The Board of Trustees, parents, staff and students responsibility all share the responsibility for fostering desirable standards of conduct in our schools. The Board of Trustees has adopted a uniform set of policies and procedures for student conduct and discipline that promote a school atmosphere conducive to learning and to the safety and welfare of students and school staff (Board Policy 5131). In addition, each school has developed its own set of rules (available in School Handbooks), which are consistent with district rules of conduct.
All students have the right and responsibility to a public education free from discrimination or harassment based upon race, color, sex, gender, ethnic group, culture, heritage, national origin, sexual orientation, religion and physical or mental disability. Students shall have equal opportunities in admission and access to all District programs and activities.
Harassment includes written, verbal, physical, and/or visual contact of a harassing nature. Written examples include but are not limited to letters, notes, invitations, etc. Verbal examples include but are not limited to comments, innuendoes, slurs, jokes, epithets, etc. Physical examples include but are not limited to assault, touching, impeding, blocking movement, etc. Visual examples include but are not limited to leering, gestures, display of objects or pictures, cartoons or posters, etc.
California law and Board Policy 5145.7 prohibit sexual harassment. Students in grades 4-8 may be suspended or expelled from school for engaging in unlawful sexual harassment. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature which negatively impacts a student's academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment in the school. Sexual harassment may also involve conduct, whether blatant or subtle, that discriminates against a person solely because of that person's gender.
Types of conduct which are prohibited in the district and which may constitute sexual harassment include:
1. Unwelcome leering, sexual flirtations, or propositions.
2. Unwelcome sexual slurs, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments, or sexually degrading descriptions.
3. Graphic verbal comments about an individual's body or overly personal conversations.
4. Sexual jokes, stories, drawings, pictures, or gestures.
5. Spreading sexual rumors.
6. Teasing or sexual remarks about students enrolled in a predominately single-sex class.
7. Touching an individual's body or clothes in a sexual way.
8. Purposefully limiting a student's access to educational tools.
9. Cornering or blocking of normal movements.
10. Displaying sexually suggestive objects in the educational or work environment.
11. An act of retaliation against an individual who reports a violation of the district's sexual harassment policy or who participates in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint.
12. Classroom activities and projects that would disparage one gender's abilities.
A student is not required to handle a complaint informally before filing a formal complaint; however, s/he may directly ask the person doing the harassing to stop. A student may ask for help and advice by contacting the school counselor, any teacher or administrator, and/or any other school site employee. If the harassment is continuing, the student with the help of a parent/guardian or school personnel should file a written formal complaint. For any type of harassment, a complaint and the results of the investigation shall be confidential to the extent reasonably possible under the investigation process. Witnesses and those interviewed need to know that it is a violation of the policy to disclose the complaint or the nature of the investigation to others.
For complete copies of Board Adopted Policies and Administrative Regulations or Education Codes related to Nondiscrimination, Hate-Motivated Behavior, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, and Uniform Complaint Procedures, contact the school or District Office.
The Ross Valley School District strives to provide safe school environments that protect students from physical and emotional harm. Student safety is our highest priority and the school shall not tolerate bullying of any student. No student or group of students shall, through physical, written, verbal, or other means, harass, sexually harass, threaten, intimidate, cyberbully, cause bodily injury to, or commit hate violence against any other student or school personnel.
Cyberbullying includes the transmission of harassing communications, direct threats, or other harmful texts, sounds, or images on the Internet, social media, or other technologies using a telephone, computer, or any wireless communication device. Cyberbullying also includes breaking into another person's electronic account and assuming that person's identity in order to damage that person. Any student who engages in bullying on school premises, or off campus in a manner that causes or is likely to cause a substantial disruption of a school activity or school attendance, shall be subject to discipline, which may include suspension or expulsion, in accordance with district policies and regulations.
Students or parents may submit to a teacher or administrator a verbal or written complaint of conduct they consider to be bullying. Complaints of bullying shall be investigated and resolved in accordance with site-level grievance procedures. BP 5131.2