation of this policy shall report the matter to the building principal, supervisor or designee immediately. If the complaint involves the principal, supervisor or designee, District personnel must immediately report the matter to the superintendent. If the complaint involves the superintendent, District personnel must immediately report the matter to the school board president.

District personnel witnessing a violation of this policy shall take immediate action to stop the inappropriate behavior and report the matter to the building principal or other appropriate District personnel.

District personnel who fail to report or fail to take action to stop violations of this policy may face disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Investigation
The Superintendent, principal or designee shall conduct a thorough investigation of any allegation of bullying, hazing or harassment within ten (10) working days of receipt of the allegation, except in extraordinary circumstances, as determined by the individual assigned to investigate. All investigations with sufficient evidence to support the allegations require a written report.

Confidentiality
Because of the possible sensitive nature of the allegations, any investigation for violations of this policy shall be conducted, to the extent possible and within legal constraints, to protect the privacy of the complainant, victim and the accused. In instances where the allegation involves suspected child abuse, harm to self or harm to others, the District official must report the case to the proper authorities as required by law.

Discipline for violations of this policy:

  • for an employee, may involve actions up to and including dismissal.
  • for a visitor, may involve actions up to and including future prohibition from entering any school premises or attending any school sponsored activity, regardless of location.
  • for a student, may involve actions up to and including suspension, and/or expulsion. Discipline shall be appropriate to the offense, age and status of the individual.

The Superintendent or designee shall submit the case to the appropriate law enforcement agency when the charges warrant such action.

Insufficient Evidence
If there is insufficient evidence to support the allegations, no report of the allegation shall be placed in an accused or complaining employee’s personnel record or in an accused or complaining student’s permanent record.

False Accusation
If the investigation discloses that the complaining individual knowingly or in a malicious manner falsely accused another of bullying, hazing, or harassment, the complaining individual may be subject to disciplinary action as stated above.

Retaliation
District students, employees, or visitors shall not retaliate against an individual who in good faith reports, associates with the individual reporting, participates in the investigation, or investigates a violation of this policy. Any person engaged in retaliatory actions may be subject to
disciplinary action as stated above.

Prevention
The Superintendent or designee shall develop procedures to implement or review actions taken to prevent bullying, hazing or harassment and follow up with victims of violations of this policy to ensure preventive actions were effective.

students in classThe safety and security of students is always a priority in Idaho Falls School District 91. In this age when unthinkable things sometimes occur in our schools, we want to assure parents and patrons the district has a number of policies, procedures and protocols in place to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff. We have emergency plans to deal with any number of situations. District officials regularly consult with local police and emergency services personnel to ensure our emergency plans and procedures are up-to-date.

In addition, schools are required to have emergency drills several times a year to ensure students and staff are prepared in case of an emergency. Sometimes those drills are held in conjuction with local emergency services personnel so don’t be alarmed if you see a police car or fire truck at a school. The drills include: 

  •  Evacuations: Students and staff practice how to quickly and safely evacuate a building when it is determined that a location outside the school is safer than inside the school such as a fire or facility emergency.

  • Shelter-in-Place: Students and staff practice how to safely remain indoors for a period of time in situations when there is a threat near a school such as a chemical or radiological incident.

  • Lockdowns: Students and staff practice how to secure buildings and classrooms in situations when there is an immediate threat of violence in or around the school such as a weapon on campus.

  • Student-Parent Reunification: Students and staff practice how families would be safely reunited if students are evacuated from school grounds and moved to an alternate site.

What Should Parents Do During a School Emergency?
In an emergency situation, our administrators’ 
first priority is to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff. They follow the policies and procedures the district has put in place to  address emergencies. In these situations, we understand it is natural for parents to want to call or visit the school, but those calls and visits can actually hinder school staff and emergency personnel as they try to deal with emergency situations. Instead, here are some tips to help parents during an emergency.

  • Watch for updates from official district sources. The district will share information as quickly as possible using a variety of tools, including texts, emails, the district’s website, the district’s automated calling system and local media such as newspaper, TV and radio.

  • Be patient. The first few minutes of an emergency situation can be chaotic. It can take a little time to collect reliable information. As soon as that information is available, the district will share it with parents.

  • Keep communications with your child short. It is natural for parents to want to get in touch with their child during an emergency. However, trying to call a child’s cell phone may prevent them from hearing important, life-saving information. Texting may be a better option, but keep the exchanges short. Before an emergency, talk to your child about what kind of information is helpful to share in these situations. For example, “I am safe” or “We’re being evacuated.”

  • Be wary of initial reports. Information moves quickly today and often initial reports are inaccurate or just plain wrong. Watch for updates from official sources.

 

internet safetyDistrict 91 makes every effert to provide students and staff with a safe and secure online environment for teaching and learning by complying with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Congress created CIPA in 2000 to address concerns about children's access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. The District 91 has a filtering system that blocks both student and staff access to  objectionable sites.  When students are off campus they need to know how to be safe when they are online.  That's why it's important to be aware of what your children see and hear on the Internet, who they meet, and what they share about themselves online. Below are sites that offer information and resources to teach your children how to stay aware and safe when they are online away from the classrom. 

ConnectSafely.org
Parent guides to Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Google+ and more. 

Cyberbullying Research Center
Learn how to prevent cyberbullying and what to do if their child is a victim.

NetSmartz.org
Parenting wired kids can be difficult, especially if you didn't grow up with the same technologies. These resources can help.

OnGuardOnline.gov
Information on how to avoid scams, protect kids online, be smart online and secure your computer. 

SafeKids - Kids' rules for online safety.

Stand up to Cyberbullying
When you hear the word "cyberbullying," the victim and bully come to mind. What about the bystanders? These silent witnesses play a big part in the vicious circle of bullying. That's why speaking up has never been more important.

WebWiseKids.org
A unique organization that offers fun, challenging and interactive simulations based on real-life criminal cases.

Webonauts Internet Academy
Webonauts Internet Academy is a web original game for PBS KIDS GO! that gives kids 8- to 10-year-old an opportunity to have some fun while exploring what it means to be a citizen in a web-infused‚ information-rich world.

WiredSafety.org
WiredSafety is the largest and oldest online safety, education, and help group in the world.

What kind of training do school staffs undergo to ensure they are prepared for an emergency situation?
Each of our schools conduct a number of different drills several times a year so students and staff have an opportunity to practice what they need to do in different kinds of emergency situations. The exercises range from lockdown drills to fire drills.

Who takes part in these trainings?
These drills are held in cooperation with the Idaho Falls Police Department, the Bonneville Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement and emergency personnel. We invite these law enforcement agencies to take part in these drills to ensure they are very familiar with our buildings, our staff and our procedures.

After the drills, district staff and law enforcement officials do a debrief to ensure proper procedures and protocols were followed, and to identify things that could be done differently.

What happens when a school is in lockdown?
When a school goes into lockdown, teachers secure their classrooms by locking doors, turning off lights, and moving students to the safest part of the classroom. Many teachers have emergency kits that may include paper, crayons and other things that could help distract children and help keep calm them in the case of a real emergency.

During a lockdown, teams of police will move through the school, securing the building, and then will safely escort teachers and students from the building. Other school staff will follow the same procedures, remaining in their areas such as media center, offices, etc., until the police arrive. During a lockdown, staff will not answer calls or take messages. The priority is ensuring the safety and security of students.

What should parents do in case of a lockdown?
In an emergency situation, it is natural for parents to want to rush to a school or call a child to make sure they are OK. However, the best thing parents can do is to be patient and allow school staff and law enforcement officials to assess the situation, make sure children are safe, and secure the school buildings.

How will parents be notified in an emergency situation?
The district's first priority in an emergency situation is always the safety and security of students and staff, but parents will be alerted as soon as possible. Idaho Falls School District 91 has a number of communication tools that are used to notify parents in case of an emergency. They range from texts to automated phone calls to emails or news alerts, and different tools are used depending on the situation.

One of the most important things parents can do is to make sure their child's school has the most current contact information including cell phone, emergency contacts, home phone and home address. You can review and update contact information by logging into PowerSchool.

Why aren't parents contacted immediately?
Again, the district's first priority is always ensuring the safety and security of students and staff. In an emergency situation, it can take some time to alert staff, implement emergency procedures and secure buildings.

In this age of cell phones, twitter and facebook, information moves incredibly quickly. District staff will do their best to move just as quickly, but they want to make sure the information they share is accurate, useful and doesn't create unnecessary alarm.

What else is the district doing to ensure school buildings are safe and secure?

  • With the exception of our high schools, all schools have single point entry, which means there is only one entrance to the school and other doors are locked to limit access to the building. At our high schools, classes are held in some outbuildings so it's not possible to have single point entry, but even in those schools, only certain doors are open at certain times of the day.
  • The district implemented new policies a number of years ago requiring anyone visiting a school, including volunteers, to check in at the office and receive a visitor badge. This makes it easier for school staff and students to identify someone who may not be authorized to be in a school.
  • Each school has a designated "safe area" where students would have shelter and security in case of an emergency that required the evacuation of a school.
  • School counselors across the district have undergone crisis training and are available to provide help and assistance in any number of emergency situations.
  • The district is beginning a pilot project to implement keyless entry access in our schools, which would make it much easier to secure our school buildings.
  • The bond that was recently approved by patrons includes a number of projects that will improve the safety and security of our buildings including four new elementary schools specifically designed with student safety in mind.The safety and security of our students and our staff is our top priority.