Lancaster School District Bullying Policy
Lancaster School District's Bullying Policy acknowledges the harmful effects of bullying on student well-being, learning and school attendance. No individual or group shall retaliate against a student for filing a complaint or participating in the complaint resolution process.
According to stopbullying.gov, 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. Cyberbullying includes the electronic creation or transmission of harassing communications, direct threats, or other harmful texts, sounds, or images. Cyberbullying also includes breaking into another person's electronic account or assuming that person's online identity in order to damage that person's reputation. The Lancaster School District's Bullying Policy addresses prevention, staff development, information and resources for families, student instruction, reporting and filing complaints, discipline/corrective actions, and support services related to bulling in our schools.
Preventative steps Lancaster School District is taking to promote bully-free schools are as follow:
- Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is implemented at all the schools in the Lancaster School District. PBIS includes many different components that assist in preventing bullying and ensuring that the school environment is safe, respectful and caring. Those components include teaching social skills to students, creating positive school and classroom cultures, continuous active supervision of student behavior and academic progress, positively rewarding students for demonstrating social successes, and adult modeling of the social skills we expect our students to exhibit.
- A Social Contract, which is a component of Capturing Kids' Hearts, is designed to let everyone in a classroom know what behavior is acceptable and what is not. It is an agreement of behavior that helps promote a self-managing classroom environment. The Social Contract also challenges students to take responsibility for their actions.
- School Counselors provide classroom lessons to teach students to recognize bullying behavior and how to address bullying if they are a victim or a bystander. This is accomplished through classroom discussions, using books with stories that are about bullying, role playing, and activities. Counselors present other classroom lessons that address bullying prevention such as developing empathy and problem-solving strategies.
- Second Step social-emotional learning curriculum is used from TK-8th grade in all the schools within the Lancaster School District. Second Step teaches empathy, how to communicate clearly, how to maintain relationships, and make responsible decisions. It also provides a Bullying Prevention component that explicitly teaches students how to recognize, report, and refuse bullying, in addition to the power of a bystander.
- Bullying Prevention month is recognized in the month of November throughout Lancaster School District. Schools conduct a variety of activities throughout the month to increase bullying prevention awareness. Some activities include individual and school-wide pledges, anti-bullying poster contests, spirit week focused around bullying prevention, quotes read in daily announcements, and anti-bully-themed books read in class
- Students throughout the district take part in digital citizenship lessons throughout the school year to teach responsible use of technology
- Students are encouraged to notify school staff when they are being bullied or when they suspect another student is being bullied. A student may anonymously and confidentially report threats or incidents.
School Staff shall have online bullying and cyberbullying training, to include the identification of bullying and cyberbullying as well the implication of strategies to address bullying. The training will raise awareness of the district's and employees' legal obligation to prevent discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying of district students.
Information and Resources
To see Lancaster School District Suicide Prevention Policy, click here.
Every year, students throughout the school district is provided age appropriate, and developmentally appropriate lessons related to suicide prevention. AB2246 required suicide prevention lessons to students in grades 7-12 beginning Fall 2017. Starting in the 2020-21 school year, students in K-6 will also be provided lessons related to suicide prevention, although the content will focus primarily on identifying and managing feelings, as well as seeking out help from an adult when necessary. The upper grades lessons include how to identify and analyze signs of depression and self-destructive behaviors that can lead to thoughts of suicide, how to develop coping skills and self-esteem, learning to listen, be honest, and share feelings when communicating with friends who show suicidal intent, and identifying trusted adults, school and community resources where youth can get help for mental health needs. It is emphasized during these lessons that there is no stigma associated with seeking services for mental health, substance abuse, and/or suicide prevention.
According to Education Code 230, sex discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex include, but are not limited to, the following practices:
(a) On the basis of sex, exclusion of a person or persons from participation in, denial of the benefits of, or subjection to harassment or other discrimination in, any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other program or activity.
(b) On the basis of sex, provision of different amounts or types of student financial aid, limitation of eligibility for student financial aid, or the application of different criteria to applicants for student financial aid or for participation in the provision of student financial aid by others. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit an educational institution from administering, or assisting in the administration of, scholarships, fellowships, or other forms of student financial aid, established pursuant to domestic or foreign wills, bequests, trusts, or similar legal instruments or by acts of a foreign government, which require that awards be made to members of a particular sex; provided, that the overall effect of the award of these sex-restricted scholarships, fellowships, and other forms of student financial aid does not discriminate on the basis of sex.
(c) On the basis of sex, exclusion from participation in, or denial of equivalent opportunity in, athletic programs. For purposes of this subdivision, “equivalent” means equal or equal in effect.
(d) An educational institution may be found to have effectively accommodated the interests and abilities in athletics of both sexes within the meaning of Section 4922 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations as that section exists on January 1, 2003, using any one of the following tests:
(1) Whether interscholastic level participation opportunities for male and female pupils are provided in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments.
(2) Where the members of one sex have been and are underrepresented among interscholastic athletes, whether the school district can show a history and continuing practice of program expansion that is demonstrably responsive to the developing interest and abilities of the members of that sex.
(3) Where the members of one sex are underrepresented among interscholastic athletes, and the institution cannot show a history and continuing practice of program expansion as required in paragraph (2), whether the school district can demonstrate that the interest and abilities of the members of that sex have been fully and effectively accommodated by the present program.
(e) If an educational institution must cut its athletic budget, the educational institution shall do so consistently with its legal obligation to comply with both state and federal gender equity laws.
(f) It is the intent of the Legislature that the three-part test articulated in subdivision (d) be interpreted as it has been in the policies and regulations of the Office of Civil Rights in effect on January 1, 2003.
(g) On the basis of sex, harassment or other discrimination among persons, including, but not limited to, students and nonstudents, or academic and nonacademic personnel, in employment and the conditions thereof, except as it relates to a bona fide occupational qualification.
(h) On the basis of sex, the application of any rule concerning the actual or potential parental, family, or marital status of a person, or the exclusion of any person from any program or activity or employment because of pregnancy or related conditions.
For information regarding Title IX information, click here.
Please click the following links for Lancaster School District's board policy:
Discrimination (multiple board policies)
Social Media Bullying Resources
stopbullying.gov - provides resources related to facts about bullying, laws and policies, tips for students and parents, and information about videos and social media
Office of Civil Rights - provides information regarding complaint process, as well as information related to sexual harassment, athletic equity, transgender and gender-nonconforming student resources, and more
safekids.com - offers a variety of resources related to digital citizenship and cyberbullying information
internetsafety101.org - provides parents information regarding cyberbullying, bullying statistics, tips to stop cyberbulling, and various related articles
commonsensemedia.org - Tips for parents regarding social media use, safe ways to socialize at a distance, and managing screen time during distance learning
trevorproject.org - provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth
tolerance.org - dedicated to educating children and youth to be active participants in a diverse society; emphasizes social justice and anti-bias
Cyberbullying video - created by the Lancaster School District's Discovery and Desert View Elementary counselors.
Reporting and Filing of Complaints
Any student, parent/guardian, or other individual who believes that a student has been subjected to bullying or who has witnessed bullying may report the incident to a teacher, the principal, a compliance officer, or any other available school employee. Complaints will be handled in accordance with the Uniform Complaint Procedures.
When circumstances involve cyberbullying, individuals with information about the activity are encouraged to save and print any electronic or digital messages they feel constitute cyberbullying and notify a school employee so the incident can be investigated.
Corrective actions for students who engage in an act of bulling of any type may include counseling, behavioral intervention and education, and, if the behavior is severe or pervasive as defined in Education Code 48900, may include suspension or expulsion in accordance with district policies and regulations.
The school principal or desginee may refer a victim, witness, perpetrator, or other student affected by an act of bulling to a school counselor, school psychologist, school nurse, or other school support service personnel for case management, counseling, and/or participation in a restorative just program as appropriate.