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Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Harassment Policy

It is our policy that cadets and school employees have an educational setting that is safe, secure, and free from harassment and bullying of any kind.  SMA will not tolerate bullying and harassment of any type.  Conduct that constitutes bullying and harassment, as defined below, is prohibited.

Bullying includes cyberbullying and means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more cadets or employees. It is further defined as unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by a student or adult, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation; and may involve but is not limited to:

1. Teasing

2. Social Exclusion              

3. Threat

4. Intimidation

5. Stalking

6. Physical violence

7. Theft

8. Sexual, religious, or racial harassment

9. Public or private humiliation

10. Destruction of property

Cyberbullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which includes, but is not limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications.  Cyberbullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person, or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying. Cyberbullying also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying.

Harassment means any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that:

1.   Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property;

2.   Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits; or

3.   Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.

Bullying and harassment also encompasses:

  1. Retaliation against a student or school employee by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying or harassment. Reporting an act of bullying or harassment that is not made in good faith is considered retaliation.
  2. Perpetuation of conduct listed in the definition of bullying or harassment by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarrass, or cause emotional or physical harm to a student or school employee by:

a.  Incitement or coercion

b.  Accessing or knowingly and willingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the district school system

c.  Acting in a manner that has an effect similar to the effect of bullying or harassment

Cyberstalking as defined in s. 784.048(1)(d), F.S., means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

Reporting an act of bullying or harassment:  Any student, staff, volunteer, or parent/legal guardian may file a report in person with the assistant head of school or designated representative, via email to the assistant head of school or designated representative, or through the anonymous online form available through the SMA Website.  Once the report has been received, the assistant head of school or designated representative will begin an investigation. 

Prevention:  SMA shall work to sustain a healthy, positive, and safe learning environment for all cadets.  It is important to create the social climate of the school and the social norms with regards to bullying. This requires the efforts of everyone in the school environment – teachers, administrators, support staff, school nurses other non-teaching staff (such as bus drivers, custodians, receptionists, and/or assistants), parents/legal guardians, and cadets.

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