Safe School Environment
Our students’ ability to learn and grow in a safe and supportive environment is a top priority. This includes making sure schools are free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying. Ross Valley School District recognizes that schools must be physically and emotionally safe for all students in order to promote and support academic achievement, social and emotional skills, student attendance and engagement.
Ross Valley School District’s board policy, BP 5131.2 prohibits bullying, discrimination, harassment and intimidation.
“Bullying”, defined by California education code 48900(r), is any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or by means of an electronic act. These acts can be reasonably perceived as being dehumanizing, intimidating, hostile, humiliating, threatening, or otherwise likely to evoke fear of physical harm or emotional distress and may be motivated either by bias or prejudice based upon any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression; or a mental, physical or sensory disability or impairment; or by any other distinguishing characteristic. An "electronic act" means the transmission of a communication, including, but not limited to, a message, text, sound, or image, or a post on a social network internet web site, by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, wireless telephone or other wireless communication device, computer, or pager. A "Reasonable pupil" means a pupil, including, but not limited to, an exceptional needs pupil, who exercises average care, skill, and judgment in conduct for a person of his or her age, or for a person of his or her age with his or her exceptional needs.
District Procedures for Preventing and Intervening Bullying Behavior
RVSD staff model positive behaviors and implement programs focusing on preventing bullying and address the issue through a variety of programs including but not limited to character education, student assemblies and counseling services. All staff receive training to identify bullying behaviors and will intervene whenever they observe or become aware of bullying. Complaints will be investigated thoroughly and confidentially.
What Information Can Be Shared
When your child has been a victim of bullying, it’s natural to want to know exactly what will happen to the child who bullied him/her.
If you ask any educator in the United States, “What consequence or punishment is the child going to receive?” and hear …”That’s Confidential.” You may conclude that the administrator or teacher is avoiding your question or protecting the bully. In fact, they are simply obeying the law!
Educators must follow the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This act keeps school records, including discipline, a private matter. The school is prohibited from sharing any information in a student’s record to a third party without parental consent.
The result of this is that you cannot expect anyone to tell you how they have disciplined a student, even if your child was directly victimized by the student. School staff must follow state and federal laws which mandate that they keep student records confidential and private.
Reporting Acts of Bullying
Students, staff and parents are encouraged to share in the responsibility to ensure a safe school environment. Incidents of bullying, discrimination, harassment and /or intimidation should be reported to teachers and/or principals as soon as possible. Click here to fill out an online form to report any incidents. The principal is responsible for addressing and investigating all reports of bullying.