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Bullying Policy

Bullying Policy (Approved by School Board 11/4/2021)

The school is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment. All school relationships are based on respect for others. Communication and all interactions should be based on maintaining the standards that the school sets. Inappropriate communications or behavior including bullying, intimidation, and harassment are detrimental to the learning environment for both student and educator. All students deserve equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment for academic success.

• Bullying, as defined in 105 ILCS 5/27- 23.7, may take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.

• Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, military status, unfavorable discharge status from military service, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender-related identity or expression, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, order of protection status, status of being homeless, or actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited in each of the following situations:

  1. During any school sponsored education program or activity.
  2. While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, or at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities.
  3. Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment.
  4. Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a nonschool-related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by school if the bullying causes
    a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school. This paragraph (item #4) applies only when a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred; it does not require staff members to
    monitor any nonschool-related activity, function, or program.

Definitions from Section 27-23.7 of the School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-23.7)

• Bullying includes cyber-bullying and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

  1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
  2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
  3. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
  4. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

• Cyber-bullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications.

• Cyber-bullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyber-bullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying.

• Restorative measures means a continuum of school-based alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions and expulsions, that: (i) are adapted to the particular needs of the school and community, (ii) contribute to maintaining school safety, (iii) protect the integrity of a positive and productive learning climate, (iv) teach students the personal and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in school and society, (v) serve to build and restore relationships among students, families, schools, and communities, and (vi) reduce the likelihood of future disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding of students’ behavioral health needs in order to keep students in school.

• School personnel means persons employed by, on contract with, or who volunteer in a school district, including without limitation: school administrators, teachers, school guidance counselors, school social workers, school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers, school resource officers, and security guards.

Bullying Prevention and Response Plan

• The Head of School or designee shall develop and maintain a bullying prevention and response plan that advances the school’s goal of providing all students with a safe learning environment free of bullying and harassment. This plan must be consistent with the requirements listed below:

  1. Bullying is contrary to state law and the policy of this school and District. However, nothing in the school’s bullying prevention and response plan is intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or under Section 3 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution. Bullying is contrary to state law and the policy of this school and District. The bullying policy is consistent with other policies of the school.
  2. Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to the Head of School or any staff member. All staff members are available for help with a bully or to make a report about bullying. The goals of any investigation and the supportive measures that follow are to correct the situation to the extent possible and prevent future repetition. Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying. A report may be made orally or in writing to the Head of School or any staff member. All staff members are available for help with a bully or to make a report about bullying. Contact information is as follows: The School’s Main Phone Number is 847-705-1234. Sara Motlagh, Head of School (and complaint manager) can be reached at 847-705-1234, ext. 301, or at motlagh@manh.org.
  3. Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, includes procedures for promptly informing parents or guardians of all students involved in the alleged incident of bullying through an in-person meeting, phone call and/or email. Discussion, as appropriate, of the availability of social work services, counseling, school psychological services, other interventions, and restorative measures will be done through a scheduled in-person meeting with the Head of School or alternatively by other agreed upon method such as phone call, Zoom meeting, Google Meet, FaceTime, etc.
  4. The school shall promptly investigate and address reports of bullying, by, among other things:
    a. Making all reasonable efforts to complete the investigation within 10 school days after the date the report of a bullying incident was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported bullying incident.
    b. Involving appropriate school support personnel and other staff persons with knowledge, experience, and training on bullying prevention, as deemed appropriate, in the investigation process.
    c. Notifying the Head of School or school administrator or designee of the reported incident of bullying as soon as possible after the report is received. When a complaint is made the Head of School or designee will determine the initial steps to protect those involved and to prevent further disruption in the learning environment. Increased supervision, separation of the involved parties or other strategies may be employed. A determination will be made as to whether the reported act of bullying is within the permissible scope of the school’s jurisdiction. An impartial, fact-finding review of the complaint will be made. All persons deemed to have knowledge of the incident(s) may be interviewed.
    d. Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, providing parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation information about the investigation and an opportunity to meet with the school administrator or his or her designee to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying.
    e. Following the determination of whether or not the complaint is substantiated and to what extent, the Head of School will determine the appropriate corrective measures to implement. Information may be shared with the school community but may be limited by confidentiality laws or privacy considerations. In certain instances, such as crime or abuse, government agencies will be appropriately notified.
    f. Interventions to address bullying may include, but are not limited to, school social work services, restorative measures, social-emotional skill building, counseling, school psychological services, and community-based services.
    g. The school will provide the victim with information regarding services that are available within the district and community, such as counseling, support services, and other programs.
  5. A reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying is prohibited. A student’s act of reprisal or retaliation will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.
  6. A student will not be punished for reporting bullying or supplying information, even if the school investigation concludes that no bullying occurred. However, knowingly making a false accusation or providing knowingly false information will be treated as bullying for purposes of determining any consequences or other appropriate remedial actions.
  7. The school bullying prevention and response plan is based on the engagement of a range of school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians not limited to those who serve on the Board, PTO, and other such like groups.
  8. The school shall post this policy on the school’s website, if any, and include it in the student handbook, and, where applicable, post it where other policies, rules, and standards of conduct are currently posted. The policy must be distributed annually to parents/guardians, students, and school personnel (including new employees when hired) and must also be provided periodically throughout the school year to students and faculty.

• The policy shall be evaluated annually to assess outcomes and effectiveness including but not limited to, factors such as: the frequency of victimization; student, staff, and family observations of safety at the school; identification of areas where bullying occurs; the types of bullying that are common or occurring; and bystander intervention or participation. The evaluation process may use relevant data and information that the school already collects for other purposes. The school must post the information developed as a result of the policy evaluation on the school’s website, the information must be provided to school administrators, Board members, school personnel, parents/guardians, and students. Any updated and/or corrected policy will be uploaded to the school’s website for approval. The date of Board approval will be displayed. The website posting shall be in addition to the policy inclusion within school handbooks

Bullying/Safety Tip Line

• MANH Bullying/Safety Tip Line (847-705-1234, ext. 301) provides parents and students with an additional option to report bullying and/or other safety concerns within their campus. Similar to making a report in person or over the phone, when making an online report, please include as much detailed information as possible because doing so will greatly assist administrators in investigating and addressing the concern(s).

• Although it is usually best to speak directly with an administrator when making a report about bullying and/or other safety concerns at your school, sometimes students and parents are not comfortable doing so. Toward that end, this tool also allows for anonymous reporting.

• Please keep in mind that online reports received outside of school hours will not be reviewed and acted upon until school is back in session. With that said, if your concern(s) require(s) immediate attention, please contact local law enforcement.

Freeman West

1250 Freeman Road

Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

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Freeman East

1200 Freeman Road

Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

  847-705-1234 Learn More & Get Directions

Huntington

3805 Huntington Blvd.

Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

  847-705-1234 Learn More & Get Directions