Preventionof and Response to Bullying and Other Aggressive Behaviors
Bullying (as defined below) diminishes a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Such conduct interferes with a student’s educational environment, safety and academic performance. Preventing students from engaging in these aggressive and disruptive behaviors and providing all students equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment are important Kiefer School goals.
Students are expected to act respectfully toward their peers and to avoid bullying and aggressive behaviors in their interactions with other students. Kiefer School prohibits and will not tolerate aggressive student behavior, including bullying conduct of any type or on any basis, as defined below. Further, Kiefer School will protect students against retaliation for reporting incidents of aggressive behavior and bullying, and will take disciplinary action against any student who participates in such conduct.
Bullying includes cyber-bullying and means any physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
- Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by a school.
Bullying may take various forms including, without limitation, one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is not meant to be an exhaustive list.
Aggressive conduct toward other students that is not severe or pervasive shall not be deemed as bullying, but may constitute gross disobedience or misconduct leading to discipline.
Cyber-bullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system or photo-optical system, including without limitation, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects listed in the definition of bullying. Cyber- bullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying.
Restorativemeasuresmeans a continuum of school-based measures, such as suspensions and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining school safety, (iii) protect the integrity of a positive and productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in school and society, (v) serve to build and restore relationships among students, families, schools and communities and (vi) reduce the likelihood of future disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding of students’ behavioral health needs in order to keep students in school.
School personnel means persons employed by Kiefer School or who volunteer at Kiefer School including, without limitation, school administrators, teachers, school therapists, teacher assistants, 1:1 aides, crisis staff, school nurses, cafeteria workers and custodians.
In addition, bullying is prohibited on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, military status, unfavorable discharge status from the military service, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability or marital status; association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics; or any other distinguishing characteristic.
Bullying is prohibited in each of the following situations:
- During any school-sponsored education program or activity
- While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities
- Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network or other similar electronic school equipment
- Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a non-school-related location, activity, function or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by Kiefer School if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school. This paragraph (item #4) applies only in cases in which a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred. It does not require Kiefer School to monitor any non-school related activity, function or program.
Bullying Prevention and Response Plan
Kiefer School administration or designee shall develop and maintain a bullying prevention and response plan that advances Kiefer School’s goal of providing all students with a safe learning environment free of bullying and harassment. This plan must be consistent with the requirements listed below, which reflect the required policy components in 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7(b).
- Bullying is contrary to State law and the policy of Kiefer School. However, nothing in the bullying prevention and response plan is intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or under Section 3 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution.
- Making a Report or Complaint: Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to Kiefer School's Administration or any staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. Anyone, including staff members, parents/guardians, who have information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report it to Kiefer School administration or any staff member. Anonymous reports are also accepted. District Leadership will insert and update into this policy the names, office addresses, and contact information for the District’s Non Discrimination Coordinators
Non-Discrimination Coordinator/Human Resources
Mr. Ron Hasinger, Vice President of Human Resources
2130 N. Knoxville Avenue
Peoria, IL 61603
Mr. Dan Ramos, Director of Education Mrs. Lydia Jones, Principal
404 NE Madison Ave. 404 NE Madison Ave.
Peoria IL 61603 Peoria IL 61603
- Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, Kiefer School's Administration or designee shall promptly inform the parents/guardians of every student involved in an alleged incident of bullying and discuss, as appropriate, the availability of clinical services and other interventions.
- Kiefer School's Administration or designee shall promptly investigate and address reports of bullying by, among other things:
- Making all reasonable efforts to complete the investigation within 10 school days after the date the report of a bullying incident was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported bullying incident.
- Involving appropriate school support personnel and other staff persons with knowledge, experience and training on bullying prevention, as deemed appropriate, in the investigation process.
- Notifying the Vice President of Education as soon as possible after the report is received.
- Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, providing parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation information about the investigation and an opportunity to meet with Vice President of Education to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigations and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying.
Kiefer School shall use interventions to address bullying that may include, but are not limited to, social-emotional skill building, counseling, and community-based services.
- A reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying isprohibited.A student’s act of reprisal or retaliation will be met with disciplinary consequences and appropriate remedial actions consistent with this policy.
- A student will not be punished for reporting bullying or supplying information, even if the investigation concludes that no bullying occurred. However, knowingly making a false accusation or providing knowingly false information will be met with disciplinary consequences and appropriate remedial actions.
- The bullying prevention and response plan must be based on the engagement of a range of school stakeholders including students and parents/guardians.
- This policy shall be included in the student handbook; and, where applicable, posted where other policies, rules and standards of conduct are currently posted. The policy also must be distributed annually to parents/guardians, students and school personnel, including new employees when hired.
- Kiefer School's Administration shall review and re-evaluate this policy and make necessary and appropriate revisions every two years and file its updated policy with the Illinois State Board of Education. Kiefer School's administration shall evaluate and assess this policy’s outcomes and effectiveness. This process shall include, without limitation:
- The frequency of victimization;
- Student, staff and family observations of safety at a school;
- Identification of areas of a school where bullying occurs:
- The types of bullying utilized; and
- Bystander intervention or participation.
The evaluation process may include the use of relevant data and information that Kiefer School already collects for other purposes. Kiefer School shall post the information developed as a result of the policy evaluation on Kiefer School's website, or if a website is not available, the information must be provided to school administrators, referral districts, school personnel, parents/guardians and students.
LEGAL REF: 405ILCS49/, Children’s Mental Health Act
105 ILCS 5/10-20.14, 5/24-24 and 5/27-23.7
23Ill. Admin. Code 1.240 and 1.280