Bullying behavior by any student in the Eastford School is strictly prohibited, and such conduct may result in disciplinary action, including suspension and/or expulsion from school. Bullying outside of the school setting may also be addressed if it has a direct and negative impact on a student’s academic performance or safety in school.
Pursuant to Public Act 11-232, the definition of “bullying” has been expanded. “Bullying” means the repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic communication, such as cyberbullying, directed at or referring to another student attending school in the same school district, or a physical act or gesture by one or more students repeatedly directed at another student attending school in the same school district, that:
1) causes physical or emotional harm to such student or damage to such student’s property;
2) places such student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property;
3) creates a hostile environment at school for such student;
4) infringes on the rights of such student at school; or
5) substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
Bullying which occurs outside of the school setting may be addressed by school officials if it has a direct and negative impact on a student’s academic performance of safety in school. Such behavior will result in disciplinary action.
Bullying shall include, but not be limited to, a written, verbal or electronic communication or physical act or gesture based on any actual or perceived differentiating characteristics, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, or mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics.
For purposes of Board of Education policy, "Cyberbullying" means any act of bullying through the use of the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, cellular mobile telephone or other mobile electronic devices or any electronic communications.
Students and/or parents may file verbal or written complaints concerning suspected bullying behavior. Students may also make an informal complaint of conduct that they consider to be bullying by verbal report to a teacher or administrator, who will promptly reduce the complaint to writing and forward it to the Building Principal for review and action. Anonymous complaints about bullying may be sent to the principal, however, the new statute prohibits disciplinary actions based solely on the basis of an anonymous report of bullying. Forms for reporting bullying incidents are available from any staff member and on the school’s website.
If acts of bullying are verified, prompt disciplinary action may be taken against the perpetrator, consistent with his/her rights of due process.
There are three programs which are most often used in the state that come from
the federally approved Title IV (Safe and Drug Free Schools) “research based” or
“promising” program list. These three are Second Step: A Violence Prevention
Curriculum; Life Skills Training; and Social Decision Making and Problem
Solving. A large number of responders indicated that they also use programs
outside of those on the federally approved list.
Eastford Elementary School has dedicated one period per week for discussing Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum with students.