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Bullying Policy

BULLYING & HARASSMENT

No person, including an MSLF employee or agent, or student, shall harass or intimidate another student based upon a student’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, gender-related identity or expression, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation creed, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic or protected group status. Bullying can lead to physical and psychological intimidation and emotional harm to students, causing a detrimental effect on a student’s physical or mental health, and interferes with the creation of a safe educational environment, including a student’s ability to learn and/or participate and benefit from school services and activities.
MSLF will not tolerate bullying, harassing or intimidating conduct, whether verbal, physical, visual, or electronic that affects tangible benefits of education, that unreasonably interferes with a student’s educational performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment. Examples of prohibited conduct may include, but are not limited to, the following: teasing, name-calling, using derogatory slurs, wearing or possessing items depicting or implying hatred or prejudice of one of the characteristics stated above, mocking, hitting, insulting, making racist remarks, lying, spreading rumors, threatening, intimidating, making jokes at the expense of another, mimicking, social exclusion, damaging someone’s reputation, harassing, stalking, or encouraging someone else to do any of the above. The terms “intimidating, “hostile” and “offensive” include conduct that has the effect of humiliation, embarrassment, or discomfort. No student shall be subjected to bullying:

 

  1. During any school-sponsored education program or activity;
  2. While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, at designated school bus stops waiting for the school bus, or at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities;
  3. Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment; or
  4. Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a non-school related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by a school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the educational process or orderly operation of a school. This item (4) applies only in cases in which a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred and does not require a school to staff or monitor any non-school related activity, function or program.

 

 

Bullying is defined to include cyber-bullying (as defined below) and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

 

  1. Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
  2. Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
  3. Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
  4.  Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the school.

 

Bullying may take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is intended to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.

 

Cyber-bullying is defined as bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photoelectronic system, or photoptical system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. “Cyber-bullying” includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying in this policy. “Cyberbullying” also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying per this policy.

 

Bullying is contrary to Illinois State law and to MSLF’s policies and the policy of the non-sectarian nonpublic school. MSLF does not intend to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or under Section 3 of Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution.

 

Students who are victims of or witnesses to harassment or bullying are strongly encouraged to report the harassment or bullying to the Executive Director, or if the Executive Director is
involved, to the President of the Board of Directors. A report may be made orally or in writing to the above-referenced individual(s). Below please find the contact information for these individuals. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened harassment or bullying should report it to the Executive Director, or if the Executive Director is involved, to the President of the Board of Directors. The identity of the reporting party will remain confidential to every extent possible.

 

Executive Director: President of the Board of Directors:
Hope Allegretti Lou Fernandez
MSLF, 13700 W. Laurel Dr. 4437 Stonehaven Dr.
Lake Forest, IL 60045 Long Grove, IL 60047
847-918-1000, x304 cell: 847-913-3630

 

Consistent with applicable federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, and MSLF’ policies, the Executive Director, or her/his designee, will inform all parents/guardians of those students involved in the alleged incident of harassment or bullying and discuss, as appropriate, the need for interventions, such as individual counseling, social work services, group counseling, and restorative measures. The following are interventions that can be taken to address harassment or bullying including school social work services, restorative measures, social-emotional skill building, counseling, and/or community-based services.

 

Reports of harassment or bullying will be promptly investigated by the Executive Director or his/her designee. Reasonable efforts will be made to complete the investigation within ten (10) school days after the date the report of the incident of harassment or bullying was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported incident of harassment or bullying. Any reports of harassment or bullying will be kept confidential to the greatest extent possible given the need to investigate the reported claim. School support personnel and other staff members with relevant knowledge and experience, may be involved in the investigation process, as deemed appropriate. The school interventions that can be taken to address bullying, which may include, but are not limited to, social work services, restorative measures, social-emotional skill building, counseling, psychological services, and community-based services.

 

The Executive Director, or her/his designee, shall be notified of all reports of harassment or bullying as soon as possible after the report is made. Consistent with applicable federal and State law, and MSLF’s policies regarding student privacy and confidentiality, parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation may be provided relevant information regarding the investigation, as deemed appropriate by the Executive Director, or her/his designee, and an opportunity to meet with the Executive Director, or her/his designee, to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying, as deemed appropriate.

 

Any student who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in harassment or bullying will be subject to disciplinary consequences as deemed appropriate and consistent with MSLF’s disciplinary policies. Students who make good faith complaints will not be disciplined. Any retaliation or reprisal against any person who reports an act of harassment or bullying per this policy is a violation of this policy and strictly prohibited. Further, consequences and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken as deemed necessary by MSLF for the person engaging in retaliation or reprisal. Appropriate consequences and remedial action may also be taken against a person found to have falsely accused another of harassment or bullying as a means of retaliation or as a means of harassment or bullying.

 

The MSLF Bullying Prevention Policy shall be included in the student handbook available on the MSLF website, https://www.mslf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/MSLF-Parent-Handbook-2021-2022-NEW.pdf and is updated and communicated annually to parents, guardians, students, and school personnel, including new employees when hired and is included in the employee handbook. The bullying prevention and response plan is based on the engagement of a range of school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians. The policy is consistent with other school policies and shall be reviewed annually and re-evaluated to assess outcomes and effectiveness. Factors may include, but are not limited to, the frequency of victimization; student, staff, and family observations of safety at a school; identification of areas of a school where bullying occurs; the types of bullying utilized; and bystander intervention or participation.