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Disability Harassment

Disability harassment under Section 504 and Title II is intimidation or abusive behavior toward a student based on disability that creates a hostile environment by interfering with or denying a student's participation in or receipt of benefits, services, or opportunities in the institution's program. Harassing conduct may take many forms, including verbal acts and name-calling, as well as nonverbal behavior, such as graphic and written statements, or conduct that is physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating.

When harassing conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment, it can violate a student's rights under the Section 504 and Title II regulations. A hostile environment may exist even if there are no tangible effects on the student where the harassment is serious enough to adversely affect the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program.

 

When disability harassment limits or denies a student's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational institution's programs or activities, the BPSB will respond effectively. Where the BPSB learns that disability harassment may have occurred, the institution must investigate the incident(s) promptly and respond appropriately.

 

Disability harassment that adversely affects an elementary or secondary student's education may also be a denial of FAPE under the IDEA, as well as Section 504 and Title II. The IDEA was enacted to ensure that recipients of IDEA funds make available to students with disabilities the appropriate special education and related services that enable them to access and benefit from public education. The specific services to be provided a student with a disability are set forth in the student's individualized education program (IEP), which is developed by a team that includes the student's parents, teachers and, where appropriate, the student. Harassment of a student based on disability may decrease the student's ability to benefit from his or her education and amount to a denial of FAPE.

 

REPORTING

 

The principal or his/her designee shall be authorized to receive complaints alleging violation of this policy.  All employees, parents, volunteers, or any other school personnel shall report alleged violations to the principal or his/her designee.  Any written or oral report of an act of bullying, hazing, or similar behavior shall be considered an official means of reporting such act(s).  Complaints, reports, and investigative reports of bullying, hazing, or similar behavior shall remain confidential, with limited exception of state or federal law.

 

The reporting of incidents of bullying, hazing, or similar behavior shall be made on the Bullying Report form, which shall include an affirmation of truth.  Any bullying, hazing, or similar behavior report submitted, regardless of recipient, shall use this form, but additional information may be provided.

 

Students and Parents

 

Any student who believes that he/she has been, or is currently, the victim of bullying, hazing, or similar behavior, or any student, parent, or guardian, who witnesses bullying, hazing, or similar behavior or has good reason to believe bullying, hazing, or similar behavior is taking place, may report the situation to a school official, who in turn shall report the situation to the principal or his/her designee.  A student, or parent or guardian, may also report concerns regarding bullying, hazing, or similar behavior to a teacher, counselor, other school employee, or to any parent chaperoning or supervising a school function or activity.  Any such report shall remain confidential.

 

Refer to JCDAF, Bullying and Hazing, BPSB Policy Manual for the investigative and discipline procedures.