SSE Bully Plan
Robert J. Homer, Principal
Morgan Emsley, Assistant Principal
1605 Woodland Drive
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
Seaside Elementary Bully Plan 2020-21
State law requires each school district in South Carolina to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying at school. Furthermore, HCS policy provides that each school within the district is expected to have in place, and be ready to articulate and defend, an effective bullying intervention system. In this regard, Seaside Elementary hereby adopts the following policy.
Seaside Elementary prohibits any act of harassment, intimidation or bullying. Seaside Elementary has determined that a safe and civil environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. Harassment, intimidation or bullying, like other disruptive or violent behaviors, qualifies as conduct that disrupts a student’s ability to learn and hampers a school’s ability to educate its students in a safe environment. Since students learn by example; school administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers are expected to demonstrate model behavior by treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment, intimidation or bullying.
At Seaside Elementary, we consider bullying repeated written, verbal, or physical gesture that harms a student physically or emotionally, damages another’s property, or places a student in reasonable fear of personal harm. Bullying also includes acts that insult or demean a student or group of students by intimidation or excluding. Bullying is not a “one time thing” but happens repeatedly. Bullying includes acts that disrupt or interfere with the orderly operation of the school and will be investigated and handled accordingly with district policies.
Seaside Elementary focuses on promoting kindness and empathy through our character education initiatives. The core value of our character education program is to treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Prohibited Behavior Defined
Seaside Elementary acknowledges that “harassment, intimidation or bullying” means a gesture, an electronic communication, or a written, verbal, physical, or sexual act that takes place on school property, at any school-sponsored function where the school is responsible for the child or on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, at an official school bus stop and that:
- a reasonable person should know, under the circumstances, that the act(s) will have the effect of harming a student, physically or emotionally, or damaging the student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to his person or damage to his property; or
- has the effect of insulting or demeaning any student, or group of students, in such a way as to cause substantial disruption in, or substantial interference with, the orderly operation of the school.
- Verbal and/or physical threats are addressed through investigation when reported.
- Students and teachers are encouraged to report any questionable interaction between children and/or adults. Students are encouraged to access any adult in the building if they see or hear something that they are concerned about.
- Behavior referrals are available to Seaside staff for reporting issues.
- The school counselor has a system for anonymous reports as well.
- When reported, incidents are investigated through interviews, review of any documentation, and/or pulling school videos for review.
Definition of bullying shared with staff, students, and parents: Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Some example of behaviors that could be acknowledged as bullying are: calling mean names, excluded, hit, kicked, punched, told lies or false rumors about another, threatened, racial comments, inappropriate comments, took/damaged possessions, etc.
- Appropriate Behavior Defined
Seaside Elementary expects students to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the district’s standard for student behavior. A proper regard shall be shown towards the rights and welfare of other students, school staff, as well as the educational purpose underlying all school-related activities. Furthermore, due care shall be given to school facilities and equipment.
Seaside Elementary believes that standards for student behavior is best achieved cooperatively through interaction among the students, parents and guardians, staff and community members of the school district; thereby producing an atmosphere that encourages students to exercise appropriate levels of self-discipline. The development of this environment requires respect for self and others, as well as for district and community property on the part of students, staff and community members.
Seaside Elementary believes that the best discipline is self-imposed in nature, and that it is the responsibility of staff to use disciplinary situations as opportunities for helping students learn to assume and accept responsibility for their behavior and understand the consequences of engaging in prohibited behaviors. Staff members who interact with students shall apply suitable protocol, which are designed to prevent discipline problems and encourage growth in each student’s ability to exercise self-discipline and behave appropriately. All staff will be provided staff development on what bullying is and isn’t and the 3 types of bullying. http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/definition/index.html#types
Strategies to prevent bullying will be utilized by all SSE staff.
- Classroom teachers will introduce bullying and how to recognize and report signs.
- Guidance counselor will conduct ongoing lessons on bullying and refer to it throughout the year.
- Bullying bulletin boards/posters will be used to inform.
- Students will be invited to participate in a bullying prevention poster contest during month of October, which is National Bully Prevention month.
- Work with technology teacher/Media Specialist during special areas to implement a unit on cyber-bullying.
- Consequences and Remedial Measures
Seaside Elementary accepts responsibility for the development and implementation of procedures that ensure appropriate consequences and remedial responses to students or staff members who commit any act of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The following factors, at a minimum, shall be given full consideration by school administrators in the development of the procedures for determining appropriate consequences and remedial measures for each incident.
Factors for Determining Consequences
- Age, developmental and maturity levels of the parties involved
- Degrees of harm
- Situational circumstances
- Nature and severity of the behaviors
- Incidences of past or continuing patterns of behavior
- Relationships between the parties involved and
- Context in which the alleged incidents occurred
Factors for Determining Remedial Measures
- Life skill deficiencies
- Social relationships
- Extra-curricular activities
- Classroom participation
- Academic performance
- School culture
- School climate
- Student-staff relationships and staff behavior toward the student
- General staff management of classrooms or other educational environments
- Staff’s ability to prevent and manage difficult or inflammatory situations
- Social-emotional and behavioral supports
- Social relationships
- Community activities
- Community environment
- Family situation.
Consequences and Remedial Measures:
Consequences and appropriate remedial actions for students or staff members who commit acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension, expulsion, or adverse employment action. Consequences for a student who commits an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying shall be varied and graded according to the nature of the behavior, the developmental age of the student and the student’s history of problem behaviors and performance.
Consequences must be consistent with the district’s approved code of student conduct. Examples of consequences (but not limited to) are conference with student/teacher, student/administration, student/guidance counselor, contact parent(s), include parent(s) in student conference about the behavior, loss of privileges, ISS (In school suspension), OSS (out of school suspension), taken to a disciplinary hearing for expulsion, legal action.
Remedial measures shall be designed to correct the problem behavior; prevent another occurrence of the problem; and protect the victim of the act. Examples of remedial measures (but not limited to) are support by teaching respectful behavior to student by staff members, individual and/or group counseling from guidance counselor, teacher/administrator conference with student to discuss the cause of the behavior that is classified as bullying, behavior contract implemented to reward positive behavior and to extinguish the target behavior, assignment of a leadership role to help others in classroom or around school, modify schedule if possible to avoid interaction with specific students.
- Reporting Procedures
Horry County Schools requires the principal, or the principal’s designee(s), at each 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 principal or the principal’s designee(s). 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. While written statements are not required, the reporting party should be encouraged to submit one. Oral statements shall be also considered as an official notification; however the principal or the principal’s designee(s) should document the oral statement.
Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action must not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report that cannot be corroborated. If requested, the identity of the victim will be protected to the extent allowed by law. The principal and assistant principals have an “open door” policy. Reports are received in various ways such as verbal, e-mail, phone calls, notes, behavioral behavior forms, etc. Reports are documented by the person receiving the information on behavioral referrals and/or in documentation logs.
Administration will take all complaints as serious accusations and investigate complaints.
- Investigative Protocol:
Horry County Schools requires the principal and/or the principal’s designee(s) to be responsible for determining whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. All complaints of this nature will be taken seriously. In doing so, administration shall conduct a prompt, thorough and complete investigation of each alleged incident. All investigations shall be sufficiently documented and the results of said investigation shall be retained by Seaside Elementary administration regardless if the allegation is sustained or not. Administration will use the Steps to Address Bullying, student Bully Report, and Bullying Complaint form (if warranted) as part of the investigative process. Those incidents which meet policy defined criteria must be reported to the District Office through the appropriate channels.
- Reports are investigated ASAP.
- Documentation is kept in a log and/or on referral forms that are filed.
- Behavioral referral forms are inputted into Powerschool thus alerting the district office.
- Investigations include interviews of all parties, interviews of witnesses, viewing of school videotapes, review of notes or other documentation submitted, teacher accounts, etc.
- Parents are informed through phone calls, conferences, and/or the signing of referral forms.
- Prohibition against Retaliation and Reprisals.
Seaside Elementary prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation, or bullying. SSE administration shall determine the appropriate consequence and/or remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation after consideration of the nature, severity and circumstances of the act, in accordance with applicable laws, policies and procedures.
- False Reporting and Accusations:
Seaside Elementary prohibits any person from making false accusations as a means to harass, intimidate or bully another person. The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a student found to have falsely accused another as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a school employee found to have falsely accused another, as a means to harass, intimidate or bully another person shall be disciplined in accordance with district policies and procedures. Consequences and appropriate remedial action for a visitor or volunteer, found to have falsely accused another as a means to harass, intimidate or bully another person shall be determined by the school administrator after consideration of the nature, severity and circumstances of the act, including reports to appropriate law enforcement officials when appropriate.
- Student Discussions:
The principal understands the requirement to develop an annual process for discussing the school’s policy on harassment, intimidation and bullying with students, which may include, but is not limited to, student assemblies, guidance counselor or school resource officer group sessions.
Seaside Elementary has the following processes in place to meet the aforementioned requirement: Staff development at the beginning of the year with teachers to discuss the SSE school wide discipline policy for general behavior expectations and the SSE Bully Plan. Teachers will review and explain school discipline policy and SSE Bully Plan to individual classes. Guidance teacher will address student character through many lessons throughout the year, beginning with a unit on Bullying and all students having a clear understanding of what is and isn’t bullying. Teachers and administration address any bullying accusations immediately, following the SSE Bully Plan and Steps to Address Bullying. Parents will also be informed of the school Bully Plan and provided resources about bullying in our monthly newsletter home.
- School Review
On an annual basis, prior to the beginning of each school year, the principal will review this plan and amend it when deemed necessary. Furthermore, this plan shall be available to all school staff, students and parents. In addition to providing access to this plan, the administration at Seaside Elementary will make it clear that all HCS Bullying Intervention Plans are applicable to all acts of harassment, intimidation and bullying that occur on school property, at school-sponsored functions, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, at an official school bus stop or at any other program or function where the school is responsible for the child.
Seaside Elementary Principal: Robert Homer
Seaside Elementary Asst. Principal: Morgan Emsley
Seaside Elementary Bullying Intervention Representatives:
Nicole Ashton (School Counselor)
Morgan Emsley (AP)