Skip to main content

Pamlico County Schools

Student Services » Bullying & Harassment

Bullying & Harassment

Bullying, harassment, and discrimination are prohibited in the Pamlico County schools. The Pamlico
County schools and staff shall not tolerate any bullying, harassment, or discrimination on school
property and grounds or at any school activity on or off campus. The board believes that all
employees and students should be free of discrimination, harassment, and bullying as a part of a
safe, orderly, caring and inviting working and learning environment. The board commits itself to
nondiscrimination in all its educational and employment activities.

The board also prohibits retaliation against an employee or student who has exercised any rights
made available through state or federal law, including prohibiting retaliation for reporting
violations of this policy.

Any violation of this policy is considered a serious violation and appropriate action will be taken in
response to a violation.
APPLICATION OF POLICY
All persons, agencies, vendors, contractors and other persons and organizations doing business
with or performing services for the school district must comply with all applicable federal and state
laws and regulations regarding harassment, bullying, or discrimination. Visitors also are expected to
comply with applicable laws, including the prohibition against discrimination, harassment and
bullying of students or employees. This policy will apply in the following circumstances:
  1. while in any school building or on any school premises before, during or after schoolhours;
  2. while on any bus or other vehicle as part of any schoolactivity;
  3. while waiting at any busstop;
  4. during any school function, extracurricular activity or other activity or event;
  5. when subject to the authority of school personnel;and
  6. any time or place when the behavior has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the schools.
DEFINITIONS
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions will apply.
  1. Discrimination. As used in this policy, discrimination means unlawful differential
    treatment of others based solely on their membership in a protected group or
    category, such as race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, age, or
    disability. Discrimination may be intentional or unintentional.
  2. Harassment and Bullying. As used in this policy, harassing or bullying behavior refers
    to any pattern of gestures or written, electronic or verbal communications, or any
    physical act or threatening communication,that:
    1. Places a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her
      person or damage to his or her property; or
    2. Creates or is certain to create a hostile learning or working environment. A “hostile
      environment” means that the victim subjectively views the conduct as bullying or harassing behavior and the conduct is objectively severe or pervasive enough that a reasonable person
      would agree that is bullying or harassing behavior.
 
Harassing or bullying behavior includes verbal or physical conduct that is intended to intimidate,
injure, degrade, or disgrace another student or person, or that has such an effect. It may include a
pattern of abuse over time and may involve a student being “picked on.” It can include a variety of
behaviors, such as but not limited to the following:
  • Physical intimidation or assault
  • Derogatory verbal comments (e.g., name-calling, hostile teasing, cruel rumors, taunts, putdowns, epithets, false accusations, harassment or discriminatory acts, slurs and meanspirited jokes)
  • Threatening gestures or actions; oral, cyber, or written threats
  • Extortion or stealing money andpossessions
  • Shunning and exclusion from peer group
  • Hazing
 
Harassing or bullying behavior includes, but is not limited to, behavior described above that is
reasonably perceived as being motivated by an actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such
as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status,
gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or
sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of
these characteristics
REPORTING DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT OR BULLYING
  1. Any student who believes that he or she has been harassed, bullied or discriminated against
    in violation of this policy should report such behavior immediately to a teacher, counselor or
    administrator at his or her school. In the case of alleged harassment or bullying of a student
    by a school employee, a report also may be made to the Superintendent or designee.
  2. Any employee who believes that he or she has been harassed, bullied or discriminated against
    in violation of this policy should report such behavior promptly to his/her immediate
    supervisor and/or the Superintendent ordesignee.
  3. Any school employee who observes or becomes aware of alleged harassing, bullying or
    discriminatory behavior shall promptly report the incident as follows:
    1. If the alleged perpetrator is a student, the report shall be made to the principal;
    2. If the alleged perpetrator is a school employee, the report shall be made to the alleged
      perpetrator’s immediate supervisor and/or the Superintendent ordesignee;
    3. If the alleged perpetrator is some other person, the report may be made to the
      principal and/or the Superintendent ordesignee;
    4. Failure to make such are port required by this section may subject the employee to
      disciplinary action.
  4. Any person may report an act of harassment, bullying or discrimination anonymously. However, formal disciplinary action may not be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
  5. If the person to whom a report should be made under this section is the alleged perpetrator, or in circumstances not otherwise provided above, a report of harassing, bullying or discriminatory behavior may be made to the Superintendent or designee or the Board attorney.
INVESTIGATION
  1. All reports of alleged harassment, bullying or discriminatory behavior shall be promptly and
    thoroughly investigated.
  2. Investigation of alleged harassment, bullying or discriminatory behavior by a student shall
    be conducted by the principal ordesignee.
  3. Investigation of alleged harassment, bullying or discriminatory behavior by an employee
    shall be conducted by the Superintendent ordesignee.
  4. Investigation of alleged harassment, bullying or discriminatory behavior by a volunteer or
    visitor shall be conducted by the principal or designee if the behavior occurred on school
    grounds or at a school activity, and otherwise by the Superintendent ordesignee.
  5. If the individual designated as investigator under this policy is the alleged perpetrator, the
    investigation shall be conducted by an appropriate person designated by the
    Superintendent. If the alleged perpetrator is the Superintendent or a member of the Board,
    the Board attorney shall be the investigator.
  6. If at any time the investigator receives information alleging that the harassment, bullying or
    discriminatory behavior was based on sex or gender, the investigator shall notify the school
    system’s Title IX Coordinator. In such case, the procedures outlined in Board Policy
    3035/4035/8335 (Sexual Harassment) shall befollowed.
  7. The school system shall notify law enforcement and other appropriate external agency if
    required by law or board policy.
INTERVENTION AND DISCIPLINARY ACTION

  1. The actions taken in response to harassment, bullying or discriminatory behavior should be
    reasonably calculated to end any harassment, bullying, or discrimination, eliminate a hostile
    environment if one has been created, and prevent harassment, bullying or discrimination
    from occurring again. In addition to taking disciplinary action as necessary, the principal or
    other school official shall take appropriate remedial action to address the conductfully.
  2. Violations of this policy shall be considered misconduct and will result in disciplinary action
    up to and including long-term suspension or expulsion in the case of students and
    disciplinary action up to and including dismissal in the case ofemployees.
  3. This policy shall not be construed or applied so as to discipline students or other persons for
    expression protected by the First Amendment, or out of a desire to avoid the discomfort
    and unpleasantness that may accompany an unpopularviewpoint.
  4. Nothing in this policy precludes the school system from taking appropriate disciplinary
    action against a student or employee where the evidence does not establish harassment,
    bullying or discrimination but the conduct fails to satisfy the school system’s high
    expectations for appropriate conduct.
NON-RETALIATION

The board prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of discrimination,
harassment or bullying. The consequence and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages
in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the principal or the appropriate supervisory
personnel, after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act, in accordance with
applicable federal, state or local laws, policies and regulations
TRAINING AND PROGRAMS

The Superintendent shall designate an employee(s) to participate in training by the Department of
Public Instruction pertaining to anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and anti-bullying. The designee
shall provide leadership and training in the school district regarding this policy and state
requirements.

The board will provide training for students and staff regarding the board’s policy on discrimination,
harassment and bullying and as appropriate will create programs to address these issues. To the
extent funding is made available, the Superintendent shall provide additional training to school
employees and volunteers who have significant contact with students. The Superintendent shall
ensure that any training or programs provided will include identifying groups that may be the target
of discrimination, harassment or bullying; identifying places at which such behavior may occur
including within school buildings, at school bus stops, via the internet, etc.; and providing clear
examples of behavior that constitutes discrimination, harassment or bullying.
 
The Superintendent is responsible for providing effective notice of this policy to students, parents
and employees. This policy shall be posted on the school system website, and copies of the policy
should be readily available in the principal’s office, the media center at each school and the
Superintendent’s office. Notice of this policy shall appear in all student and employee handbooks
and in any school system publication that sets forth the comprehensive rules, procedures and
standards of conduct for students and employees.
COORDINATORS

The Superintendent or designee shall publish the names, addresses and phone numbers of the “Title
IX coordinator” (for sex discrimination), “Section 504 coordinator” (for discrimination on the basis of
disability) and the “ADA coordinator” (also for discrimination on the basis of disability) in a manner
intended to ensure that employees, applicants, students, parents and other individuals who
participate in the school district’s program are aware of the coordinators. The purpose of the
coordinator positions is to provide additional protection of nondiscrimination rights. The coordinator
either must (1) implement a resolution to a discrimination, harassment or bullying complaint, to the
extent a resolution can be reached and the coordinator has the authority to implement corrective
action or (2) notify the Superintendent that intervention by other school officials is required to
resolve the situation.
RECORDS AND REPORTING

The Superintendent or his or her designee shall maintain confidential records of complaints or
reports of harassment, bullying, or discrimination. The records shall identify the names of any
individuals accused of harassment, bullying, or discrimination and the resolution of such reports or
complaints. The Superintendent also shall maintain records of training, corrective action or other
steps taken by the district to help provide an environment free of harassment, bullying, or
discrimination.

The Superintendent shall report to the State Board of Education all verified cases of discrimination,
harassment or bullying. The report will be made through the Discipline Data Collection Report or
through other means required by the State Board of Education.

Legal References: North Carolina School Violence Prevention Act, G.S. §115C-407.5 et seq.; State
Board Policy HRS-A-007.
Cross Reference: Policy 3035/4035/8335, Sexual Harassment; Rule 28, Policy 6401, Student Code of
Conduct