Learning environments that are safe and supportive can increase student attendance and improve academic achievement. A student’s ability to learn and achieve high academic standards, and a school’s ability to educate students, is compromised by incidents of discrimination or harassment, including but not limited to bullying, taunting and intimidation. Therefore, in accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act, an environment free of discrimination and harassment is of paramount importance. Students must exhibit behavior that promote positive educational practices, allow appropriate social and academic growth, and encourage healthy dialogue in respectful ways.
All forms of discrimination and harassment of students and staff based on actual or perceived race, color, weight, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, disability, sexual orientation, gender or sex by school employees or students on school property and at school-sponsored activities and events that take place at locations off school property is hereby strictly prohibited. In addition, any act of discrimination or harassment, outside of school sponsored events, which can reasonably be expected to materially and substantially disrupt the education process may be subject to discipline.
Students in grades kindergarten through 12 and parents shall strive to learn and teach civility, citizenship and character education. Students must exhibit the principles of honesty, tolerance, personal responsibility, respect for others, observance of laws and rules, courtesy, dignity and other traits which will enhance the quality of their experiences in, and contributions to, the community. For the purposes of this policy, “tolerance,” “respect for others” and “dignity” shall include awareness and sensitivity to discrimination or harassment and civility in the relations of people of different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, mental or physical abilities, sexual orientations, genders and sexes. Character education is the deliberate effort to help students understand, care about and act upon core ethical values. Such education must begin at each home.
Character education shall include: Honesty; tolerance; personal responsibility; respect for others; awareness and sensitivity to discrimination and/or harassment as defined in the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA); civility in relation to people of different races, weights, national origins, ethnic groups, religions, religious practices, physical or mental abilities, sexual orientations, genders or sexes; observance of laws and rules; courtesy; and dignity, and other traits which will enhance the quality of students’ experiences in, and contributions to, the community.
Rules against discrimination and harassment are included in the Code of Conduct, publicized district-wide and disseminated to all staff and parents. An age-appropriate summary shall be distributed to all students at a school assembly at the beginning of each school year.
The district will investigate all complaints of harassment and discrimination, either formal or informal, and take prompt corrective measures, as necessary. Complaints will be investigated in accordance with applicable policies and regulations. If, after an appropriate investigation, the district finds that the policy has been violated, corrective action will be taken in accordance with district policies and regulations, the Code of Conduct and all appropriate federal or state laws.
Any person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a student has been subjected to discrimination or harassment by an employee or student, who acts reasonably and in good faith and reports such information to school officials or law enforcement authorities, shall have immunity from any civil liability that may arise from making such report. The district prohibits any retaliatory behavior directed at complainants, victims, witnesses and/or any other individuals who participated in the investigation of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. The District's Dignity Act coordinators are:
- Building Principals
- Assistant Principal (Middle/High School)
- Julie Russo (Fletcher)
- Marie Burger (Riverview/Mullen)
- Mary Beth Scullion (District)