Stafford County Public Schools is committed to creating a safe, caring, respectful learning environment for all students. Bullying of students occurring in the schools is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. For the purposes of the policy, “school” includes school buildings, school grounds, and school-sponsored social events, trips, sporting events, buses, and bus stops. Reported incidents of bullying will be investigated promptly and thoroughly by school administration.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying is a pattern of aggressive, intentional or deliberately hostile behavior that occurs repeatedly and over time. Bullying behaviors normally fall into three categories, physical, emotional, and verbal, and may include, but are not limited to, intimidation, assault; extortion; oral or written threats; teasing; putdowns; name-calling; threatening looks; gestures, or actions; rumors; false accusations; hazing, social isolation, and cyber-bullying.
1. Student Instruction/Awareness
Bullying behaviors are unacceptable. Ongoing instruction is to be provided through the Character Education and other instruction programs in the k-12 Stafford County Public Schools curriculum.
2. Staff Awareness/Action
School personnel shall receive in-service training on anti-bullying policy to ensure a consistent approach is adopted on a division-wide basis. The school administration requires all staff members who observe, suspect, or become aware of an act of bullying to immediately notify an administrator.
3. Student/Parent Action
The school system encourages students and parents who become aware of an act of bullying to immediately report the incident(s) to a school administrator for further investigation. Any student who retaliates against another for reporting bullying will also be subject to consequences.
All students shall be informed of their right to protection against bullying behaviors and the right to file a complaint if they believe they have been the victim of bullying behavior. School administrators are responsible for investigating each complaint, determining if the complaint is legitimate in accordance with the above definition, and taking appropriate corrective action. Any student (be they the victim or the bystander) may initiate a complaint by completing a confidential reporting form and returning it to a building administrator.
Intervention and Consequences
Reports of bullying are taken seriously and shall be dealt with quickly and effectively. If a student is found guilty of bullying behavior the consequences shall depend on both the results of the investigation and the severity of the incident. Consequences may include but are not limited to mediation, a parent conference, counseling, suspension, expulsion, or referral to local law enforcement agency.