Alabaster schools enact student anti-harassment policy

Published 7:30 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Alabaster Board of Education approved a student anti-harassment policy during its July 16 meeting. (File)

The Alabaster Board of Education approved a student anti-harassment policy during its July 16 meeting. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Bullying or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated in Alabaster’s schools, according to a policy enacted by the Alabaster Board of Education during a July 16 meeting.

During the meeting, the School Board unanimously passed an anti-harassment policy prohibiting violence, the threat of violence, intimidation and destruction of a student’s property by another student.

“Students are expected to treat each other students with courtesy, respect and dignity and comply with the student code of conduct,” read the policy. “Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary sanctions.”

The policy prohibits students from bullying other students based on their race, gender, religion, national origin or disability.

“This provides protection for the victims. It meets and probably exceeds the Alabama Code,” said Alabaster School Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers.

“This covers electronics, Facebook and all the ways it can happen,” said School Board President Adam Moseley. “It’s not just on the playground anymore.”

The policy encourages students to immediately report incidents of harassment to a school employee. Students will then fill out a School Board-approved complaint form and deliver it to the school’s principal or the principal’s designee.

The principal or the principal’s designee will then determine if the complaint “alleges a serious violation” of the anti-harassment policy. The principal can then launch an investigation into the matter, and can enact “appropriate disciplinary sanctions” against the student or students who violated the anti-harassment policy.

The principal can also take measures designed to prevent recurrence of the violating incidents.

“Acts of reprisal or retaliation against any student who has reported a violation of this policy or sought relief provided by this policy are prohibited, and are themselves a violation of this policy,” read the policy.

Any student who “deliberately, recklessly and falsely” accuses another student of violating the anti-harassment policy will face disciplinary actions, according to the policy.

According to the policy, threats of student suicide will be reported to the student’s parent or legal guardian.