Arlyn Bullying Prevention Plan

POLICY:

Preventing Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment

Revised July, 2, 2021

Bullying, intimidation, and harassment interfere with student learning and disrupts Arlyn School’s ability to fulfill its mission to build a safe, therapeutic, student-centered learning community. Arlyn School and its constituents are committed to cultivating and maintaining a learning environment that does not reinforce bullying, intimidation, or harassment, but encourages openness, tolerance, selflessness, understanding, extraordinary kindness, and respect.

“Bullying,” including “cyber-bullying,” is any severe or pervasive 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, or harm to property;
    causing a substantially detrimental effect on a student’s physical or mental health;
    substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance; or
  • substantially interfering with a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by Arlyn
  • 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.

Interventions:
Interventions may be provided, as needed, to the parties involved in the bullying, may include but are not limited to school counseling, social work services, restorative measures, and social emotional skill building.

Retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying is strictly prohibited. Any act of retaliation or reprisal will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining interventions and consequences according to this Policy. A student will not be consequenced for reporting bullying or supplying information, even if an investigation concludes that no bullying occurred.

Knowingly making a false accusation or knowingly providing false information will be treated as bullying.

Administration will conduct a thorough bullying investigation. Ongoing clinical support and/or intervention is provided to involved students and parents.

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 transportation vehicles, 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 the school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or the orderly operation of a school. This paragraph (item #4) applies only when a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred; it does not require staff members to monitor any non-school-related activity, function, or program.

An investigation of a bullying report shall first determine whether a reported act of bullying is within the permissible scope of Arlyn school’s jurisdiction. If it is determined that a bullying incident occurred outside of the scope of Arlyn School’s jurisdiction, the victim will be provided with information regarding services that are available in the student’s/ complainant’s community, such as counseling, support services, and other programs.
The Administrative Team and school staff shall develop and maintain a program that fully implements and enforces each of the following policies:

1. Harassment of Students is Prohibited: Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, physical appearance, order of protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited.

2. Student Discipline: This policy prohibits students from engaging in any form of aggressive behavior that does physical or psychological harm to another, or urging other students to engage in such conduct. Prohibited conduct includes use of violence, force, noise, coercion, threats, intimidation, fear, harassment, bullying, hazing, or other conduct deemed to impinge upon another’s well-being.

3. Restriction on Publications and Written or Electronic Material. This policy prohibits students from:
accessing and/or distributing at school, any written or electronic material, including material from the Internet, that will cause substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities;
distributing written or electronic material, including Internet content, that causes substantial disruption to school operations, or interferes with the rights of students or staff.

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, 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 web-page 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 enumerated 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.

4. Examines conditions that underlie bullying, intimidation, and harassment, and implements responses designed to eliminate or prevent these disruptive behaviors.

5. Strives to extend responses to bullying beyond traditional punitive disciplinary actions. Restorative measures means a continuum of school-based alternatives to exclusionary discipline, 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.

6. Includes curriculum in bullying prevention and character instruction for all grades in accordance with state law and school policy. This includes incorporating student social-emotional development in curriculum and student policy.

7. Fully informs staff of Arlyn’s goal to prevent students from engaging in bullying, and clearly articulates measures being used to accomplish this goal: communicates the expectation–and the State law requirement–that teachers and other employees maintain an appropriate level of discipline; establishes a process for staff members to fulfill their obligation to report alleged bullying, intimidation, harassment, and actual or threatened violence.

8. Encourages all stakeholders, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, to report alleged bullying, intimidation, harassment, and actual or threatened violence.

9. Engages students, parents, guardians, and stakeholders in the remediation of bullying behavior. Arlyn policy–and state law–indicate that parents/guardians be notified whenever their child engages in behavior that violates bullying policy. Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, the Administrative Team or designee shall promptly inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) of every student involved in an alleged incident of bullying and discuss, as appropriate, the availability of school social work services, restorative measures, social-emotional skill building, counseling, school psychological services, and community-based services.

10. Communicates to the student body an expectation of proper regard for the rights and welfare of all. This includes a process for commending and acknowledging students for demonstrating appropriate and exemplary behavior.

11. Annually communicates policy and information to all students and parents/guardians explaining the serious disruption caused by bullying, intimidation, or harassment, and states these behaviors are unacceptable in any form and will be taken seriously.

12. Establishes a process for monitoring, collecting, and analyzing appropriate data on the nature and extent of bullying at Arlyn; assesses the effectiveness of the various strategies, programs, and procedures; reports the results of this assessment to the Board of Directors, and provides a system allowing students and staff to make recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of this policy.

13. Complies with State and federal law. The policy will be updated every 2 years after its initial adoption, and will be filed with the Illinois State Board of Education after the Arlyn Board of Directors adopts or updates it.

14. Provides documents and policies for reporting bullying, including but not limited to, identifying staff or persons responsible for receiving reports of bullying, and a procedure for anonymous reporting. A report may be made orally or in writing to the Administrative Team or any staff member with whom the student is comfortable speaking. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report it to the Administrative Team or any staff member.

Reports of bullying including anonymous reports of bullying may be reported to the Clinical Director, Educational Director, Executive Director, or Associate Director by calling the main phone number: 847-256-7117 or emailing office@arlynschool.org. You may also download and email a bullying reporting form from the “forms and documents” section of the Arlyn School website.

  • Full implementation of the above policy includes:
  • Conducting a prompt (within 10 days) and thorough investigation of alleged incidents of bullying, intimidation, or harassing behavior;
  • Tracking and reporting incidents of bullying and/or intimidation;
  • Remediating violations of these policies with appropriate consequences assigned to the aggressor, and providing appropriate assistance to the aggressed;
  • Protecting students against retaliation for reporting conduct that violates this policy.
    Providing school social work services, restorative measures, social-emotional skill building, counseling, and school psychological services.

Nothing in the District’s 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.

Policy Evaluation:

The Arlyn School administrative team will oversee evaluation and assessment of the policy’s outcomes and effectiveness on an annual basis. This process shall include, but is not limited to, factors such as:

1. The frequency of victimization.
2. Student, staff, and family observations of safety at a school.
3. Identification of areas of a school where bullying occurs.
4. The types of bullying being acted out.
5. Bystander intervention or participation.

The evaluation process may use relevant data such as internal incident reports collected for other purposes. The information developed as part of the evaluation process is presented to the Arlyn Board of Directors.

This policy is fully consistent with all Arlyn School policies and its mission statement.