• Lexington High School Policy Prohibiting Peer Harassment and Bullying
     
    Policy Preamble
    All students deserve the opportunity to work and learn in an environment of mutual respect. In order to create and maintain such an environment, students must treat each other with courtesy, consideration and appreciation
     
    The LHS community is committed to adhering to the Lexington Public Schools’ policy of non-discrimination based on race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, age, or handicap/disability, in accordance with state and/or federal laws. These policies specifically prohibit harassment based upon each of these protected classifications. In addition, the LHS community recognizes that bullying or intimidation on any basis has a negative effect on school climate. Students who are intimidated and fearful cannot give their education the single-minded attention they need for success. Thus, bullying and intimidation for any reason is prohibited at LHS.
     
    Definition of Harassment and Bullying
    A. Harassment and bullying can include any form of behavior that interferes with another person’s sense of safety, dignity, comfort or productivity in the school environment.
      - Physical intimidation or assault;
      - Name calling (verbal/written), teasing, mimicking, slurs, or other derogatory remarks;
      - Displaying offensive graffiti, symbols, posters, pictures, cartoons/caricatures, notes, book covers, or designs on clothing;
      - Phone calls, and/or emails;
      - Touching of a person or person’s clothing;
      - Words, pranks or actions which provoke feelings or embarrassment, hurt, or intimidation;
      - Stalking;
      - Threats, threatening gestures or actions;
      - False accusations or rumors;
      - Social isolation.
       
    B. These behaviors are considered harassment when they:
      - Have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive school or work environment;
      - Have the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance;
      - Otherwise adversely affect an individual’s educational opportunities.
     
    Our Responsibilities
    As Members of the LHS Community
    Creating a school culture free of harassment and bullying demands that all individuals recognize such behaviors and take action to stop them. Every student at LHS has the potential and the responsibility to affect the school culture and is strongly urged to act in concert with the following guidelines:
      - Treat others with courtesy, consideration and respect.
      - Tell individuals behaving in a disrespectful manner toward you that you want them to stop.
      - Tell individuals behaving in a disrespectful manner toward someone else that you want them to stop.
      - Report the behavior if it does not stop.
     
    If a student is uncomfortable taking the actions suggested above or if a student has tried to stop the behaviors and does not feel the issues are satisfactorily resolved, it is important that he or she ask for help by filing a complaint.
     
    Complaint Process
    A. Filing a Complaint
      All Deans at the Lexington High School are designated as “Complaint Managers” for the purposes of receiving complaints under the Lexington Public Schools Grievance Procedure (“LPS Grievance Procedure”). A person who wishes to file a complaint of harassment should meet with any Dean as soon as possible to complete a complaint form. The Dean will interview the student and assist him/her in completing the form. If the student does not feel comfortable speaking to the Dean, he/she may contact the Principal or the Director of Human Resources, LPS Central Office (1557 Massachusetts Ave.)
    B. Investigating the Complaint
      The Dean will conduct an investigation in accordance with the LPS Grievance Procedure.
    C. Resolution and Corrective Action
      In accordance with the LPS Grievance Procedure, the Dean will meet with the grievant to review the information gathered and, if appropriate, to discuss a resolution to the complaint. Corrective action may include, but is not limited to, directions to stop the offensive behavior, mediation, counseling, education, and/or disciplinary action up to and including expulsion, subject to the requirements of applicable law and district policies.
    D. Appeal
      If the grievant disagrees with the finding, it may be appealed as set forth in the LPS Grievance Procedure. Respondents may appeal disciplinary action against them, to the extent provided by the Lexington High School Student/Parent Handbook.
     
    Reprisal
    It is a violation of this policy for any person to retaliate, coerce, intimidate, harass or interfere with a member of the school community, or any other individual, because the individual has filed a report regarding harassment or has assisted with an investigation. This includes any person who reports an alleged violation of this policy or any person who assists or participates in an investigation, or who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding or hearing relating to such harassment. Such retaliation may result in disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion, subject to applicable procedural requirements.
     
    Legal References
    Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Chapter 622 of the Acts of 1971, Gal. 151B and Gal. 151C. (safe schools, Mass Law Chapter 76, section 5).
    February 7, 2000
    updated June 2006