Bullying and Sexual Harassment

BUSD Anti-Bullying Policy 5131.2

The Governing Board of the Berkeley Unified School District affirms that every student and staff member has the right to a safe and secure school environment, free of humiliation, intimidation, fear, harassment, or any form of bullying behavior.

Definition of Bullying

Bullying means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. It is further defined as: unwanted purposeful written, verbal, nonverbal, or physical behavior, including but not limited to any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that has the potential to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment or cause long term damage; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the victim’s school performance or participation.

BUSD Sexual Harassment Policy

Sexual harassment is against the law in all schools in California (Education Codes 200, 212.6, 48900.2) and in the United States (Title IX). Sexual harassment is also in violation of Berkeley Unified School District’s Board Policy 5145.7. All forms of sexual harassment, whether student to student, staff to student, or student to staff, are unlawful at BUSD schools.

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which may have a negative impact upon the victim’s academic or work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational/work environment.

Specific Examples of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:

  1.   Unwelcome written, verbal, physical, and/or visual contact with sexual overtones such as slurs, jokes, touching, blocking movement, sexual cartoons or drawings, and obscene language.
  2.   Continuing to express sexual interest after being informed that the interest is unwelcome.
  3.   Sexting (sending sexually explicit photos or text), or electronic postings with sexual overtones on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or other media.

Reporting Bullying and Sexual Harassment

If you or someone you know has experienced bullying or sexual harassment, you can report what happened to a staff member in OCI, any counselor, administrator, or other trusted adult. A school administrator will follow up with you to discuss what happened and what you need in order to feel safe and supported. If you want to make a confidential report that will not involve the school administration, you can go to the Health Center to speak to a counselor confidentially. If you experience bullying or sexual harassment, you can also file a formal complaint. To do so, contact a BHS administrator or BUSD’s Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator, Dana Clark, at danaclark@berkeley.net or 510.486.9338.

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