Buncombe County School Board Policy #464
STUDENT BULLYING, HAZING, AND DISCRIMINATION
It is the policy of the Buncombe County Board of Education that students should not be subjected to forms of bullying, hazing, or discrimination while attending school or school-sponsored activities. Furthermore the policy’s intent is to address this issue in a proactive manner through the establishment of a system for educating students and staff at the school level regarding the identification, prevention, intervention, and reporting of such anti-social acts. An integrated curricular effort at the K-12 levels should enhance efforts of awareness through programs of character education and prevention of school violence.
The responsibility for effective prevention and response to acts of bullying, hazing, and discrimination lies within a collaborative effort of administrators, teachers, school staff, students, parents, school communities, and appropriate community support agencies. The process at the school level to establish educational procedures and programs should include a comprehensive representation of the participants identified above. Within such programs and procedures a focus shall be placed on training school staff and students regarding the recognition and reporting of incidents through a systematic process respective of state and federal laws.
For the purposes of this policy the following definitions have been provided:
Bullying: Bullying is deliberately hurtful behavior repeated often over a period of time or on isolated occasions, where a student or group of students deliberately intimidate, threaten or harass another student. Acts of bullying may be psychological or physical in nature and occur in the form of written, spoken, or gestured words. Examples of these behaviors include but are not limited to taunting, intimidation, cyber harassment, rumor spreading, extortion of money or personal items, and playing abusive tricks.
Hazing: GS 14-35. It is unlawful for any student in attendance at any university, college, or school in this State to engage in hazing, or to aid or abet any other student in the commission of this offense. For the purpose of this section hazing is defined as follows: “to subject another student to physical injury as part of an initiation, or as a prerequisite to membership into any organized school group, including any society, athletic team, fraternity or sorority, or other similar group.” Any violation of this section shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor.
Discrimination: Discrimination is the act of insulting or demeaning any student or group of students based upon actual or perceived characteristics or race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or a mental, physical, or sensory disability.
If a student believes that he or she has been subjected to forms of bullying, hazing, or discrimination whether verbal, written, visual, or physical, the student should immediately report the situation to the school principal at the school he attends. If for any reason, the student is not comfortable reporting to the school principal, then the complaint should be reported to the Associate Superintendent for the Buncombe County School system. This individual may be contacted by calling the Buncombe County Schools Administrative Offices at 255-5879.
Inherent within this policy is the prohibition of reprisal or retaliation against any individual who is involved in the reporting of acts associated with bullying, hazing, or discrimination.
The principal will initiate an investigation of the complaint to take place as soon as possible. The student and his parents or guardian shall be notified of the results of the investigation and what, if any, disciplinary action the school system shall take against the individual accused of bullying, hazing, or discrimination.
The principal is responsible for reporting and documenting verified acts of bullying or hazing on the Annual School Violence Report. Responsibility also extends to providing students, parents, and school staff access to Policy 464 and relevant procedures in writing. All Buncombe County employees shall report any known violations of this policy to the school principal or the Associate Superintendent.