The Baden Academy Charter School recognizes the importance of a safe school environment to the educational process. The board has determined that a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and to achieve high academic standards. Bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors that hinder both a student's ability to learn and a school's ability to educate its students in a safe environment, is prohibited at Baden Academy Charter School. Because students learn by example, school administrators, faculty, staff, students and volunteers are directed to demonstrate appropriate behavior, treat others with civility and respect and refuse to tolerate bullying.
Pennsylvania law defines bullying as an intentional electronic, written verbal or physical act directed at another student in a school setting that is severe, persistent or pervasive, and has the effect of substantially interfering with education, creating a threatening environment or disrupting the orderly operation of the school. School setting for purposes of the law is defined broadly to include not just the school grounds, but also school vehicles, designated bus stops, and any school-sponsored and supervised activity sanctioned by the school, and any time spent necessarily traveling to and from these locations. It also extends to any other sites used by the school, as well as the school's server, electronic, web-based, Internet or online programs. Additionally, any student who's out of school conduct materially and substantially interferes with the educational process in the school is also subject to this policy.
Students must conduct themselves in a manner in keeping with their levels of development, maturity, and demonstrated capabilities with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students, school staff, volunteers, and contractors.
The Baden Academy Charter School Board believes that standards for student behavior must be set cooperatively through interaction among the students, parents and guardians, staff, and community members of the school, producing an atmosphere that encourages students to grow in self-discipline. The development of this atmosphere requires respect for self and others, as well as for school and community property on the part of students, staff, and community members.
Because bystander support of bullying can bolster these behaviors, the school prohibits both active and passive support for acts of bullying. The staff should encourage all students to refuse to engage in these acts and to report them immediately to a staff member the school.
Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a student or staff member who commits persistent acts of bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including in-school or out-of-school suspension from the school and/or expulsion or other disciplinary removal from the school, in the case of a student, and/or suspension or termination in the case of an employee, as set forth in the school's approved code of student conduct or employee handbook.
Consequences for a student who commits an act of bullying will be unique to the individual incident and will vary in method and severity according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student, and the student's history of problem behaviors and performance, and must be consistent with the school's approved code of student conduct. Remedial measures will be designed to correct the problem behavior; prevent another occurrence of the behavior; and protect the victim of the act. Depending upon the incident, expulsion may be recommended to the board.
The board requires the CEO at the school to be responsible for receiving complaints alleging violations of this policy. All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to the CEO. All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers, and visitors, are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy. Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action may not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report without further investigation.
The board also requires the CEO to be responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. In so doing, the CEO must conduct a prompt, thorough, and complete investigation of each alleged incident. An investigation is to be conducted within three school days after a report or complaint is made known to the CEO.
The board prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying. After consideration of the nature, severity, and circumstances of the act, the administrator will determine the consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation.
At the same time, the board prohibits any person from falsely accusing another of bullying. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person found to have falsely accused another of bullying might range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension and/or expulsion. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have falsely accused another of bullying include disciplinary action in accordance with school policies, procedures, and agreements.
The board requires that school officials annually disseminate the policy to all school staff, students, and parents, along with a statement explaining that it applies to all applicable acts of bullying that occur on school property, at school-sponsored functions, or in a school vehicle and to develop procedures for investigating and addressing any alleged violations of this policy.
Additionally, the board requires school officials to ensure that this policy and procedures for reporting bullying incidents are reviewed with the students within 90 days after the policy is adopted and at least once each school year after that. The school administration is required to develop procedures necessary to implement this policy, and to develop appropriate prevention, intervention and education strategies related to bullying.
Under the Children's Internet Protection Act, the board directs the school administration to protect children from harmful online content. Therefore, the school is required to teach acceptable use and online safety to students. The school's curriculum will include instruction for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyber-bullying awareness and response.
The Baden Academy Charter School will comply with all applicable and related federal and state laws.
TO REPORT AN ACT OF BULLYING, CONTACT LAUREN BENSINK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF BADEN ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL AT:
Baden Academy Charter School
1016 State Street
Baden, PA 15005