What is Alto ISD doing to address and prevent bullying?
Alto ISD is committed to taking care of the whole child. That includes nurturing their social and emotional health and building relationships with families.
On our campuses and in our classrooms, we establish and enforce clear behavioral expectations and boundaries for our students. By establishing a culture of mutual respect reinforced by social contracts, we aim to prevent bullying by defusing such destructive behavior. When misconduct occurs, there are serious consequences that vary according to the nature of the offense. Those consequences are spelled out in detail in the Student Code of Conduct.
The Code provides methods and options for managing students in the classroom and on school grounds, disciplining students, and preventing and intervening in student discipline problems. The law requires the district to define misconduct that may—or must—result in a range of specific disciplinary consequences including removal from a regular classroom or campus, out-of-school suspension, placement in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP), placement in a juvenile justice alternative education program (JJAEP), or expulsion from school.
The State of Texas has a number of requirements regarding policies and training related to bullying.
What is bullying?
It is important to distinguish bullying from other unkind, mean and harmful behavior. Calling someone a name or pushing someone once, being rude or having an argument with someone is not bullying. Of course, these behaviors should be addressed but may have different consequences and interventions, which is why the distinction is critical.
Bullying, which includes cyberbullying, is defined by law as a single significant act or a pattern of acts by one or more students directed at another student that exploits an imbalance of power and involves engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that:
- has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student's property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or damage to the student's property;
- is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for a student;
- materially or substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school; or
- infringes on the rights of the victim at school
Alto ISD Board Policies Related to Bullying
Bullying Investigation Process
The bullying investigation process at Alto ISD can be summarized in four steps.
Step 1: Bullying is Reported
If a student believes that he or she has experienced bullying or witnesses the bullying of another student, the student or parent should notify a teacher, school counselor, principal, or another district employee as soon as possible. A student may anonymously report an alleged incident of bullying online here.
Step 2: Investigation by School Staff
The administration will investigate any allegations of bullying and related misconduct. The district will also provide notice to the parent of the alleged victim and the parent of the student alleged to have engaged in bullying. The Texas School Safety Center's Bullying Checklist for Schools is a part of all bullying investigations.
Step 3: Bullying Determination & Notification of Findings
The district will provide notification of findings to the students involved, as well as their parents.
If an investigation determines that bullying occurred, the administration will take appropriate disciplinary action and may, in certain circumstances, notify law enforcement. Disciplinary or other action may be taken even if the conduct did not rise to the level of bullying.
Step 4: Consequences for Bullying
Consequences will be assigned as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. Targets of bullying will not be punished.
Rights to appeal are explained to all parties. Retaliation against students who report bullying will not be tolerated.