Student Safety – Bullying and Harassment

Bullying and harassment are prohibited and will not be tolerated in Indian River County schools. Students are expected to report such incidents to school authorities, and offenders will be disciplined.

Students are strictly prohibited from making direct or indirect threats of extreme violence against individuals or groups. Any threat of such violence should be reported immediately to a teacher or school administrator.

All threats of extreme violence (oral, written, electronic, or symbolic) will be reported to law enforcement and vigorously investigated.

A student found to have made a threat of extreme violence is subject to disciplinary consequences, up to and including: suspension, expulsion, arrest, and prosecution.

Bullying means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. It is further defined as unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by a student or adult, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation; and may involve but is not limited to: teasing, social exclusion, threat, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, theft, sexual, religious, or racial harassment, public humiliation, or destruction of property.

Harassment means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:

1. Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property

2. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits

3. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school

Bullying and harassment also encompasses:

1. Retaliation against a student or school employee by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying or harassment. Reporting an act of bullying or harassment that is not made in good faith is considered retaliation.

2. Perpetuation of conduct listed in the definition of bullying or harassment by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause emotional or physical harm to a student or school employee by:

a) Incitement or coercion

b) Accessing or knowingly and willingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the district school system

c) Acting in a manner that has an effect substantially similar to the effect of bullying or harassment.

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