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Letter to Parents About FCSD Revised Bullying Policy & Regulation

Dear Parents/Guardians,

On February 2, 2012, the Ohio House passed HB116 which is known as the bullying bill or the Jessica Logan Act. It is now law. In response to this law, the Fairfield City School District’s Board of Education recently revised our Hazing and Bullying Policy (JFCF) and Regulation (JFCF-R). You can read these updated documents on our website: fairfieldcityschools.com. Simply click on “About Us”, “School Board” and then “Policies and Forms”. You can read the complete policy and regulation there.

The Ohio Revised Code (RC 3313.666 D) requires all school districts in Ohio to send home a written statement describing the policy and consequences for policy violations to each student’s custodial parent or guardian once each school year. This letter is the result of that mandate. I am going to summarize the policy in this letter. As noted earlier, the policy in its entirety is on our website.

Our policy states, “Bullying, harassment and intimidation is an intentional written, verbal,
electronic or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once. The intentional act also includes violence within a dating relationship. The behavior causes mental or physical harm to the other student and is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment for the other student. This behavior is prohibited on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored activity. Students found responsible for harassment, intimidation or bullying by an electronic act may be suspended.” The term “electronic” has been added to the definition of bullying which was formerly used.

Please take some time to discuss the topic of bullying with your child(ren). The law has expanded the traditional definition of bullying and is advocating appropriate discipline for those who bully others.That discipline may include suspension and/or expulsion from school. It is a very serious issue with very serious consequences. Below you will find some information included in our Board Regulation (JFCF-R) which provides further clarification of behaviors which may be considered hazing, bullying, harassment or intimidation.
“Hazing, bullying behavior and/or dating violence by any student/school personnel in the District are strictly prohibited, and such conduct may result in disciplinary action, including suspension and/or expulsion from school. Hazing, bullying and/or dating violence means any intentional written, verbal, graphic or physical acts, including electronically transmitted acts, either overt or covert, by a student or group of students toward other students/school personnel with the intent to haze, harass, intimidate, injure, threaten, ridicule or humiliate. Such behaviors are prohibited on or immediately adjacent to school grounds, at any school-sponsored activity; in any District publication; through the use of any District-owned or operated communication tools, including but not limited to District e-mail accounts
and/or computers; on school-provided transportation or at any official school bus stop.
“Hazing, bullying and/or dating violence can include many different behaviors. Examples of conduct that could constitute prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to:

1. physical violence and/or attacks;
2. threats, taunts and intimidation through words and/or gestures;
3. extortion, damage or stealing of money and/or possessions;
4. exclusion from the peer group or spreading rumors;
5. repetitive and hostile behavior with the intent to harm others through the use of information and communication technologies and other web-based/online sites (also known as “cyber bullying”), such as the following:
    A. posting slurs on websites, social networking sites, blogs or personal online journals;
    B. sending abusive or threatening e-mails, web site postings or comments and instant messages;
    C. using camera phones to take embarrassing photographs or videos of students and/or distributing
         or posting the photos or videos online;
    D. using websites, social networking sites, blogs or personal online journals, e-mails or instant
        messages to circulate gossip and rumors to other students.
6. excluding others from an online group by falsely reporting them for inappropriate language to Internet service providers.
“In evaluating whether conduct constitutes hazing or bullying, special 
attention is paid to the
words chosen or the actions taken, whether such conduct occurred in front of others or was
communicated to others, how the perpetrator interacted with the victim and the motivation, either admitted or appropriately inferred.”
No parent wants their child to be bullied, and no parent wants to think 
that their child is a
bully. Bullying, however, does exist in our schools and in our community on a daily basis. Thanks for doing your part to try to eliminate this very serious problem.

If your child is the victim of bullying, please feel free to complete the Hazing Bullying Form that is located on our website (JCFC-E) and submit it to the building principal. If you have any questions about the actual policy or regulation, please feel free to contact me. Every student should have the right to come to school in a safe and supportive educational environment. Thanks for working with us to make sure this happens for all of our students.

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