Updated Bullying Policy 2023
PROHIBITION OF BULLYING
Bullying, including cyberbullying, is strictly prohibited and Chaparral Star Academy may implement a variety of different techniques – both educational and disciplinary in nature – in order to eliminate bullying between students.
Chaparral Star Academy is committed to providing a caring friendly, school environment for all of our students so they can learn in a safe and secure learning atmosphere. Bullying of any kind is unacceptable at our school. If bullying does occur, all students should be able to speak up and know that their bullying incident report will be dealt with promptly and effectively. We are a TELLING school. This means that anyone who knows that bullying is happening is expected to tell a staff member.
The district strives to prevent bullying, in accordance with the district’s policies, by promoting a positive school culture; building healthy relationships between students and staff; encouraging reporting of bullying incidents, including anonymous reporting; and investigating and addressing reported bullying incidents.
DEFINITION OF BULLYING
Bullying is defined in state law as a single significant act or a pattern of acts by one or more students directed at another student that exploits an imbalance of power and involves engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that:
- Has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or of damage to the student’s property;
- Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student;
- Materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school; or
- Infringes on the rights of the victim at
Bullying includes cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined in state law as bullying that is done using any electronic communication device, including:
- A cellular or other type of telephone
- A computer
- A camera
- Electronic mail
- Instant messaging
- Text messaging
- A social media application
- An internet website
- Any other internet-based communication tool.
Bullying is prohibited by the district and could include:
- Demands for money
- Destruction of property
- Theft of valued possessions
In making a determination of whether or not a situation meets with the definition of bullying, Chaparral Star Academy administration will use the Bullying Checklist for Schools from the Texas School Safety Center.
APPLICABILITY OF POLICY
Students may face disciplinary consequences for bullying conduct that:
- occurs on or is delivered to school property or to the site of a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property;
- occurs on a publicly or privately owned school bus or vehicle being used for transportation of students to or from school or a school-sponsored or school-related activity; or
- is considered cyberbullying that occurs off school property or outside of a school-sponsored or school-related activity, if the cyberbullying interferes with a student’s educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.
Bullying can occur by physical contact or through electronic means and may include, by way of example, teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting, threatening to cause harm, leaving someone out on purpose, spreading rumors, embarrassing someone in public, hitting, kicking, tripping, destruction of property, taking someone’s property, or making mean or rude hand gestures.
Upon publication by the Texas Education Agency, the Board will review and revise this policy to incorporate the minimum standards for anti-bullying policies under Education Code 37.0832(c-1).
BULLYING PREVENTION POLICY
Chaparral Star Academy will execute the following programs in an effort to prevent bullying:
- CSA staff will receive annual training on recognition/presentation of bullying practices.
- A bullying behavior chart outlining the physical, emotional, and social forms of bullying will be distributed to each CSA instructor. Teachers will discuss the chart with students and mount the chart for classroom display (in every classroom).
- During October of each school year, a designated staff member will visit English classrooms at all grade levels to provide a lesson on bully prevention and appropriate methods for conflict resolution.
- CSA instructors will be asked to make a literature selection appropriate for their grade level that portrays bullying and its negative effects.
Chaparral Star Academy will integrate into instruction research-based content designed to reduce bullying that is appropriate for students’ age groups.
Students in elementary grades will participate in:
- Instruction designed so that students can recognize bullying behaviors and how to report them;
- Age-appropriate discussions that encourage peers to intervene when they observe bullying occur; and
- Instruction that characterizes bullying as a behavior that results from the student’s need to acquire more mature social or coping skills, not an unchangeable trait.
Students in secondary grades will participate in:
- Instruction on the brain’s ability to change and grow so the student recognizes bullying behavior can come from a developmental need to acquire more social skills, can change when the brain matures and learns better ways of coping, and is not an unchangeable trait;
- Discussions that portray bullying as undesirable behavior and a means for attaining or maintaining social status at school, and that discourage students from using bullying as a tool for social status; and
- Instruction designed so that students recognize the role that reporting bullying behaviors plays in promoting a safe school community.
CSA will use an age-appropriate survey regarding school culture that includes relevant questions on bullying to identify and address student concerns.
CSA has a committee that addresses bullying by focusing on prevention efforts and health and wellness initiatives. The committee will include parents and secondary students. For more information on this committee, including interest in serving on the committee, contact Principal/Superintendent Marsha Hagin.
Chaparral Star Academy prohibits retaliation against any person, including a victim, witness, or another person who, in good faith, provides information concerning an incident of bullying.
Examples of retaliation include threats, rumor spreading, ostracism, assault, destruction of property, or unwarranted grade reductions / unjustified punishment by staff members.
Students are encouraged to report an alleged incident of bullying immediately to administration, or to any teacher, counselor, and principal or other campus employee. Reports may be made orally or in writing, and reports may be made anonymously via the school’s website. Students or parents may contact administration to obtain a form that may be used to submit the report, but use of a form is not required to make a report. Refer to a Chaparral Star Academy Administrator for additional information. No student or other person shall retaliate against any other student or other person who reports bullying. The school will promptly launch an investigation into the reported incident pursuant to Chaparral Star Academy’s bullying policy.
The school will notify the parent(s) of the alleged victim on or before the third business day after the incident is reported and the parent(s) of the alleged bully within a reasonable amount of time after the incident pursuant to Chaparral Star Academy’s bullying policy.
The principal or a designated staff member may report acts of bullying that constitute assault or harassment to the local law enforcement office.
Any CSA employee who suspects or receives notice that a student or group of students has or may have experienced bullying and/or cyberbullying shall immediately notify the Principal/Superintendent or Principal/Superintendent’s designee.
A student who intentionally makes a false claim, offers false statements, or refuses to cooperate with a CSA investigation regarding bullying and/or cyberbullying shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
INVESTIGATION OF REPORT & DISTRICT RESPONSE
The Principal/Superintendent or Principal/Superintendent’s designee shall determine whether the allegations in the report, if proven, would constitute prohibited discrimination and/or harassment, and if so proceed under the Chaparral Star Academy Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Policies & Procedures (including investigation of reports other than Title IX) instead.
The Principal/Superintendent or Principal/Superintendent’s designee shall conduct an appropriate investigation based on the allegations in the report, and shall take prompt interim action calculated to prevent bullying during the course of the investigation, if appropriate.
Absent extenuating circumstances, the investigation should be completed within ten business days from the date of the initial report. However, the Principal/Superintendent or Principal/Superintendent’s designee shall take additional time if necessary to complete a thorough investigation.
Following completion of the investigation, the Principal/Superintendent or Principal/Superintendent’s designee will prepare a written decision regarding the complaint. If the results of an investigation indicate that bullying and/or cyberbullying occurred, Chaparral Star Academy shall promptly respond by taking appropriate disciplinary or corrective action reasonably calculated to address the conduct in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. This may include, in certain circumstances, notifying law enforcement.
Chaparral Star Academy may take action based on the results of an investigation, even if Chaparral Star Academy concludes that the conduct did not rise to the level of bullying and/or cyberbullying as defined in this policy.
Students who engage in certain bullying behavior may be expelled from Chaparral Star Academy, as further discussed in the Student Code Conduct. Any student who, after an investigation, is found to be a victim of bullying and used reasonable self-defense in response to the bullying will not be subject to disciplinary action on the basis of the student’s reasonable use of self-defense.
Discipline for bullying of a student with disabilities must comply with applicable requirements under federal law, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
To the greatest extent possible, CSA shall respect the privacy of the complainant, persons against whom a report is filed, and witnesses. Limited disclosures may be necessary in order to conduct a thorough investigation.
A parent or student who is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation may appeal under CSA Governing Board Policy (e.g. Grievance Policy).
The district will provide research-based interventions, which may include counseling options, for students who engage in bullying behaviors, students who are targeted by bullying behaviors, and any student who witnessed bullying behaviors.
Any action taken in response to bullying will comply with state and federal law regarding students with disabilities.
ACCESS TO POLICY
Information regarding this policy shall be distributed annually to CSA employees and included in the Student Handbook, which is published on the school’s website. Copies of the policy shall be readily available at the front desk.
REPORT TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
The Principal/Superintendent or the Principal/Superintendent’s designee may make a report to local law enforcement officials if, after an investigation is completed, the Principal/Superintendent or the Principal/Superintendent’s designee has reasonable grounds to believe that a student engaged in conduct that constitutes an offense under Section 22.01 (Assault) or 42.07(a)(7) (Harassment) of the Texas Penal Code.
The Principal/Superintendent’s designee may include any employee under the supervision of the Principal/Superintendent, other than a school counselor.
A report to local law enforcement officials may include the name and address of each student the Principal/Superintendent or the Principal/Superintendent’s designee believes may have participated in the conduct.
The Principal/Superintendent or the Principal/Superintendent’s designee will document the steps of the bullying procedure, including determination made. This will allow for a tracking mechanism to allow for administration to periodically monitor the reported counts of bullying incidents. Declines in the count of bullying incidents may represent not only improvements in the campus culture because bullying declines but also declines in the campus culture because of a decline in openness to report incidents.