The Board is committed to providing a safe, positive learning environment for district students. The Board recognizes that bullying creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, detracts from the safe environment necessary for student learning, and may lead to more serious violence. Therefore, the Board prohibits bullying by district students.
Bullying means an intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act or series of acts directed at another student or students, which occurs in a school setting that is severe, persistent or pervasive and has the effect of doing any of the following:
- Substantially interfering with a student’s education.
- Creating a threatening environment.
- Substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
Bullying, as defined in this policy, includes cyberbullying.
School setting means in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.
The Board prohibits all forms of bullying by district students.
The Board encourages students who believe they or others have been bullied to promptly report such incidents to the building principal or designee.
Students are encouraged to use the district’s report form, available from the building principal, or to put the complaint in writing; however, oral complaints shall be accepted and documented. The person accepting the complaint shall handle the report objectively, neutrally and professionally, setting aside personal biases that might favor or disfavor the student filing the complaint or those accused of a violation of this policy.
The Board directs that verbal and written complaints of bullying shall be investigated promptly, and appropriate corrective or preventative action be taken when allegations are substantiated. The Board directs that any complaint of bullying brought pursuant to this policy shall also be reviewed for conduct which may not be proven to be bullying under this policy but merits review and possible action under other Board policies.
Title IX Sexual Harassment and Other Discrimination
Every report of alleged bullying that can be interpreted at the outset to fall within the provisions of policies addressing potential violations of laws against discrimination shall be handled as a joint, concurrent investigation into all allegations and coordinated with the full participation of the Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator. If, in the course of a bullying investigation, potential issues of discrimination are identified, the Title IX Coordinator shall be promptly notified, and the investigation shall be conducted jointly and concurrently to address the issues of alleged discrimination as well as the incidents of alleged bullying.
Confidentiality: Confidentiality of all parties, witnesses, the allegations, the filing of a complaint and the investigation shall be handled in accordance with applicable law, regulations, this policy and the district’s legal and investigative obligations.
Retaliation: Reprisal or retaliation relating to reports of bullying or participation in an investigation of allegations of bullying is prohibited and shall be subject to disciplinary action.
Each student shall be responsible to respect the rights of others and to ensure an atmosphere free from bullying.
The Superintendent or designee shall develop administrative regulations to implement this policy.
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that this policy and administrative regulations are reviewed annually with students.
The Superintendent or designee, in cooperation with other appropriate administrators, shall review this policy every three (3) years and recommend necessary revisions to the Board.
District administration shall annually provide the following information with the Safe School Report:
- Board’s Bullying Policy.
- Report of bullying incidents.
- Information on the development and implementation of any bullying prevention, intervention or education programs.
The Code of Student Conduct, which shall contain this policy, shall be disseminated annually to students.
This policy shall be accessible in every classroom. The policy shall be posted in a prominent location within each school building and on the district website.
The district (may/shall) develop, implement and evaluate bullying prevention and intervention programs and activities. Programs and activities shall provide district staff and students with appropriate training for effectively responding to, intervening in and reporting incidents of bullying.
Consequences for Violations: A student who violates this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action consistent with the Code of Student Conduct, which may include:
- Counseling within the school.
- Parental conference.
- Loss of school privileges.
- Transfer to another educational option, classroom or school bus.
- Exclusion from school-sponsored activities.
- SAP Referral.
The Deer Lakes School District takes incidences of harassment and bullying very seriously. The following definition of harassment and elements of bullying will be enforced. Response to infractions will be addressed as Level I, II, or III and in accordance with the Discipline chart upon investigation.
Bullying is characterized by the following three criteria:
- It is aggressive behavior or intentional "harm doing"
- It happens when someone with more power unfairly and intentionally hurts someone with less power. The hurt may be physical, social, or emotional.
- It is carried out repeatedly and over time.
Harassment: (defined) with intent to annoy, harass or alarm another
- He/she strikes, shoves, kicks, or subjects to physical contact or attempts to threaten to do so.
- He/she follows a person in or out of a public place.
- He/she engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purposes.
The Board strives to provide a safe, positive learning climate for students in the schools. Therefore, it shall be the policy of the district to maintain an educational environment in which harassment in any form is not tolerated.
The Board prohibits all forms of unlawful harassment of students and third parties by all district students and staff members, contracted individuals, vendors, volunteers, and third parties in the schools. The Board encourages students and third parties who have been harassed to promptly report such incidents to the designated employees.
The Board directs that complaints of harassment shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action be taken when allegations are substantiated. Confidentiality of all parties shall be maintained, consistent with the district's legal and investigative obligations. No reprisals nor retaliation shall occur as a result of good faith charges of harassment. For purposes of this policy, harassment shall consist of verbal, written, graphic or physical conduct relating to an individual's race, color, national origin/ethnicity, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion when such conduct:
- Is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it affects an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment.
- Has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic performance.
- Otherwise adversely affects an individual's learning opportunities.
The Board supports use of the district’s computers, Internet and other network resources in the district's instructional and operational programs in order to facilitate learning, teaching and daily operations through interpersonal communications and access to information, research and collaboration. This policy represents the district's good faith efforts to promote the safe, ethical, responsible, and legal use of the Internet, computers and network resources; support the effective use of the district’s Internet, computers and network resources for educational purposes; protect users against potential dangers in their use of the Internet, computers and network resources; and ensure accountability. The district provides students, staff and other authorized individuals with access to the district’s computers, electronic communication systems and network, which includes Internet access, whether wired or wireless, or by any other means. The district's Internet system has a limited educational purpose, which includes use of the system for classroom activities, continuing education, and professional or career development. The district’s Internet system has not been established as a public access system or public forum. The district reserves the right to place restrictions on use to ensure its limited educational purpose. Students may not use the system for personal or commercial purposes. Staff may use the system for personal purposes if such use is limited, but not commercial purposes. Staff may use the district Internet system for communications related to collective bargaining and union organizational activities. For instructional purposes, the use of Internet, computers and network resources shall be consistent with the curriculum adopted by the district as well as the varied instructional needs, learning styles, abilities, and developmental levels of students.
At Deer Lakes, we strive to promote a strong partnership between home and school. As such, we welcome your visits to our schools. The students enjoy having you here as well. However, in order to maintain the best possible environment for students, we would like to remind you of our procedures. The district is also requesting that any parent/guardian who needs to meet with a teacher must make an appointment through the School Office. Also, the district is requesting that all visitors who are volunteering at the school must show picture identification to the office secretary. Additionally, any item that is brought to the school for a student must be left in the building's main office and cannot be delivered by the parent/guardian to the classroom. These steps are being implemented to provide the district better control of the people who enter our building on a daily basis, and, most importantly, to protect the safety and well-being of the children in our care.
Persons wishing to visit a school should make arrangements in advance with the school office in that building. Upon arrival at the school, visitors must register at the office where they will sign in and sign out, receive a badge, and receive instructions. After the start of the school day, only one (1) entrance shall be used by visitors to the school. All other entrances shall be locked. All staff members shall be responsible for requiring a visitor demonstrate that s/he has a visitor’s badge. No visitor may confer with a student in school without the approval of the principal.
The Board recognizes the value of a program of interscholastic athletics as an integral part of the total school experience for all district students and as a conduit for community involvement. The program fosters the growth of school loyalty within the student body as a whole and stimulates community interest. The game activities and practice sessions provide opportunities to teach the values of competition, sportsmanship, and teamwork.
The Board further adopts those eligibility standards set by the Constitution of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.
The Board directs that no student may participate in interscholastic athletics who has not:
- Met the requirements for academic eligibility.
- Complied with the requirements of the regulations for organized school groups, as stipulated in the student handbook, and Board policies and administrative regulations related to student discipline.
- Maintained a record of academic proficiency sufficient to ensure that participation in interscholastic athletic activities will not interfere with academic achievement.
- Attended school regularly.
- Been in attendance on the day of the athletic event or practice for the hours required.
- Returned all school athletic equipment previously used. Off-Campus Activities
This policy shall also apply to student conduct that occurs off school property and would otherwise violate the Student Code of Conduct if any of the following circumstances exist:
- The conduct occurs during the time the student is traveling to and from school or traveling to and from school-sponsored activities, whether or not via school district furnished transportation.
- The student is a member of an extracurricular activity and has been notified that particular off-campus conduct could result in exclusion from such activities.
- Student expression or conduct materially and substantially disrupts the operations of the school, or the administration reasonably anticipates that the expression or conduct is likely to materially and substantially disrupt the operations of the school.
- The conduct has a direct nexus to attendance at school or a school sponsored activity, for example, a transaction conducted outside of school pursuant to an agreement made in school, which would violate the Student Code of Conduct if conducted in school.
- The conduct involves the theft or vandalism of school property.
- There is otherwise a nexus between the proximity or timing of the conduct in relation to the student's attendance at school or school-sponsored activities.
Each school year, prior to participation in an interscholastic athletic activity, every student athlete and his/her parent/guardian shall sign and return the acknowledgement of receipt and review of the following:
- A Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury Information Sheet.
- Sudden Cardiac Arrest Symptoms and Warning Signs Information Sheet.
School Board Policies
In addition to the School Board Policies listed throughout this handbook, the Deer Lakes School District is required to inform students and parents of the following policies: