Some people have been asking for a cyber bullying policy so here is the policy the Georgia Cumberland Academy has developed – courtesy of Ernest Staats

Cyber Bullying Policy
GCA strives to provide a safe, positive learning climate for students. Therefore, it shall be the policy of GCA to maintain an educational environment in which bullying and cyber bullying in any form are not tolerated.

All forms of bullying and cyber bullying by school district students are hereby prohibited.  Anyone who engages in bullying or cyber bullying in violation of this Policy shall be subject to appropriate discipline.

Students who have been bullied or cyber bullied shall promptly report such incidents to any staff member. Complaints of bullying or cyber bullying shall be investigated promptly, and corrective action shall be taken when a complaint is verified.  Neither reprisals nor retaliation shall occur as a result of the submission of a complaint.

GCA shall annually inform students that bullying or cyber bullying of students will not be tolerated.

Definitions:

Bullying shall mean unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct directed at a student by another student that has the effect of:

  1. Physically, emotionally or mentally harming a student;
  2. Damaging, extorting or taking a student’s personal property;
  3. Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical, emotional or mental harm;
  4. Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property; or
  5. Creating an intimidating or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities.

Cyber bullying includes, but is not limited to, the following misuses of technology:  harassing, teasing, intimidating, threatening, or terrorizing another student or staff member by way of any technological tool, such as sending or posting inappropriate or derogatory email messages, instant messages, text messages, digital pictures or images, or website postings (including blogs) which has the effect of:

  1. Physically, emotionally or mentally harming a student;
  2. Placing a student in reasonable fear of physical, emotional or mental harm;
  3. Placing a student in reasonable fear of damage to or loss of personal property; or
  4. Creating an intimidating or hostile environment that substantially interferes with a student’s educational opportunities.

All forms of bullying are unacceptable and, to the extent that such actions are disruptive of the educational process of GCA, offenders shall be subject to appropriate staff intervention, which may result in administrative discipline.

The term “bullying” and “cyber bullying” shall not be interpreted to infringe upon a student’s right to engage in legally protected speech or conduct.

Delegation of Responsibility:

  • Each staff member shall be responsible to maintain an educational environment free of bullying and cyber bullying.
  • Each student shall be responsible to respect the rights of his/her fellow students and to ensure an atmosphere free from all forms of bullying and cyber bullying.
  • Students shall be encouraged to report bullying or cyber bullying complaints to any staff member.
  • Any staff member who receives a bullying or cyber bullying complaint shall gather information or seek administrative assistance to determine if bullying or cyber bullying has occurred.  The principal or his/her designee will inform the parents or guardians of the victim and also the parents or guardians of the accused.

Complaint Procedure:

  • A student shall report a complaint of bullying or cyber bullying, orally or in writing, to a staff member. If a parent initiates the complaint, the appropriate staff member will follow-up with the student.
  • The staff member will either gather the information or seek administrative assistance to determine if the alleged bullying or cyber bullying conduct occurred.

A violation of this Policy shall subject the offending student to appropriate disciplinary action, consistent with the student discipline code, which may include suspension, expulsion or notification to the appropriate authorities.