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Personal Safety

Personal Safety Dresden School Board Policy CIBB
The Dresden School Board is committed to providing a learning and working environment which ensures the personal safety of all its members. Students and staff of the Dresden Schools have a right to remain safe from violence and intimidation. Physical or verbal intimidation, harassment, hazing, bullying, verbal abuse and intimidation will not be tolerated. All cases of simple assault, as defined by NH Statute 631:2-a and Vermont Statute 1-23, which cause bodily injury will be reported to the police.

This policy is in effect on school grounds, on school transportation, and at school sponsored functions. As required by NH Statute 193-D:8, a written record of incidents involving suspension, expulsion, or delinquent/criminal acts, theft, destruction, or violence which have occurred on these sites will be kept and will be part of a student's complete school record.

Regulation: JGF Personal Safety
Hanover High School Procedures
Students and staff of Hanover High School have a right to feel safe. Physical or verbal intimidation, bullying, verbal abuse, fighting, harassment, hazing, or physical assault of a student or of an adult will not be tolerated. Adult staff shall intervene if they observe or know about behavior that is harmful/hurtful to another student or adult and shall report the behavior to an administrator. Students who have observed such acts or who have been victimized themselves are expected to inform an adult staff member as soon as possible.

Hanover High School students are members of a school community. School responses to violent acts are designed to help students understand that:

  • As a community standard, violence and abusive language or behaviors are not acceptable;
  • Their behaviors in school are public and as such affect others;
  • There are alternatives to violence for resolving interpersonal conflicts.

When a student violates the district policy on personal safety, the school administration, parents and counselors/advisors will work together to reinforce these messages to an offending student. Violations of the policy by a staff member will be handled by the Principal in conjunction with the superintendent according to district personnel guidelines.

Any student victimized by another student will be encouraged to meet with a school counselor. The purpose of this meeting is to 1) review with the student their perception of the incident and possible responses, and 2) help the student move beyond the role of victim.

When appropriate, a counselor and/or Principal will meet with the perpetrator and the victim. Depending on the incident, this meeting may be an opportunity for the victim to describe the impact of the perpetrator’s behavior, for the perpetrator to apologize and to assure the victim the offending behavior will stop, and ultimately to promote better understanding between both students. Depending on the severity of the incident, the Principal will determine whether to:

  • Remove the student(s) from regular school activities for the remainder of the school day and/or while the incident is investigated;
  • Contact the student’s parents;
  • Contact police;
  • Refer the student to a school counselor, school mediation, or school counseling group.

Once the incident has been investigated, the Principal will determine the school consequences based on the guidelines below. Incidents that result in suspension or expulsion must be included in the student’s file as required by NH law. Students’ rights to due process and to privacy will be respected. The student may appeal any administrative decision to the Council’s Judiciary Committee. Suspension for violation of the safe schools policy means the student may not participate in any extracurricular activity scheduled during that time.

Verbal Intimidation, Verbal Abuse, Bullying
A student who verbally intimidates, verbally abuses, or bullies another student or adult must meet with the Principal or a designee. The Principal or designee will determine whether to issue a written warning.

If the student continues the offensive behavior, parents will be notified. School consequences may include removal from class to schedule-up to suspension. This procedure also applies to verbal intimidation via e-mail.

The minimum school response for bullying (physical, verbal, emotional, cyber) is a 1-day suspension.

Bullying
Definition:
Bullying: Bullying is hereby defined as a single significant incident or a pattern of incidents involving a written, verbal, or electronic communications, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another pupil which:

  • Physically harms a pupil or damages the pupil's property;
  • Causes emotional distress to a pupil;
  • Interferes with a pupil's educational opportunities;
  • Creates a hostile educational environment; or
  • Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of the school
In accordance with RSA 193-F:4, the District reserves the right to address bullying and, if necessary, impose discipline for bullying that:
  • Occurs on, or is delivered to, school property or a school-sponsored activity or event on or off school property; or
  • Occurs off school property or outside of a school sponsored activity or event, if the conduct interferes with a pupil's educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the orderly operations of the school or school-sponsored event.

It is important to note that the Student Handbook state that the minimum school response for bullying (physical, verbal, emotional, cyber) is a 1-day suspension. Other consequences for Bullying are outlined in the Student Handbook Bullying policy.

Please reference policy JICK

Hazing
Any action that is meant to humiliate, ridicule, harass, or degrade another student, such as when an older/upper class student(s) intentionally demeans a younger student(s), will be considered hazing. Hazing, verbal or physical, infringes on a student’s right to feel safe at school.

The response to hazing may be the same as the response to verbal or physical bullying. In certain cases, hazing may be a violation of law (NH Statute 631:7) and must be reported to the police.

Physical Intimidation/Bullying
A student who physically intimidates, threatens, or bullies another student must meet with a Principal or a designee. The minimum school response will be a formal warning and notification of parents. Responses may include restrictions on the perpetrator’s unscheduled time and on places in the school where the perpetrator may be present.

If the behavior occurs subsequent to formal warning, the school response will be suspension for a minimum of one day following the day of the incident and schedule-up for a minimum of ten school days following return to school.

Physical Assault
Physical Assault includes fighting (mutual combat), unprivileged physical contact with no visible or suspected bodily injury, and assault causing visible or suspected bodily injury.

In the case where one student is assaulted by another student or by a group, the school nurse will determine if immediate medical attention is required. If medical attention is not required, the students involved will be held under the direct supervision of school adults.

Consequences: The Principal will contact parents and the police in all cases of physical assault except when the Principal determines the incident was minor and the assaulting behavior did not result in visible or suspected bodily injury (to be determined in consultation with the school nurse.) In a minor incident, the Principal has the discretion of contacting parents only. When the police are not contacted, parents will be advised that they have the option of reporting the incident to the police.

The consequences for physical assault range from a formal warning, restriction on places in the school where the perpetrator may be present, and schedule-up to suspension (one to ten days) or expulsion. Upon return after suspension, the assaulter will have unscheduled time restricted for a minimum of 30 school days.

Return to School After Suspension
Any student suspended from school for violation of the safe schools policy must participate in a reentry process as a condition for returning to school. This process will include:

  • A meeting of the student, their parent(s), and the Principal or designee.
  • The student’s agreeing in a written contract not to engage in verbal or physical violence and not to repeat any offending behavior(s). The contract may include an agreement to stay away from the other student(s) involved. The contract will remain in effect with the school administration during the remainder of the student’s enrollment at Hanover High School. Consequences for violation of this agreement will be specified in the contract. If the student refuses or indicates that they are not ready to sign this contract, parents will be asked to take the student home. Once the student agrees to this contract, they may return to school.
  • A meeting with their counselor. If the counselor finds the student unable to participate satisfactorily in this conversation, the counselor may a) refer the student to the school psychologist for further assistance with anger management, impulse control, values clarification, etc., or b) may return the case to the administration if the student is unwilling to cooperate.

Effective: 29 April 1997