Bullying Policy

Bullying Policy

SHCS Bullying Policy and Procedures

All children make choices about their behavior.  The school and parents need to work together to help students learn to choose appropriate behaviors and accept the consequences, good and bad, which may result from their choices.  Throughout the school, on school grounds, online, and at school sponsored events, students are expected to demonstrate appropriate behaviors, which are a reflection of true Christian values and their Catholic identity.

Expectations:   All staff, faculty and other adults working with students at Sacred Heart Catholic School are expected to be observant for both students engaging in bullying behaviors and those exhibiting characteristics of having been bullied.

All students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to all provisions in the school’s policy, as provided below, and procedures and directives for preventing, responding, reporting, and intervening in bullying.

Sacred Heart Catholic School cannot monitor all activities and eliminate all incidents of bullying between students, particularly when one or more of the students involved is not on school property, or at school-related functions, or under the direct supervision of school personnel.  However, to the extent that such conduct affects the educational environment at school, Sacred Heart Catholic School reserves the right to take action to investigate and respond to such conduct.

Definition of bullying:  repeated behavior by one or more individuals to another by written, verbal or electronic communication, and/or physical contact including gestures or body language which may be:

  1. Interpreted as threatening or demeaning, meant to cause emotional harm or distress to the targeted student(s)
  2. Interpreted as intentional by both the targeted student(s) and investigating personnel
  3. Inflicted by the aggressor in a manner that creates a hostile learning environment for the targeted student(s)
  4. Created or promoted by an imbalance of power between the aggressor and the targeted student(s)

Bullying can be:

  • Physical: pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching, any form of violence, threats
  • Verbal: name calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors, persistent teasing
  • Emotional: tormenting, threatening, ridicule, humiliation, exclusion from groups or activities
  • Racist: racial taunts, graffiti, gestures
  • Sexual: unwanted physical contact, abusive comments(for further details, please see the sexual harassment section)
  • Cyber Bullying is bullying directed to one or more individuals through the use of technology (school or personal device), including but not limited to, electronic communication devices and displayed as email images, text messages, postings, videos, snapchat, or conversation.

Students at Sacred Heart Catholic School are taught that:

  • If a person says or does something unintentionally hurtful and they do it once, that’s rude.
  • If a person says or does something intentionally hurtful and they do it once, that’s mean.
  • If a person says or does something intentionally hurtful and they keep doing it even when you tell them to stop or show them you are upset, that’s bullying.

Definition of harassment:   unwelcome verbal or physical conduct which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.  The basis for harassment may be any protected class including age, creed, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, gender.

One particular category of harassment, sexual harassment, consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature which substantially interferes with an individual’s employment or education, or creates a hostile, intimidating or offensive working or learning environment.  It also include situation where submission to such behavior affects decisions about the individual’s employment or education.  Sexual harassment may be directed to members of the same or opposite sex.

Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to:

  • Teasing or jokes of a sexual nature, sexual name calling, making references to past or present sexual activity, spreading sexual rumors or making derogatory or dehumanizing sexual remarks.
  • Subtle pressure for sexual activity.
  • Intentional unwelcome physical contact.
  • Display of offensive pictures, posters, or other graphics.
  • Leering inappropriately, patting or pinching and other forms of unwelcome touching.
  • Otherwise creating a hostile, intimidating, or offensive environment.


Every student, staff member, and parent of Sacred Heart Catholic School has an ethical and moral obligation to report when they have reason to believe bullying or harassment has or is occurring.  Additionally, staff has an obligation to report, and Sacred Heart Catholic School has directed staff to notify the principal or his/her immediate supervisor as soon as possible.  Staff will provide a written account of the incident using the SHCS Bullying/Harassment Report Form available from the school.

Students are taught to notify the nearest adult when they have the knowledge bullying has or is occurring.  Students may be provided a SHCS Bullying/Harassment Report Form and instructed to detail their observations and knowledge of the incident(s).   Members of Sacred Heart Catholic School’s community are also provided a way to report anonymously.

Parents are encouraged to report suspected bullying or harassment of Sacred Heart Catholic School by directly contacting an administrator or teacher.  Parents may also use the online reporting process listed above.

When a reporting parent or student requests to remain anonymous, school officials will attempt to honor the confidentiality of the individual to the degree permitted by law.  Whether anonymous or not, all reports of bullying or harassment will be fully investigated by the principal or designee assigned to do so.

Investigation Procedures:

All reported and observed acts of bullying and harassment will be investigated by Sacred Heart Catholic School personnel.  The following guidelines outline the general investigative procedures, however, the specifics for individual investigations may vary depending upon circumstances.

  • An administrator or designee is responsible for investigating reports of bullying or harassment. Reports will be directed to his/her attention, and an investigation will be initiated within three business days.
  • Parents of the targeted student(s) and of the alleged bully(s) will be notified as soon as enough information has been gathered to provide basic information to one or both parents.

Investigations may include but are not limited to:

  • Interviews with all affected students including witnesses, bystanders and adults with potential knowledge of the reported incident. Depending on the situation, an outside investigator may be hired.
  • Written statements from all parties having pertinent information, depending on age level of students.
  • The collection and review of any evidence such as notes, recordings, images or affected properties.
  • Notification of law enforcement when there is sufficient reason to believe a criminal act was committed, if reporting is required by Statute, or the school believes it is essential to maintaining a safe and orderly environment.
  • Periodic updates to parents of the targeted student(s) and the alleged bully(s).
  • Updates will be provided to staff with a need to know basis.
  • Updates and contacts included in investigative reports with parents of all affected parties notified, as appropriate to the circumstances, of the findings and determination related to the report of bullying or harassment.
  • A summary of findings indicating the report of bullying or harassment was either “Substantial,” Unsubstantiated,” “Reclassified,” or “Unfounded”


Upon completion of a bullying/harassment investigation resulting in findings that substantiate the allegation of bullying, the following responses will be considered based on the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the behavior.

In unsubstantiated findings, where school personnel believe there will be a benefit in doing so, the following responses may be considered:


  • Ongoing monitoring and contact that is both scheduled and unscheduled.
  • Scheduled meetings with the student and possibly the child’s parent(s) to the degree deemed appropriate by school personnel.
  • Scheduled meetings with the school counselor (gr. 6-8) to work on behavioral issues.
  • Acknowledgement and remorse expressed to the victim of the behavior but only upon consultation with the victim and the victim’s parent(s).
  • Participation in a Behavior Contract with identified objectives and consequences for violations.
  • Notification to the student’s teachers of what has occurred for the purposes of any additional supervision or monitoring that might be necessary.
  • Possibly suspension or expulsion.
  • Other specific requirements as deemed appropriate by the school.


  • Ongoing and scheduled meetings with the targeted student by appropriate school staff to assess how the student is adjusting and coping as well as to detect or acknowledge additional incidents of the behavior.
  • Scheduled meetings with the targeted student and possibly the child’s parent(s) to the degree deemed appropriate by school officials.
  • Option to meet regularly with the school counselor (gr. 6-8).
  • Notification to the student’s teachers of what has occurred for the purposes of any additional supervision or monitoring that might be necessary.
  • Other specific as deemed appropriate by the school.


No person shall retaliate against any person because the person has filed a bullying or harassment complaint, assisted or participated in an investigation, or opposed conduct that violates this policy.  Any student found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to and including suspension, exclusion, or expulsion.  Any school employee found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to and including termination of employment.  Any school volunteer or parent/guardian found to have retaliated in violation of this policy shall be subject to measures up to and including exclusion from school grounds.

The school shall impose disciplinary actions on the bully/harasser, as outlined and consistent with the school’s student expectations and subsequent range of punishment.

 Parents or Legal Guardian shall be held responsible for the behavior of their children as determined by law and community practice.  They are expected to cooperate with school authorities and to participate regarding the behavior of their children.