Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and the school’s ability to educate. Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, gender-related identity or expression, unfavorable discharge from military service, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is prohibited at Cardinal Gibbons, and in each of the following situations:
- During any school-sponsored education program or activity;
- While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, or at school sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities;
- Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment;
- Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a non-school related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by a school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the education process or orderly operation of a school.
Note: This item (4) applies only in cases in which a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred and does not require a school to staff or monitor any non-school-related activity, function or program.
Bullying includes cyberbullying (as defined below) and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
- Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance;
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the school.
Bullying may take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is intended to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.
Cyberbullying is defined as bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer or signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence or any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications.
Cyberbullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation of impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying in this policy.
Cyberbullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying per this policy. Bullying is strictly prohibited by North Carolina law and contrary to Cardinal Gibbons’ policies. Students are encouraged to immediately report bullying to the administration.
Reporting, Intervention, and Disciplinary Action
Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying should report it to the administration. Anonymous reports may also be made in writing and provided to the Head of School at the address below.
Jeff Bell, Head of School (JeffBell@cghsnc.org)
Consistent with applicable federal and state laws and rules governing student privacy rights, and Cardinal Gibbons’ policies, the Head of School, or his designee, will inform all parents/guardians of those students involved in the alleged incident of bullying and discuss, as appropriate, the need for interventions, such as individual counseling, social work services, group counseling, and restorative measures.
The following are interventions that can be taken to address bullying including school social work services, restorative measures, social emotional skill building, counseling, school psychological services, and/or community-based services. Reports of bullying will be promptly investigated by appropriate school staff members and/or administrators. Reasonable efforts will be made to complete the investigation within ten (10) school days after the date the report of the incident of bullying was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported incident of bullying. Any reports of bullying will be kept confidential to the extent possible give the need to investigate the reported claim. School support personnel and other staff members with relevant knowledge and experience, maybe be involved in the investigation process, as deemed appropriate. The Head of School, or his designee, shall be notified of all reports of bullying as soon as possible after the report is made. Consistent with the applicable federal and state law, and Cardinal Gibbons’ policies regarding student privacy and confidentiality, parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation may be provided relevant information regarding the investigation, as deemed appropriate by the Head of School, or his designee, and an opportunity to meet with the Head of School, or his designee, to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying, as deemed appropriate.
Any student who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in bullying will be subject to disciplinary consequences as deemed appropriate and consistent with Cardinal Gibbons’ disciplinary policies, including suspension or dismissal. Students who make good faith complaints will not be disciplined. Any retaliation or reprisal against any person who reports an act of bullying per this policy is a violation of this policy and strictly prohibited. Further, consequences and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken as deemed necessary by Cardinal Gibbons for the person engaging in the retaliation or reprisal. Appropriate consequences and remedial action may also be taken against a person found to have falsely accused another of bullying as a means of retaliation or as a means of bullying. This policy is based on the engagement of a range of school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians. This policy is consistent with Cardinal Gibbons’ policies. The school may periodically engage in a policy evaluation process to assess the outcomes and effectiveness of this policy. Accordingly, relevant data may be collected or utilized for this purpose.