•  St. James Middle School

     Bullying Intervention Plan

     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,  St.  James  Middle School  hereby adopts the following policy.

    1. Statement:

     St.  James  Middle  School  prohibits  any  act  of  harassment,  intimidation  or  bullying.  St.  James  Middle  School  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.

     St.  James  Middle  School  is  committed  to  creating  a  safe  and  nurturing  environment  where  students  can  physically,  emotionally,  and  academically  grow  during  the  middle  school  years.  Therefore,  the  school  is  committed  to  creating  a  school-wide  culture  focused  on  character  education  where  all  students  and  adults  are treated with respect.

    1. Prohibited Behavior Defined:

     St. James Middle School 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:

      1. 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
      2. 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.

     St. James Middle School considers the following prohibited behaviors:

    1. Making unwanted physical contact with another student with the intent to harm the other student  such as kicking, hitting, poking, slapping, spitting, or punching another person.
    2. Taking personal items from a person and damaging them or refusing to return them.
    3. Using words to taunt, demean, threaten, ridicule, or gossip with the intent to embarrass or hurt another student either through oral and/or written language or through the use of social media   (cyber-bullying).
    4. Using peer pressure (cliques) to make another student feel isolated or frightened. 
    5. Bringing items to school that endanger or threaten the safety of the school environment.

             III.    Appropriate Behavior Defined:

     St.  James  Middle  School  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.

     St.  James  Middle  School  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.

     St.  James  Middle  School  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  protocols  which  are  designed  to  prevent  discipline  problems and encourage growth in each student’s ability to exercise self-discipline and behave appropriately.

     St. James Middle School considers the following appropriate behaviors:

    1. Acting with integrity and courage by doing the right thing. 
    2. Being respectful and courteous in all social        interactions. 
    3. Using problem-solving and mediation skills  when faced with conflict.
    4. Working cooperatively with others to accomplish  tasks.
    5. Displaying positive oral and written communication skills. 
    6. Being considerate of others.
    7. Showing compassion and empathy for others.
    8. Building positive relationships.

     IV.          Consequences and Remedial Measures:

     St. James Middle School  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; 
    • Strengths;
    • Talents;
    • Traits;
    • Interests;
    • Hobbies;
    • Extra-curricular activities; ●            Classroom participation; and  ●          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; and  ●  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. Remedial measures shall be designed to correct  the problem behavior ;  prevent another occurrence of  the problem; and protect the victim of the act. The  consequences and remedial measures may include, but are not limited to, the examples listed below:  Examples of Consequences

    • Admonishment;
    • Temporary removal from the classroom;
    • Deprivation of privileges;
    • Classroom or administrative detention;
    • Referral to disciplinary proceedings;
    • In-school suspension;
    • Out-of-school suspension;  ●  Legal action; and  ●  Expulsion.

     Examples of Remedial Measures


    • Restitution and restoration;
    • Mediation;
    • Peer support group;
    • Referral to a student behavior or ethics council;
    • Corrective instruction or other relevant learning or service experience;
    • Supportive student interventions; 
    • Behavioral assessment or other evaluation as deemed appropriate; 
    • Behavioral management plan, with benchmarks that  are closely monitored;
    • Assignment of leadership responsibilities (e.g., hallway or bus monitor);
    • Involvement of school disciplinarian or interventionist;
    • Student counseling;
    • Parent conferences;
    • Student treatment; or ●        Student therapy.

     Environmental  (Classroom, School Building or School  District)

    • School and community surveys for determining the conditions contributing to  harassment, intimidation

     or bullying;

    • School culture change; 
    • School climate improvement;
    • Adoption of research-based, systemic bullying prevention programs; 
    • School policy and procedures revisions; 
    • Modifications of schedules; 
    • Adjustments in hallway traffic;
    • Modifications in student routes or patterns traveling to and from school; 
    • Targeted use of monitors (e.g., hallway, cafeteria, bus);
    • Small or large group presentations for fully addressing the behaviors and the responses to the behaviors; 
    • General professional development programs for certificated and non-certificated staff;
    • Professional development plans for involved staff;
    • Disciplinary action for school staff who contributed to the problem;
    • Supportive institutional interventions;
    • Parent conferences;   ●  Family counseling;
    • Involvement of parent-teacher organizations;
    • Involvement of community-based organizations;
    • Development of a general bullying response plan;
    • Recommendations of a student behavior or ethics council;
    • Peer support groups; and
    • Law enforcement (e.g., school resource officer, juvenile officer) involvement

     St. James Middle School has the following specific measures in place to deter inappropriate behaviors  and support a positive school-wide climate.

    • Students sign an awareness contract and pledge, which  outlines the definitions and different types  of bullying, in addition to methods of reporting bullying concerns.

     ○  Guidance counselors follow up with individual students and parents with concerns.

    • The Bullying Intervention plan is shared with parents on the school’s web page.
    • Teachers stand by their doorway during each change of classes supervising the movement of  students to prevent problems.
    • Any type of inappropriate behavior (i.e., put down about wearing a mask) directed toward  students who choose to wear a mask will be addressed through the district’s Student Behavior  Code as outlined in the HCS Policy Manual.
    • At least one administrator has been assigned to each grade level and is in close proximity to  hallways and classrooms within their grade level. The administrators monitor the change of  classes and lunch.  The administrators handle discipline referrals, concerns, and any other issues  concerning their assigned students.
    • Academic teachers take their fourth-period or fifth-period classes to and from lunch. Academic  teachers remain in the cafeteria with their classes so that each student in the cafeteria can always  be identified by a staff member.
    • Exploratory teachers and a select number of academic teachers assist the assistant principals in  supervising during lunch and recess.
    • A master duty schedule has been developed which is aligned with the school’s floor plan to ensure  staff density for supervision in the morning prior to the beginning of the school day and at the end  of the school day, especially in troublesome areas.
    • Teachers and staff supervise students in the morning as students exit cars, exit buses, walk in the  hallways, eat in the cafeteria, sit in the gym, and sit in classrooms.  Teachers and staff supervise  students at dismissal as the students exit the building and enter either a car or bus.
    • The school administrators and all staff members have been trained on bullying through the  district’s Safe Schools online courses.
    • The school has cameras available throughout the campus to increase safety through increased  supervision.  Several cameras allow for 360-degree viewing.
    • Rooms are all equipped with telephones and an emergency line for assistance when needed.  ●  Metal detectors are used daily and at athletic events to increase safety.
    • The school places a strong emphasis on civic involvement through service learning, Student  Council Association (SCA), Beta Club, and other civic-minded organizations. 
    • The Anti-bullying Club (Kindness Matters Club) partners with our Beta Club and guidance to  help peer mentor students who are going through difficult situations. In addition to anti-bullying  month, they promote standing up to bullying by promoting, “If you see something, say   something.” This slogan and anti-bully campaigns and reminders are posted throughout the  hallways.
    • Digital Literacy Lessons addressing bullying are taught in person during social studies under the  direction of the Media Specialist.

     ○  7th Grade Lessons

     ■  My Social Media Life

     ■  Upstanders & Allies

     ■  The Power of Digital Footprint

     ■  Big, Big Data  ○  8th Grade Lessons

     ■  Digital Media and Your Brain

     ■  Being Aware of What You Share  ■  Social Media & Digital Footprints  ■  This Just In!

    • SJM and the Kindness Week Committee partner with Seaside Elementary, Burgess Elementary,  St. James Elementary, St. James Intermediate, and St. James High School in creating Kindness  Week activities.
    • SJM participates in Character Counts Spirit Week, conducting activities focused on positive  character traits.
    • The school participates in American Education Week, which includes activities for appreciation,  in addition to participating in Veteran’s Day appreciation and celebration that honors  performances from multiple clubs and student groups that display demonstrations of honor and  respect.
    • SJM staff members nominate students for Superb Shark Certificates (positive praise referrals) to  provide incentives for positive behavior.
    • The school provides a variety of activities and clubs to engage students in positive activities.
      • The school offers B-Team sports ( softball, baseball, girls’ volleyball, football, basketball, and  cheerleading) , in addition to having middle school  students qualify for junior varsity and varsity  teams at St. James High School.
      • St. James Middle School Clubs are developed and  maintained each year based on student  interest, allowing students the opportunity to be a part of a team and build collaborative  relationships.  Current SJM Clubs include:  Jr. Beta  Club, Student Council, MathCounts,  Robotics, Art Club, Science and Environmental Club, Chess Club, Maker’s Space Club, Battle of  the Books Club, Rubik’s Cube Club, Kindness Matters Club, FCA, Curtain Call Acting Club,  Spelling and Geography Bees,  Student Council, and Archery .
    • The school provides behavioral support and character building through its guidance department  and Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Services (RHBS).
    • The guidance department may also conduct character-building sessions with students assigned to  In-School Suspension (ISS).
    • A school psychologist is housed at the building level along with other support services for students  with special needs.
    • Administration and/or teachers speak with students daily at lunch about behavior expectations.
    • Administration meets quarterly in virtually(pre-recorded) and/or in-person with students to  review and remind students of expected behavior and treatment of peers.
    • The administration uses student incident reports, Appendix R and Appendix Y forms, for concern  documentation, including follow-up contact with parents of victims.
    • Guidance meets with students annually to discuss bullying issues and ways to report bullying  incidents.
    • This plan is reviewed and updated annually.  V.             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.

    • St. James Middle School has two assistant principals  and one principal who work collaboratively  to receive and investigate reports concerning incidences of bullying. One assistant principal works  primarily with the seventh grade while the other assistant principal works primarily with the  eighth grade.  Incidents may also be reported to guidance or to the principal.
    • St. James Middle has a tip box located near the cafeteria to anonymously report concerns.
    • A bully complaint dropbox is located outside of the guidance office for students to anonymously  submit any issues. Another suggestion/report box is located in the cafeteria. Students may also  submit a complaint digitally through the district website.
    • St. James Middle provides students with opportunities during advisory/Shark Time lessons to  practice accessing staff member emails, including administrator emails, to email concerns and  questions in a confidential manner.  Students are provided tutorial opportunities on email  etiquette when corresponding with their “trusted” adult.
    • Horry County Schools has an anonymous tip line that is posted on the school and district’s  webpage, Facebook page, and in the monthly school newsletter.
    • The school uses the Horry County Schools Bullying/Harassment Complaint Form for students or parents as needed. 
    • Bullying incidents that are confirmed are documented in students’ discipline records via   PowerSchool along with appropriate sanctions.
    1. 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, the principal and/or the principal’s designee(s) 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 the school’s administration regardless  if the allegation is sustained or not. Those incidents which meet policy defined criteria must be reported to  the District Office through the appropriate channels.

     St. James Middle School will use the following methods to report to the Office of Student Affairs as  required.

      1. Horry County Schools “Bullying/Harassment  Complaint Form”
      2. Horry County Schools Incident/Crime Report
      3. PowerSchool – Bullying and Student sanctions  will be reported via PowerSchool as  appropriate.
    1. Prohibition Against Retaliation and  Reprisals.

     St. James Middle School  prohibits reprisal or retaliation  against any person who reports an act of  harassment, intimidation, or bullying. The administrator shall determine the consequence and appropriate  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.

     Acts of reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation, or  bullying will be investigated and disciplinary measures taken aligned with school and district policy.

     Law enforcement and Horry County Police will be notified where applicable.

    1. False Reporting and Accusations:

     St. James Middle School  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.

     St. James Middle School will follow these guidelines to address false reporting and accusations:

    • The administrators will issue appropriate sanctions, consequences, and remedial actions for  students based on school/discipline policy.
    • The principal in cooperation with the Human Resources Department will determine the  appropriate remedial action and/or sanctions for employees filing a false complaint.

                IX.       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.

     St. James Middle School has the following processes in place to meet the aforementioned requirement:

    • The school’s policy on harassment, intimidation, and bullying is addressed in the school’s  handbook which is given to each student and taught in classes and in formal/informal  administration discussions with students during the first few weeks of school and reviewed  throughout the school year.
    • Classroom Academic and Disciplinary Plans are reviewed with students and sent home to be  reviewed by parents/guardians.
    • The administrator for each grade level holds virtual (pre-recorded) and/or in-person class  meetings during the first few weeks of school to discuss school-wide expectations with students,  discipline, and consequences. Bullying is addressed through these meetings.  Students submit a  Google Form confirming their viewing of the recording with an opportunity to ask questions on the form. 
    • Each student is required to complete a semester of health and PE. Bullying is addressed through  health classes.
    • Students involved in bullying incidents are provided with counseling through the following  resources: the school’s guidance department, RBHS services, and/or other outside agencies in  cooperation with the school.

     X.           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 St. James Middle School 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.

     Olga Toggas, Principal

     St. James Middle School Bullying Intervention Representative:  Carlos Barker  08/31/2023