Administrative Response to a Report of Bullying, Intimidation or Harassment
The principal shall promptly investigate all reports of bullying. If the principal determines that bullying has occurred, discipline shall be administered pursuant to Board Policies and the Guidelines for Student Rights and Responsibilities to ensure that such conduct stops. Regardless of the outcome of the investigation the principal or other school administrator will meet with the involved students to review the findings of the investigation. Subject to the restrictions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) set out in Policy JR, the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the involved students shall also be informed of the findings of the investigation.
Q: What is bullying?
A: The district's Guidelines for Student Rights & Responsibilities' definition: "Bullying is the repeated intimidation of students by the real or threatened infliction of physical, verbal, written, electronically transmitted, or emotional abuse, or through attacks on the property of another. It may include, but not be limited to actions such as verbal taunts, name-calling and put-downs, including ethnically based or sex or gender-based verbal put-downs, and extortion of money or possessions. Bullying can be physical in form (e.g., pushing, hitting, kicking, spitting, stealing); verbal (e.g., making threats, taunting, teasing, name-calling); non-verbal/ cyber-bullying (e.g., text messages, email, social networking-such as, but not limited to 'Twitter'); or psychological (e.g., social exclusion, spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships)."
Q: How many reports of bullying incidents does Tucson Unified have?
A: As of Nov. 17, 2016, the district has 34 reported incidences of bullying.
Q: What happens when a bullying accusation is made?
A: The district investigates every report of bullying. This investigation may include talking to students, teachers, other school staff. Once the investigation is complete, the principal makes a determination of whether bullying occurred and determines next steps.
Q: What are the possible steps?
A: Principals work to find the best solutions for all children involved and are guided by the Guidelines for Student Rights and Responsibilities. The primary concern is the safety of children and our campuses. Disciplinary action is determined by the results of the investigation with the well-being of all involved being a driving factor.
Q: If I report that my child is bullied, how do I know the administration took it seriously and did something about it?
A: Once the investigation is complete, all parties can be told the finding of the investigation. If bullying is found, all parents/guardians of children involved can be told whether disciplinary action occurred. Parents cannot be told the details of any disciplinary action or other information pertaining to children other than their own because of the restrictions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Q: What if the bullying doesn't stop?
A: Please report any subsequent problems as soon as possible. Each reported incident will be investigated fully.
Q: Why can't the district just expel students who are bullies?
A: As a public school district, Tucson Unified is required to educate all children who enroll. While discipline for bullying may include exclusionary actions such as removal from the classroom or out-of-school suspension, only Level 5 offenses as defined by the Guidelines for Student Rights and Responsibilities (such as aggravated assault, some drug-related activities, threats to schools, robbery, burglary) are actions subject to expulsion.
Q: I've heard media reports with parents upset about bullying issues. Are these accurate?
A: When a parent or guardian feels that a child is being bullied, it is understandable to want swift and definitive action. Federal law prevents anyone in the district from discussing details about particular incidents with anyone outside of the child's family/guardian. The district is always willing to speak with reporters when asked and can often provide context in terms of policies and procedures.
Q: What if I don't want my child to remain in an environment I feel is unsafe while this investigation happens? Or what if I think my school isn't doing enough and I want my child to leave?
A: Your principal can help you find information about transferring your child to other classes or to another school if that is something you want to pursue.
Q: What is Tucson Unified doing to prevent bullying?
A: Tucson Unified has strict anti-bullying policies. The district is working with an outside consultant to refine disciplinary policies overall, including handling of bullying issues. Also, school counselors work with students on bullying prevention throughout the year, and we put the spotlight on the issue during National Bullying Prevention Month in October. In addition, the district is working to develop a hotline for reporting bullying. A written form (JICK-E1) is available on the Tucson Unified website. Spanish version of JICK-E1
Q: What is the chain of command when it comes to bullying reports?
A: Start with principal. Next would be the leadership office for your school level (Elementary/K-8 or Secondary, which is middle and high schools) and then the superintendent.
Q: Who can I contact if I can't get the help I need?
A: Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This email is monitored by staff members who can try to connect you with people who can help.