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Anti-Bullying Policy

Bullying is not acceptable at Carle Auditory Oral School, and is contrary to state law. Per 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7, any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:

  • Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student or students’ person or property
  • Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student or students’ physical or mental health
  • Substantially interfering with the student or students’ academic performance or substantially interfering with the student or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

The statute further states that bullying may take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.

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It is the school’s expectation that all individuals will practice safe, responsible and respectful behavior. As part of teaching and practicing these behaviors, students and teachers will treat each other safely and with respect. Neither students nor staff will be permitted to retaliate against any person who reports a bullying incident. Attempts at retaliation will result in a meeting between the teacher, program director, child and parent.

Respect is the foundation of our anti-bullying policy. As a proactive measure to teach social-emotional skills, all students are taught the school expectations and participate in weekly Friendship Circle lessons. Individual and small group social work services are additional interventions available to address bullying in the school setting. When challenges are noted, referrals to Carle and community resources for additional social-emotional skill building, counseling, and psychological services are made.

Incidences of bullying occurring on the school campus can be reported to teachers or Danielle Chalfant in the school office (217) 326-2824/ Reports of off-campus bullying can also be reported to the school, for investigation and potentially referral to a community resource. If a student, parent or staff member observes or reports that another individual is not feeling safe or being treated respectfully, the following steps/ interventions shall occur:

  • The teacher(s) of the student(s) involved, with support from the school social worker (who has knowledge, experience, and training on bullying prevention and can help guide the investigation process), will listen to and document all concerns being brought forth within 24 hours of the report.
  • The teacher(s) and school social worker will interview staff and students and review accident/ incident reports during the period leading up to and following the report of bullying to determine the frequency of victimization, student, staff and family observations of safety at school, identification of areas of the school where bullying occurs, types of bullying that are common or occurring, and bystander intervention or participation, as part of the process to investigate the report.
  • The teacher will inform the parents of the next steps regarding the schools’ actions in addressing the behaviors within 48 hours of the report.
  • The director will receive documentation of the initial concerns and actions within 48 hours of the report.
  • The teachers will speak to the students individually about the school expectations within 48 hours of the report. If requested, individual student guardians are welcome to participate in the conversation with their child.
  • Students will be encouraged to use words with their friends to stop the offensive behavior and to let the teachers know if they are being treated disrespectfully or in a way that makes them feel unsafe.
  • Students will be reminded to use kind hands and keep their bodies to themselves and to treat each other with respect.
  • The teacher will also speak to the students together as a group within 48 hours of the report.
  • The students will be reminded of the expectations and supported as they problem solve how to act/ react to specific situations.
  • The teacher will help role play/ model correct behavior if necessary.
  • Referrals for social work intervention and/ or social skills groups will be made if appropriate. The social worker will be available to discuss strategies and resources with the parents as well.
  • The teacher will monitor student behavior and follow up with the parents regarding student success and/ or continued parent concerns two weeks after the initial report, and will take into consideration additional relevant information received during the investigation about the reported incident of bullying.
  • Interventions will continue if necessary.
  • School staff will be cognizant of federal and state laws and rules concerning student privacy and rights and provide parents guardians with information related to the bullying incident, subsequent investigation and remediation action plan, and will provide an opportunity to meet with the program director to discuss the bullying incident, subsequent investigation and remediation action plan.
  • Following completion of the investigation, if it is determined that a person has falsely accused another of bullying as a means of retaliation or as a means of bullying, the school social worker will work with the individual to provide support, re-education and if warranted, referral for additional supports and services to address the underlying cause of the false report and to take steps toward remediating it.
  • All steps of the intervention will be documented and shared with the director.

CAOS uses a school wide password to access iPads and Chromebooks. Individual students do not have personal passwords. In the event that students are provided with personal passwords, school administration has the right to obtain a student’s password if there is reasonable cause to believe that the students account may contain evidence of bullying or other violations of school disciplinary rules or policy.

Reports/ incidents of bullying will be reviewed quarterly to determine whether the process is working to address and eliminate incidences of bullying. This information will be shared with stakeholders via email.

This policy was submitted via IWAS Anti-Bullying Submission portal on Wednesday, November 9, 2022. This policy was reviewed and approved on Monday, November 7, 2022.