Pupil Safety And Violence Prevention Policy: Bullying
The Lyme School is committed to providing all pupils a safe,
secure, productive, and nurturing educational environment,
and encourages the promotion of positive interpersonal relations
among members of the school community. Conduct constituting
bullying and/or cyber bullying will not be tolerated and is
strictly prohibited in accordance with RSA 193-F.
The school shall investigate allegations of bullying and take
remedial action, as appropriate, after any such allegations
are substantiated. Remedial action may range from behavioral
intervention to the imposition of disciplinary measures against
any student who commits an act of bullying, falsely accuses
another student of bullying, or retaliates against any student
or witness who provides information regarding an act of bullying.
The school will promote preventative educational measures
to create awareness of aggressive behavior, including bullying.
This policy shall apply to all pupils and school-aged persons
on school grounds participating in school functions, regardless
of whether or not such school-aged persons are students of
the Lyme School, and regardless of their status under the
1. Bullying. Bullying is defined as a single significant
incident or a pattern of incidents involving a written, verbal,
or electronic communication, or a physical act or gesture,
or any combination thereof, directed at another pupil which:
• physically harms a pupil or damages the pupil’s
• causes emotional distress to a pupil;
• interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities;
• creates a hostile educational environment; or
• substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the
Bullying also includes actions motivated by an imbalance of
power based on a pupil’s actual or perceived personal
characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs, or motivated by a
pupil’s association with another person based on the
other person’s actual or perceived characteristics,
behaviors, or beliefs.
2. Cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is defined as any
conduct defined as “bullying” in this policy that
is undertaken through the use of electronic devices. For purposes
of this policy, any references to “bullying” shall
include “cyber bullying.”
“Bullying” or “cyber bullying” occurs
when an action or communication as defined in Sections A.1.
and A.2., above
occurs on, or is delivered to, school property or a school-sponsored
activity or event on or off school property; or
occurs off school property or outside of a school-sponsored
activity or event, if the conduct interferes with a student’s
educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly
operations of the school or school-sponsored activity or event.
3. Electronic devices. Electronic devices include, but are
not limited to, telephones, cellular phones, computers, pagers,
electronic mail, instant messaging devices, text messaging
devices, and computer websites.
4. School property. School property means all real property,
the physical plant of the school, and all equipment used for
school purposes, including public or private school buses
B. Reporting Acts of Bullying
1. Any student who believes that he/she has been the victim
of bullying should report the alleged acts immediately to
the Principal, or, if the student is not comfortable reporting
to the Principal, to another member of the school staff.
2. Any parent of a student who believes that he/she has been
the victim of bullying should report the alleged acts immediately
to the Principal or other member of the school staff in writing
and complete a written incident report.
3. Any school employee who witnesses or receives a report
of bullying—or has knowledge or belief that bullying
has occurred— shall inform the Principal, in writing,
as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school
day, and shall complete a written incident report.
4. The Principal may develop a system for receiving anonymous
reports of bullying. Although students, parents, staff, volunteers,
and visitors may report bullying anonymously, formal disciplinary
action may not be based solely on an anonymous report. Independent
verification shall be necessary in order for any disciplinary
action to be taken.
5. Upon receipt of a report of bullying, the Principal shall
open an investigation in accordance with Section D. of this
6. After completion of the investigation described in Section
D., the Principal shall report all substantiated incidents
of bullying to the Superintendent.
C. Parent Notification and Waiver
1. Within 48 hours of receiving a report of bullying, the
Principal shall report to the parents or guardians of the
student who has been identified as a victim of bullying, and
to the parents or guardians of the student(s) who has (have)
been identified as the perpetrator(s) of bullying. Such notification
may be by telephone, electronic mail, writing, or personal
conference. The date, time, method, and location of such notification
and subsequent communication shall be noted in the report.
The content of the notification shall be consistent with student
privacy rights under the applicable provisions of the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
2. The Superintendent may, within a 48-hour period, grant
the Principal a waiver from the parent notification requirement
if the Superintendent deems such waiver to be in the best
interest of the alleged victim or perpetrator. Any such waiver
granted shall be in writing. The granting of a waiver shall
not negate the School’s responsibility to adhere to
the remainder of its approved written policy.
D. Investigative Procedures
1. Within five (5) school days of a report of bullying, or
sooner if possible, the Principal shall initiate an investigation
into the reported incident.
2. The investigation may include documented interviews with
the alleged victim, perpetrator, and any witness(es). Any
interviews conducted shall be done privately, separately,
and in a confidential manner. At no time shall the alleged
victim and perpetrator be interviewed together during the
3. If the alleged bullying was, in whole or in part, cyber
bullying, the Principal may ask students and/or parents to
provide printed copies of the relevant electronic mail, text
messages, website pages, or other electronic communications
4. Where the alleged act or incident of bullying occurs on
a school bus, the investigation may include the use of audio
or video recordings made pursuant to RSA 570-A:2 and School
Board Policy JICC.
5. The Principal’s determination of whether a particular
action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy
shall be based on all facts and surrounding circumstances.
Factors the Principal may consider during the course of the
investigation include, but are not limited to, the following:
the nature and frequency of the alleged bullying behavior;
the existence of past incidents or a continuing pattern of
behavior; characteristics of the parties involved (such as
age); the number of individuals participating in the alleged
bullying behavior; where the alleged incident(s) occurred;
the effects of the alleged bullying on the victim.
6. The Principal shall complete the investigation
of the alleged bullying within ten (10) school days of receiving
the initial report. If the Principal needs more than ten school
days to complete the investigation, the Superintendent or
designee may grant an extension of up to an additional seven
(7) school days, if necessary. In the event an extension is
granted, the Principal shall notify, in writing, all parties
involved of the granting of the extension.
7. Within two (2) school days of completion of the investigation,
the Principal shall advise the parents or guardians of the
alleged victim and perpetrator of the findings and result
of the investigation. At the parents’ or guardians’
request, the Principal may schedule a meeting to further explain
the findings of the investigation and the reasons for the
Principal’s proposed remedial action.
8. Students who have been determined to be in violation of
this policy may face discipline in accordance with other applicable
board policies, up to and including suspension. Students facing
disciplinary procedures will be afforded all due process rights
required by law.
E. Remedial Action
1. Consequences for a student who commits a substantiated
act of bullying or retaliation may range from remedial action
in the form of positive behavioral intervention up to and
including suspension or expulsion.
2. Consequences for a student who commits a substantiated
act of bullying or retaliation may vary according to the nature
of the behavior, the developmental age of the student, and
the student’s behavioral history.
3. Remedial measures shall be designed to correct the problem
behavior, prevent another occurrence of the behavior, and
protect and provide support for the victim.
4. The Principal and Superintendent shall work with staff
to develop responses other than traditional disciplinary measures
to remediate substantiated instances of bullying.
1. For non-disciplinary remedial actions in which no other
review procedures govern, the parents or guardians of students
involved in substantiated incidents of bullying shall have
the right to appeal the Principal’s decision to the
Superintendent in writing within five (5) school days. The
Superintendent shall review the Principal’s decision
and issue a written decision within ten (10) school days.
If the aggrieved party is still not satisfied with the outcome,
he or she may file a written request for review by the School
Board within ten (10) school days of the Superintendent’s
decision. The School Board shall adhere to applicable New
Hampshire Department of Education administrative rules.
2. Due process and appeal rights for students disciplined
for substantiated acts of bullying are provided under RSA
193:13, Ed 317, and school district discipline policy.
G. Reprisal or Retaliation
1. School and/or District administrators shall take appropriate
remedial action against any student, teacher, administrator,
employee, or school volunteer who retaliates against any person
who makes a good faith report of alleged bullying, or against
any person who testifies, assists, or participates in a proceeding
or hearing relating to such bullying.
2. The remedial action to be taken shall be determined by
the Principal or District administration after consideration
of the nature, severity, and circumstances of the act, and
in accordance with law, district policies, and any applicable
collective bargaining agreements.
3. Any student found to have engaged in reprisal or retaliation
in violation of this policy shall be subject to remedial action
up to and including suspension and/or expulsion.
4. Any teacher, administrator, or other employee, found to
have engaged in reprisal or retaliation in violation of this
policy shall be subject to remedial action up to and including
termination of employment.
5. Any school volunteer found to have engaged in reprisal
or retaliation in violation of this policy shall be subject
to measures up to and including exclusion from school grounds.
6. If the alleged bullying victim or any witnesses express
to the Principal or other staff member that he/she believes
he/she may be subject to reprisal or retaliation, the Principal
shall develop a process or plan to protect those persons from
H. False Reporting
1. Any student who is found to have wrongfully and intentionally
accused another of bullying may face discipline or other consequences
ranging from positive behavioral interventions up to and including
suspension and/or expulsion.
2. Any school employee who is found to have wrongfully and
intentionally accused a student of bullying shall face discipline
or other consequences to be determined in accordance with
applicable law, district policies and procedures, and applicable
collective bargaining agreements.
I. Internal Reporting Requirements
1. Within ten (10) school days of substantiation of any incident
of bullying, the Principal shall complete all forms required
by the New Hampshire Department of Education to report substantiated
incidents of bullying, shall retain one copy of said forms,
and shall forward one copy to the Superintendent.
2. The Superintendent shall maintain said forms in a safe
and secure location.
3. The District shall report substantiated incidents of bullying
to the Department of Education annually. Pursuant to the Family
Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 USC 1232g, such reports
shall not contain any personally identifiable information
pertaining to any pupil.
District employees, school employees, regular school volunteers,
students, parents, legal guardians, and employees under contract
to the school or school district shall be immune from civil
liability for good faith conduct arising from or pertaining
to the reporting, investigation, findings, recommended response,
or implementation of recommended response to alleged acts
K. School Officials
The Superintendent is responsible for ensuring that this policy
is implemented. In order to facilitate the implementation
of this policy, the Superintendent may establish further administrative
rules or regulations, as deemed necessary.
L. Distribution and Notice of Policy
1. Students, parents, and staff shall be informed of the School’s
prohibition on bullying and the procedure for reporting bullying
at the School.
2. The school shall provide educational programs for students
and parents in preventing, identifying, responding to, and
reporting incidents of bullying. The inclusion of any specific
curriculum, textbook, or other material designed to prevent
bullying, however, shall not be required.
3. The Superintendent shall ensure that all school employees
receive annual training on bullying and related policies.
4. School staff, students, and parents shall be provided with
a copy of this policy annually through a method (e.g., employee,
student, or parent handbook; newsletter; mailing; staff workshop)
to be determined by the Superintendent.
RSA 193-F:3, Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention
RSA 570-A:2, Capture of Audio Recordings on School Buses Allowed
NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed 306.04(a)(8),
ADOPTED: 8 February 2001
REVISED: 16 December 2010