SECTION 8: CLASSIFIED PERSONNEL

8.20 CLASSIFIED PERSONNEL SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The Pulaski County Special School District is committed to providing an academic and work environment that treats all students and employees with respect and dignity. Student achievement and amicable working relationships are best attained in an atmosphere of equal educational and employment opportunity that is free of discrimination. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that undermines the integrity of the educational and work environment and will not be tolerated.

The District believes the best policy to create an educational and work environment free from sexual harassment is prevention; therefore, the District shall provide informational materials and training to students, parents/legal guardians/other responsible adults, and employees on sexual harassment. The informational materials and training on sexual harassment shall be age-appropriate and, when necessary, provided in a language other than English or an accessible format. The informational materials and training shall include, but are not limited to:

  • the nature of sexual harassment;

  • The District’s written procedures governing the formal complaint grievance process;

  • The process for submitting a formal complaint of sexual harassment;

  • That the district does not tolerate sexual harassment;

  • That students and employees can report inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature without fear of adverse consequences;

  • The supports that are available to individuals suffering sexual harassment; and

  • The potential discipline for perpetrating sexual harassment.

Definitions

“Complainant” means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

“Education program or activity” includes locations, events, or circumstances where the District exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs.

“Formal complaint” means a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting an investigation of the allegation of sexual harassment.

“Respondent” means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment” means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. A District employee:

  1. Conditions the provision of aid, benefit, or service of the District on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct; or

  2. Uses the rejection of unwelcome sexual conduct as the basis for academic decisions affecting that individual;

  1. The conduct is:

  1. Unwelcome; and

  2. Determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the District’s education program or activity; or

  3. Constitutes:

  4. Sexual assault;

  5. Dating violence

  6. Domestic violence; or

  7. Stalking.

“Supportive measures” means individualized services that are offered to the complainant or the respondent designed to restore or preserve equal access to the District’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party. The supportive measures must be non-disciplinary and non-punitive in nature; offered before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed; and offered to either party as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge. Examples of supportive measures include, but are not limited to: measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the District’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment; counseling; extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments; modifications of work or class schedules; campus escort services; mutual restrictions on contact between the parties; changes in work or class locations; leaves of absence; and increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus.

Within the educational environment, sexual harassment is prohibited between any of the following: students; employees and students; non-employees and students; employees; and employees and non-employees.

Actionable sexual harassment is generally established when an individual is exposed to a pattern of objectionable behaviors or when a single, serious act is committed. What is, or is not, sexual harassment will depend upon all of the surrounding circumstances and may occur regardless of the sex(es) of the individuals involved. Depending upon such circumstances, examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Making sexual propositions or pressuring for sexual activities;

  • Unwelcome touching;

  • Writing graffiti of a sexual nature;

  • Displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials;

  • Performing sexual gestures or touching oneself sexually in front of others;

  • Telling sexual or crude jokes;

  • Spreading rumors related to a person’s alleged sexual activities;

  • Discussions of sexual experiences;

  • Rating other students as to sexual activity or performance;

  • Circulating or showing emails or websites of a sexual nature;

  • Intimidation by words, actions, insults, or name-calling; and

  • Teasing or name-calling related to sexual characteristics or the belief or perception that an individual is not conforming to expected gender roles or conduct or is homosexual, regardless of whether or not the student self-identifies as homosexual or transgender.

Employees who believe they have been subjected to sexual harassment are encouraged to submit a report to their immediate supervisor, an administrator, or the Title IX coordinator. Under no circumstances shall an employee be required to first report allegations of sexual harassment to a school contact person if that person is the individual who is accused of sexual harassment. If the District staff member who received a report of alleged sexual harassment is not the Title IX Coordinator, then the District staff person shall inform the Title IX Coordinator of the alleged sexual harassment. As soon as reasonably possible after receiving a report of alleged sexual harassment from another District staff member or after receiving a report directly through any means, the Title IX Coordinator shall contact the complainant to:

  • Discuss the availability of supportive measures;

  • Consider the complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures;

  • Inform the complainant of the availability of supportive measures with or without the filing of a formal complaint; and

  • explain to the complainant the process for filing a formal complaint.

Supportive Measures

The District shall offer supportive measures to both the complainant and respondent that are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the District’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. The District shall provide the individualized supportive measures to the complainant unless declined in writing by the complainant and shall provide individualized supportive measures that are non-disciplinary and non-punitive to the respondent. A complainant who initially declined the District’s offer of supportive measures may request supportive measures at a later time and the District shall provide individualized supportive measures based on the circumstances when the subsequent request is received.

Formal Complaint

A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by email. Upon receipt of a formal complaint, a District shall simultaneously provide the following written notice to the parties who are known:

  • Notice of the District’s grievance process and a copy of the procedures governing the grievance process;

  • Notice of the allegations of sexual harassment including sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview. Sufficient details include:

  • The identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known;

  • The conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment; and

  • The date and location of the alleged incident, if known;

  • A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process;

  • That the parties may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney;

  • That the parties may inspect and review evidence relevant to the complaint of sexual harassment; and

  • That the District’s personnel policies and code of conduct prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.

If in the course of an investigation, the District decides to investigate allegations about the complainant or respondent that are not included in the previous notice, the District shall simultaneously provide notice of the additional allegations to the parties whose identities are known.

The District may consolidate formal complaints of allegations of sexual harassment where the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances and the formal complaints are against more than one respondent, or by more than one complainant against one or more respondents; or by one party against the other party. When the District has consolidated formal complaints so that the grievance process involves more than one complainant or more than one respondent, references to the singular “party”, “complainant”, or “respondent” include the plural, as applicable.

When investigating a formal complaint and throughout the grievance process, a District shall:

  • Ensure that the burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility rest on the District and not on the parties;

  • Not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege or access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in the professional’s or paraprofessional’s capacity, or assisting in that capacity, and which are made and maintained in connection with the provision of treatment to the party unless the District obtains the parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult of that party’s voluntary, written consent of that party’s voluntary, written consent of the party is over the age of eighteen (18) to do so for the grievance process;

  • Provide an equal opportunity for the parties to present witnesses, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence;

  • Not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence;

  • Provide the parties with the same opportunities to have others present during any grievance proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and not limit the choice or presence of advisor for either the complainant or respondent in any meeting or grievance proceeding;

  • Provide, to a party whose participation is invited or expected, written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all hearings, investigative interviews, or other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate;

  • Provide both parties an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint so that each party can meaningfully respond to the evidence prior to the conclusion of the investigation; this includes evidence:

  • Whether obtained from a party or other source;

  • The District does not intend to rely upon in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; and

  • That is either Inculpatory or exculpatory; and

  • Create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence.

At least ten (10) days prior to completion of the investigative report, the District shall send to each party and the party’s advisor, if any, the evidence subject to inspection and review in an electronic format or a hard copy. The parties shall have at least ten (10)3 days to submit a written response to the evidence. The investigator will consider the written responses prior to the completion of the investigative report. All evidence subject to inspection and review shall be available for the parties’ inspection and review at any meeting to give each party equal opportunity to refer to such evidence during the meeting.

After the investigative report is sent to the parties, the decision-maker shall:

  • Provide each party the opportunity to submit written, relevant questions that a party wants asked of any party or witness;

  • Provide each party with the answers;

  • Allow for additional, limited follow-up questions from each party; and

  • Provide an explanation to the party proposing the questions any decision to exclude a question as not relevant. Specifically, questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent.

Following the completion of the investigation period, the decision-maker, who cannot be the same person as the Title IX Coordinator or the investigator, shall issue a written determination regarding responsibility. The written determination shall include—

  1. Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment;

  2. A description of the procedural steps taken from the receipt of the formal complaint through the determination, including:

  1. Any notifications to the parties;

  2. Interviews with parties and witnesses;

  3. site visits;

  4. Methods used to gather other evidence; and

  5. Hearings held;

  1. Findings of fact supporting the determination;

  2. Conclusions regarding the application of the District’s personnel policies or code of conduct to the facts;

  3. A statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including:

  1. A determination regarding responsibility;

  2. Any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the respondent; and

  3. Whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the District’s education program or activity will be provided by the District to the complainant; and

  1. The procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal.

The written determination shall be provided to the parties simultaneously. The determination regarding responsibility shall become final on the earlier of:

  • If an appeal is not filed, the day after the period for an appeal to be filed expires; or

  • If an appeal is filed, the date the written determination of the result of the appeal is provided to the parties.

The District shall investigate the allegations in a formal complaint. If the conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment as defined in this policy even if proved; did not occur in the District’s education program or activity; or did not occur against a person in the United States, then the District shall dismiss the complaint as not meeting the definition of sexual harassment under this policy. A dismissal for these reasons does not preclude action under another provision of the District’s personnel policies or code of conduct.

The District may dismiss the formal complaint or any allegations therein, if at any time during the grievance process:

  • The complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein;

  • The respondent is no longer enrolled at the District; or

  • Specific circumstances prevent the District from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.

Upon the dismissal of a formal complaint for any reason, the District shall promptly send written notice of the dismissal and reason(s) for the dismissal simultaneously to the parties.

The District may hire an individual or individuals to conduct the investigation or to act as the determination-maker when necessary.

Appeals

Either party may appeal a determination regarding responsibility or from a dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations therein, on the following bases:

  1. The existence of a procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;

  2. Discovery of new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter;

  3. The Title IX Coordinator, investigator, or decision-maker had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter; or

  4. An appeal of the disciplinary sanctions from the initial determination.

For all appeals, the District shall:

  1. Notify the other party in writing when an appeal is filed;

  2. Simultaneously Provide all parties a written copy of the District’s procedures governing the appeal process;

  3. Implement appeal procedures equally for both parties;

  4. Ensure that the decision-maker for the appeal is not the same person as the decision-maker that reached the original determination regarding responsibility or dismissal, the investigator, or the Title IX Coordinator;

  5. Provide all parties a reasonable, equal opportunity to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging, the outcome;

  6. Issue a written decision describing the result of the appeal and the rationale for the result; and

  7. Provide the written decision simultaneously to both parties.

Confidentiality

Reports of sexual harassment, both informal reports, and formal complaints, will be treated in a confidential manner to the extent possible. Limited disclosure may be provided to:

  • individuals who are responsible for handling the District’s investigation and determination of responsibility to the extent necessary to complete the District’s grievance process;

  • Submit a report to the child maltreatment hotline;

  • Submit a report to the Professional Licensure Standards Board for reports alleging sexual harassment by an employee towards a student; or

  • The extent necessary to provide either party due process during the grievance process.

Except as listed above, the District shall keep confidential the identity of:

  • Any individual who has made a report or complaint of sex discrimination;

  • Any individual who has made a report or filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment;

  • Any complainant;

  • Any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination;

  • Any respondent; and

  • Any witness.

Any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent shall be kept confidential to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality does not impair the ability of the District to provide supportive measures.

Administrative Leave

The District may place a non-student employee respondent on administrative leave during the pendency of the District’s grievance process.

Retaliation Prohibited

Employees who submit a report or file a formal complaint of sexual harassment,; testified; assisted; or participate or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing on sexual harassment shall not be subjected to retaliation or reprisal in any form, including threats; intimidation; coercion; discrimination; or charges for personnel policy violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or formal complaint of sex discrimination and are made for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege under this policy. The District shall take steps to prevent retaliation and shall take immediate action if any form of retaliation occurs regardless of whether the retaliatory acts are by District officials, students, or third parties.

Disciplinary Sanctions

It shall be a violation of this policy for any student or employee to be subjected to or to subject another person to, sexual harassment. Following the completion of the District’s grievance process, any employee who is found by the evidence to more likely than not have engaged in sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. No disciplinary sanction or other action that is not a supportive measure may be taken against a respondent until the conclusion of the grievance process.

Employees who knowingly fabricate allegations of sexual harassment or purposely provide inaccurate facts shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. A determination that the allegations do not rise to the level of sexual harassment alone is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a false allegation or materially false statement in bad faith.

Records

The District shall maintain the following records for a minimum of seven (7) years:

  • Each sexual harassment investigation including:

  • Any determination regarding responsibility;

  • any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the respondent;

  • Any remedies provided to the complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the District’s education program or activity;

  • Any appeal and the result therefrom;

  • All materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, and decision-makers;

  • Any actions, including any supportive measures, taken in response to a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, which must include:

  • The basis for the District’s conclusion that its response was not deliberately indifferent; and

  • Document:

  • If supportive measures were provided to the complainant, the supportive measures taken designed to restore or preserve equal access to the District’s education program or activity; or

  • If no supportive measures were provided to a complainant, document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.

Cross References: 3.26Licensed Personnel Sexual Harassment

4.27 Student Sexual Harassment

5.20 District Website

7.15 Record Retention and Destruction

8.13 Classified Personnel Employment

Legal References:20 USC 1681 et seq.

34 C.F.R. Part 106

A.C.A. § 6-15-1005 (b) (1)

A.C.A. § 6-18-502

A.C.A. § 12-18-102

Date Adopted:12/8/2020

8.23.1 CLASSIFIED PERSONNEL COVID EMERGENCY LEAVE

In accordance with Commissioner’s Memo COM-21-014, the District provides up to an additional ten (10) days of paid leave for its employees who meet both of the following requirements:

  1. The employee is ordered by the District, a medical professional, or the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 for one of the following reasons:

  2. Testing positive for COVID-19;

  3. Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or

  4. Is a probable close contact or close contact.; and

  5. The employee’s job duties are not able to be performed remotely.

Upon notification that an employee has received a quarantine or isolation order, The District shall review whether the employee has applicable leave remaining under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and this policy.

  • If an employee has applicable leave under the FFCRA and this policy:

  • The District shall ask the employee if the employee wishes to use the applicable FFCRA leave or the COVID Emergency Leave first;

  • The District shall use available leave under the FFCRA first if the employee is unable or unwilling to make an alternative selection;

  • The District shall use the employee’s leave selection until the earlier of the expiration of the quarantine or isolation order or the exhaustion of the employee’s selected leave;

  • The District shall automatically switch the employee to the other form of leave, if available, should the employee’s quarantine or isolation order last longer than the employee’s selected leave; and

  • The District shall automatically switch the employee to another form of applicable District provided paid leave, if available, should the employee’s quarantine or isolation order last longer than the employee’s available leave under the FFCRA or this policy.

  • If an employee has applicable leave under the FFCRA or this policy but not both:

  • The District shall use the employee’s available leave until the earlier of the expiration of the quarantine or isolation order or the exhaustion of the employee’s available leave; and

  • The District shall automatically switch the employee to another form of applicable District provided paid leave, if available, should the employee’s quarantine or isolation order last longer than the employee’s available leave under the FFCRA or this policy.

  • If an employee has no leave remaining under this policy or applicable leave under the FFCRA, then the District shall use another form of applicable District provided paid leave, if available.

An employee who receives COVID Emergency Leave shall be paid the employee’s full daily rate of pay for up to ten (10) days. The ten (10) days of COVID Emergency Leave may, but is not required to, run consecutively. An employee shall not have days charged against the number the employee is eligible for under this policy for days when the employee is not expected to perform duties, such as holidays. The ten (10) days of paid leave provided under this policy shall be used for eligible leave before other forms of District provided paid leave are used, including sick leave, personal leave, and vacation.

An employee shall not be eligible to receive the ten (10) days of paid leave under this policy due to:

  • The need to care for another individual due to the individual’s positive COVID test, quarantine order, or isolation order; or

  • The closure of the school or place of care of the employee’s child.

An employee’s eligibility to receive paid leave under this policy expires on the earlier of:

  1. Governor Hutchinson or the Arkansas General Assembly declares an end to the COVID-19 state of emergency; or

  2. The expiration of the FFCRA or the expiration of the subsequent Federal Act, if any, extending the provisions of the FFCRA.

Cross References:

  • 8.5 Classified Personnel Sick Leave

  • 8.7 Classified Personnel Personal and Professional

  • Leave

  • 8.23 Classified Personnel Family Medical Leave Act

  • Legal References: Commissioner’s Memo COM-21-014

  • 29 C.F.R. Part 826

Date Adopted: 9/8/2020

8.26 CLASSIFIED PERSONNEL RESPONSIBILITIES GOVERNING BULLYING

Definitions

“Attribute” means an actual or perceived personal characteristic including without limitation race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, socioeconomic status, academic status, disability, gender, gender identity, physical appearance, health condition, or sexual orientation;

“Bullying” means the intentional harassment, intimidation, humiliation, ridicule, defamation, or threat or incitement of violence by a student against another student or public school employee by a written, verbal, electronic, or physical act that may address an attribute of the other student, public school employee, or person with whom the other student or public school employee is associated and that causes or creates actual or reasonably foreseeable:

  • Physical harm to a public school employee or student or damage to the public school employee's or student's property;

  • Substantial interference with a student's education or with a public school employee's role in education;

  • A hostile educational environment for one (1) or more students or public school employees due to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the act; or

  • Substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment;

Examples of “Bullying” include, but are not limited to, a pattern of behavior involving one or more of the following:

  1. Cyberbullying;

  2. Sarcastic comments “compliments” about another student’s personal appearance or actual or perceived attributes,

  3. Pointed questions intended to embarrass or humiliate,

  4. Mocking, taunting or belittling,

  5. Non-verbal threats and/or intimidation such as “fronting” or “chesting” a person,

  6. Demeaning humor relating to a student’s actual or perceived attributes,

  7. Blackmail, extortion, demands for protection money or other involuntary donations or loans,

  8. Blocking access to school property or facilities,

  9. Deliberate physical contact or injury to person or property,

  10. Stealing or hiding books or belongings,

  11. Threats of harm to student(s), possessions, or others,

  12. Sexual harassment, as governed by policy 8.20, is also a form of bullying, and/or

  13. Teasing or name-calling related to sexual characteristics or the belief or perception that an individual is not conforming to expected gender roles or conduct or is homosexual, regardless of whether the student self-identifies as homosexual or transgender (Examples: “Slut”, “You are so gay.”, “Fag”, “Queer”).

“Cyberbullying” means any form of communication by electronic act that is sent with the purpose to:

  • Harass, intimidate, humiliate, ridicule, defame, or threaten a student, school employee, or person with whom the other student or school employee is associated; or

  • Incite violence towards a student, school employee, or person with whom the other student or school employee is associated.

Cyberbullying of School Employees includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Building a fake profile or website of the employee;

  2. Posting or encouraging others to post on the Internet private, personal, or sexual information pertaining to a school employee;

  3. Posting an original or edited image of the school employee on the Internet;

  4. Accessing, altering, or erasing any computer network, computer data program, or computer software, including breaking into a password-protected account or stealing or otherwise accessing passwords of a school employee;

  5. Making repeated, continuing, or sustained electronic communications, including electronic mail or transmission, to a school employee;

  6. Making, or causing to be made, and disseminating an unauthorized copy of data pertaining to a school employee in any form, including without limitation the printed or electronic form of computer data, computer programs, or computer software residing in, communicated by, or produced by a computer or computer network;

  7. Signing up a school employee for a pornographic Internet site; or

  8. Without authorization of the school employee, signing up a school employee for electronic mailing lists or to receive junk electronic messages and instant messages.

Cyberbullying is prohibited whether or not the cyberbullying originated on school property or with school equipment, if the cyberbullying results in the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school or educational environment or is directed specifically at students or school personnel and maliciously intended for the purpose of disrupting school and has a high likelihood of succeeding in that purpose.

“Harassment” means a pattern of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct relating to another person's constitutionally or statutorily protected status that causes, or reasonably should be expected to cause, substantial interference with the other's performance in the school environment; and

“Substantial disruption” means without limitation that any one or more of the following occur as a result of the bullying:

  • Necessary cessation of instruction or educational activities;

  • Inability of students or educational staff to focus on learning or function as an educational unit because of a hostile environment;

  • Severe or repetitive disciplinary measures are needed in the classroom or during educational activities; or

  • Exhibition of other behaviors by students or educational staff that substantially interfere with the learning environment.

Teachers and other school employees who have witnessed, or are reliably informed that, a student has been a victim of bullying as defined in this policy, including a single action which if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, shall report the incident(s) to the building principal, or designee, as soon as possible.

The person or persons reporting behavior they consider to be bullying shall not be subject to retaliation or reprisal in any form.

District staff are required to help enforce implementation of the district’s anti-bullying policy. Students who bully another person are to be held accountable for their actions whether they occur on school equipment or property; off school property at a school-sponsored or school-approved function, activity, or event; going to or from school or a school activity in a school vehicle or school bus; or at designated school bus stops. Students are encouraged to report behavior they consider to be bullying, including a single action which if allowed to continue would constitute bullying, to their teacher or the building principal. The report may be made anonymously.

A building principal, or designee, who receives a credible report or complaint of bullying shall:

  1. As soon as reasonably practicable, but by no later than the end of the school day following the receipt of the credible report of bullying:

    1. Report to a parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of a student, or person standing in loco parentis of a student that their student is the victim in a credible report of bullying; and

    2. Prepare a written report of the alleged incident of bullying;

  1. Promptly investigate the credible report or complaint of bullying, which shall be completed by no later than the fifth (5th) school day following the completion of the written report.

  2. Notify within five (5) days following the completion of the investigation the parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of a student, or person standing in loco parentis of a student who was the alleged victim in a credible report of bullying whether the investigation found the credible report or complaint of bullying to be true and the availability of counseling and other intervention services.

  3. Notify within five (5) days following the completion of the investigation the parent, legal guardian, person having lawful control of the student, or person standing in loco parentis of the student who is alleged to have been the perpetrator of the incident of bullying:

    1. That a credible report or complaint of bullying against their student exists;

    2. Whether the investigation found the credible report or complaint of bullying to be true;

    3. Whether action was taken against their student upon the conclusion of the investigation of the alleged incident of bullying; and

    4. Information regarding the reporting of another alleged incident of bullying, including potential consequences of continued incidents of bullying;

  4. Make a written record of the investigation, which shall include:

    1. A detailed description of the alleged incident of bullying, including without limitation a detailed summary of the statements from all material witnesses to the alleged incident of bullying;

    2. Any action taken as a result of the investigation; and

  5. Discuss, as appropriate, the availability of counseling and other intervention services with students involved in the incident of bullying.

District employees are held to a high standard of professionalism, especially when it comes to employee-student interactions. Actions by a District employee towards a student that would constitute bullying if the act had been performed by a student shall result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. This policy governs bullying directed towards students and is not applicable to adult on adult interactions. Therefore, this policy does not apply to interactions between employees. Employees may report workplace conflicts to their supervisor.In addition to any disciplinary actions, the District shall take appropriate steps to remedy the effects resulting from bullying.

Legal References: A.C.A. § 6-18-514

DESE Rules Governing Student Discipline and School Safety

Date Adopted: 12-8-2020

8.34 CLASSIFIED PERSONNEL WHO ARE MANDATORY REPORTERS DUTY TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE, MALTREATMENT OR NEGLECT

It is the statutory duty of classified school district employees who are mandatory reporters to:

  • If the classified employee has reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment to directly and personally report these suspicions to the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline, by: calling 1-800-482-5964; by calling the child maltreatment hotline at 1-800-482-5964 and submitting a report through fax to the child maltreatment hotline; or if the employee can demonstrate that the child maltreatment, neglect, or abuse is not an emergency, then the employee may notify the child maltreatment hotline through submission of a fax only. Failure to report suspected child abuse, maltreatment or neglect rough the Hotline can lead to criminal prosecution and individual civil liability of the person who has this duty. Notification of local or state law enforcement does not satisfy the duty to report; only notification by means of the Child Abuse Hotline discharges this duty.

  • If the classified employee has a good faith belief that there is a serious and imminent threat to the public based on a threat made by an individual regarding violence in or targeted at a school that has been communicated to the classified employee in the ordinary course of his/her professional duties, then the classified employee shall make every attempt to immediately notify law enforcement of the serious and imminent threat to the public and have notified law enforcement within twenty-four (24) hours of learning of the serious and imminent threat to the public.

The duty to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment is a direct and personal duty for statutory mandatory reporters, and cannot be assigned or delegated to another person. There is no duty to investigate, confirm or substantiate statements a student may have made which form the basis of the reasonable cause to believe that the student may have been abused or subjected to maltreatment by another person; however, a person with a duty to report may find it helpful to make a limited inquiry to assist in the formation of a belief that child abuse, maltreatment or neglect has occurred, or to rule out such a belief.

Employees and volunteers who notify the Child Abuse Hotline in good faith are immune from civil liability and criminal prosecution.

By law, no school district or school district employee may prohibit or restrict an employee or volunteer from directly reporting suspected child abuse or maltreatment, or a serious and imminent threat to the public, or require that any person notify or seek permission from any person before making a report to the Child Abuse Hotline or law enforcement.

The Superintendent will establish procedures necessary to accomplish the intent of the policy and of the law.

Legal References:
A.C.A. § 12-18-107
A.C.A. § 12-18-201 et seq. 
A.C.A. § 12-18-302
A.C.A. § 12-18-402

Date Adopted: 8/8/17

Revised: 3/10/20