Position Statement on School Climate
Griswold Public Schools always has and will continue to foster an academic environment that is safe, comfortable, and tolerant of all people regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or other discerning characteristics. In order to maintain a safe school climate everywhere on campus, the district does many things to educate and promote positive and respectful behavior; the district also has a comprehensive response system (which includes discipline and intervention) when a person or persons are disrespectful or mean to anyone else.
The district has agreed to take a strong stance against bullying and harassing behavior both on and off school campus that would cause any person to feel unsafe or uncomfortable while on campus. This type of behavior includes actions taken in school, on school buses, at school-sponsored activities, on and off school property, electronically (through the use of cell phones, social media, or other electronic means), and any other circumstance that fits the definition of bullying as set forth by the State of CT.
Definition of Bullying
Bullying means an act that is direct or indirect and severe, persistent or pervasive, which (A) causes physical or emotional harm to an individual, (B) places an individual in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm, or (C ) infringes on the rights or opportunities of an individual at school.
Bullying shall include, but not be limited to, a written, verbal or electronic communication or physical act or gesture based on any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, or physical, mental, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics.
Dating Violence means any act of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, including stalking, harassment and threatening that occurs between two students who are currently in or who have recently been in a dating relationship.
Students who engage in any act of bullying, on school grounds, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by the Board of Education, or through the use of an electronic device or an electronic mobile device owned, leased or used by the Board of Education, and outside of the school setting if such bullying:
A. Creates a hostile environment at school for the student against whom such bullying was directed,
B. Infringes on the rights of the student against whom such bullying was directed at school,
C. Substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
Students and/or parents/guardians may file verbal or written complaints concerning suspected bullying behavior, and students shall be permitted to anonymously report acts of bullying to school employees. Any report of suspected bullying behavior will be promptly reviewed. If acts of bullying are verified, prompt disciplinary action may be taken against the perpetrator, consistent with his/her rights of due process.
In order to minimize incidents of bullying, harassment, and intimidation, and to fully address incidents once they occur, each school will develop a comprehensive reporting and response plan that will include several sections:
A convenient, thorough, and manageable reporting system that can be used anonymously or not to report a possible incident of bullying to building administration and the school’s climate specialist
A clearly defined procedure to be followed when investigating every report of alleged bullying, which will include a determination of whether or not bullying has occurred and next steps to follow to address the situation
Clearly defined expectations for notifying the parents/guardians of both the bully and the victim of the bully, which includes an opportunity to meet with building administration about the results of the investigation
A clearly defined follow-up procedure with the victim and his/her family after the bullying situation has been addressed to determine if there have been any further incidents related to the reported problem
A clearly defined recording and filing system, which includes a mechanism to follow when a request has been made of a school about their history of bullying incidents
A non-all-inclusive list of strategies to be used to educate the bully or bullies about what bullying is and the effects of bullying and ways to prevent any future incidents of bullying
District-Wide Climate Committee
District-Wide Safe Schools Climate Coordinator: Campus-Wide Athletics and Activities Director, Mr. Stephen Cravinho
GES School Climate Specialist: Assistant Principal, Mrs. Jacqueline Love
GMS School Climate Specialist: Assistant Principal, Mr. Jeff Parkinson
*GAHS will be overseen by the Director of Special Education, Mr. Christopher Champlin, with support from the GHS Associate Principal