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Guide to Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying

 

What is Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying?

We abbreviate Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying as "HIB." HIB is a form of victimization that intentionally harms a student or their property and seriously interferes with attendance, grades, learning or participation in school activities. It is almost always one-sided and focused on hurting or humiliating someone. HIB can be committed by a single person or a group of people.

 

I Reported HIB - What Happens Next?

First, your school leaders must decide if what has been reported is HIB or peer conflict. They ask, “If this report is true, does it meet the State definitions for harassment, intimidation or bullying?” The State Legislature and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction have provided us with these definitions to determine if HIB has occurred:

 

Sometimes HIB Involves More than Bullying


Usually, the daily conflict we see between peers doesn’t meet the state definitions for HIB. Reports of HIB that don't meet these definitions are considered “peer conflict” and we turn to our District Handbook and discipline policy for guidance.

 

Peer conflict happens in everyday life and can look like anything from a disagreement to an argument or even a physical fight. Peer conflict is typically mutual and spontaneous rather than being one-sided or ongoing. Your school leaders will consider factors like a student’s age, developmental abilities, and intentions before deciding on the right course of action for HIB or Peer Conflict.

 

What Happens if it is HIB?

Whether your child is the victim or the aggressor, a school leader will notify you within two days if they’re going to proceed with a HIB investigation. They’ll provide you with our HIB Policy and Procedure, and will ask you if your child needs any temporary supportive measures put in place while they are investigating.

 

Depending on the severity of the harassment, intimidation or bullying, your school leaders may also take emergency disciplinary action, including in- or out-of-school suspension, to keep everybody safe during the investigation; however, students alleged to be bullies have rights that prevent us from taking final action until after the HIB investigation is finished.

 

In the event that an occurrence of HIB appears to be a crime, school district officials may report the incident to law enforcement.

 

What Happens During an Investigation?

Your school leaders will review all available evidence, including security footage if it is available, to determine if the report of HIB is true. They’ll also separately interview involved students, witnesses and teachers who may have seen the HIB when it happened.

 

Your school leaders may find out that sexual harassment or discriminatory harassment occurred. If so, they’ll pause their investigation to get guidance from our Title IX (Sexual Harassment) or Civil Rights (Discriminatory Harassment) Coordinator. Sometimes, the Title IX or Civil Rights Coordinator may directly reach out to you before we resume the HIB investigation.

 

When the investigation has finished your school leaders will send you a Notification Letter about their findings. If your child was the victim, the letter will include the supportive measures being put in place to prevent this from happening again. If your child committed the bullying behavior, your letter will include a description of supportive and disciplinary measures that will happen to keep everybody safe.

 

What are the Consequences for Bullying Behavior?

Although this is often very frustrating for parents, our school district is not allowed to talk with you about another student’s supports or discipline. This is because the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects that student’s information from being revealed to you, or information about your child from being revealed to someone else without your permission.

 

While we can't share exactly what is being done with another child, we can share the of range of supports and disciplinary options we use to keep kids safe.

 

Please note: While classroom changes are the most requested form of protection and discipline, this strategy is reserved for only the most severe incidents

 

 

Who Do I Contact if I Have Questions?

For school or student-specific questions, it is recommended that you reach out to the school administrator. School contact information can be found here.
 

If you have general questions related to district-wide HIB prevention and response procedures, please reach out to:
Joe Neigel, Director of Prevention Services
neigelj@monroe.wednet.edu
(360) 804-2594
 

If you have questions about discriminatory harassment, please reach out to:
Dan Johnston, Executive Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator/Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator
johnstond@monroe.wednet.edu
(360) 804-2539