Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying

APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY ACADEMY AT MIDDLE FORK PROHIBITION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, HARASSMENT AND BULLYING

I. Introduction

The Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork (hereinafter "Academy" or "the school") acknowledges the dignity and worth of all students and employees and strives to create a safe, orderly, caring and inviting school environment to facilitate student learning and achievement. The Academy will not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination, harassment or bullying in any of its educational or employment activities.

II. Policy Scope

This policy shall apply to all students, employees, volunteers and visitors of the Academy. "Visitors" includes persons, agencies, vendors, contractors and organizations doing business with or performing services for the Academy.

III. Prohibited Behaviors and Consequences

  1. Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying
    Students, Academy employees, volunteers and visitors are expected to behave in a civil and respectful manner. The Academy expressly prohibits unlawful discrimination, harassment and bullying.

    Students are expected to comply with the behavior standards established by Academy policy and the Code of Student Conduct. Employees are expected to comply with Appalachian State University ("University") and Academy policies and regulations governing employee conduct. Volunteers and visitors on school property also are expected to comply with Academy policies, rules and procedures.

    Any violation of this policy is serious, and Academy officials shall promptly take appropriate action. Based on the nature and severity of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the incident, the student will be subject to appropriate consequences and remedial actions ranging from positive behavioral interventions up to, and including, expulsion.

    Employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to, and including, dismissal. Volunteers and visitors who violate this policy will be directed to leave school property and/or be reported to law enforcement, as appropriate.

    When considering if a response beyond the individual level is appropriate, school administrators will consider the nature and severity of the misconduct to determine whether a classroom or school-wide response is necessary. Such classroom or school-wide responses may include staff training, harassment and bullying prevention programs and other measures deemed appropriate to address the behavior.

  2. Retaliation
    The Academy prohibits reprisal or retaliation against any person for reporting or intending to report violations of this policy, supporting someone for reporting or intending to report a violation of this policy, or participating in the investigation of reported violations of this policy.

    After consideration of the nature and circumstances of the reprisal or retaliation and in accordance with applicable federal, state or local laws, policies and regulations, the Principal or designee (in the case of students) or appropriate supervisor or Academy official (in the case of employees or others subject to the policy) shall determine the consequences and remedial action for a person found to have engaged in reprisal or retaliation.

IV. Application of Policy (Location and Activity)

This policy applies to behavior that takes place:

  1. in any school building or on any school premises before, during or after school hours;
  2. on any bus or other vehicle as part of any school activity;
  3. at any bus stop;
  4. during any school-sponsored activity or extracurricular activity;
  5. at any time or place when the individual is subject to the authority of school personnel; and
  6. at any time or place when the behavior has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the school.

V. Definitions

For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Bullying
    Any pattern of gestures or written, electronic or verbal communications, or any physical act or any threatening communication that places a student or Academy employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property, or that has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the school.

    Bullying includes, but is not limited to, behavior described above that is reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic or motivated by an individual's association with a person who has or is perceived to have a differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability.

    Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that takes place through use of the internet, mobile phones, social media, or other digital technologies. Cyberbullying will be addressed through this policy if it takes place on school property or if it has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the school.

    Examples of bullying behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal taunts, name-calling and put-downs, epithets, derogatory comments or slurs, lewd propositions, exclusion from peer groups, extortion of money or possessions, implied or stated threats, assault, impeding or blocking movement, offensive touching or any physical interference with normal work or movement, and visual insults, such as derogatory posters or cartoons. Legitimate age-appropriate pedagogical techniques are not considered bullying.

  2. Discrimination:
    Unlawful or otherwise prohibited distinction of, preference for, or detrimental treatment of, an individual as compared to other individuals that is based on an individual's protected status (as defined in this policy) and that is sufficiently serious to unreasonably interfere with or limit:

    1. An employee's or employment applicant's access to employment or terms, conditions and benefits of employment (e.g., hiring, advancement, assignment, etc.);
    2. A student's or admission applicant's ability to participate in, access, or benefit from educational programs, services, or activities (e.g., admission, academic standing, grades, assignment, campus housing, etc.);
    3. An authorized volunteer's ability to participate in a volunteer activity; or
    4. A guest's or visitor's ability to participate in, access, or benefit from the University's programs or deliver services.

      Discrimination includes failure to provide reasonable accommodations, consistent with state and federal law and University and Academy policy, to a qualified person with a disability. Discrimination also includes failure to make religious accommodations consistent with state and federal law. Discrimination may be intentional or unintentional.

  3. Harassment:
    1. Verbal, physical, electronic, or other conduct based upon an individual's protected status (as defined in this policy) that creates a hostile environment or involves a quid pro quo exchange. Harassment occurs when this type of conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's:
      1. Educational environment (e.g., admission, academic standing, grades, assignment, etc.);
      2. Work environment (e.g., hiring, advancement, assignment, etc.);
      3. Participation in an Academy program or activity (e.g., after school or extra-curricular activities, etc.); or
      4. Receipt of legitimately requested services (e.g., disability or religious accommodations, etc.)
    2. Legitimate age-appropriate pedagogical techniques are not considered harassment.
    3. Hostile Environment Harassment - Unwelcome conduct based on protected status that is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it alters the conditions of education, employment, or participation in an Academy program or activity, thereby creating an environment that a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities would find hostile, intimidating, or abusive. An isolated incident, unless sufficiently severe, does not constitute hostile environment harassment.
    4. Quid Pro Quo Harassment - Unwelcome conduct based on protected status where submission to or rejection of such conduct is used, explicitly or implicitly, as the basis for decisions adversely affecting an individual's education, employment, or participation in an Academy program or activity. Examples of quid pro quo harassment may include, but are not limited to:
      1. Promising a promotion or higher grade if an individual acquiesces to sexual advances;
      2. Denying an employee a pay raise after the employee has declined a request for sexual favors from a supervisor; or
      3. Action to deny membership in an organization to an individual who has declined a request for sexual favors from a leader or member of that organization.

  4. Protected Status:
    Consistent with federal and state law and policies of The University of North Carolina and Appalachian State University, the Academy prohibits discrimination and harassment based on the following protected statuses:

    1. Age
    2. Color
    3. Disability
    4. Gender
    5. Gender identity
    6. Gender expression
    7. Genetic information
    8. National origin
    9. Political affiliation
    10. Race
    11. Religion
    12. Sex
    13. Sexual orientation
    14. Veteran status

  5. Sexual Harassment:
    It is possible for harassment, including sexual or gender-based harassment, to occur in various situations. For example, harassment may occur between fellow students or co-workers, between supervisors and subordinates, between employees and students, or between non-employees, including visitors, and employees or students. Harassment may occur between members of the opposite sex or the same sex.

    1. Sexual harassment is one type of harassment. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
      1. submission to the conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment, academic progress or completion of a school-related activity;
      2. submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting the individual, or in the case of a student, submission to or rejection of such conduct is used in evaluating the student's performance within a course of study or other school-related activity; or
      3. such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee's work or performance or a student's educational performance, limiting a student's ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or environment, or creating an abusive, intimidating, hostile or offensive work or educational environment.

        Sexually harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to, deliberate, unwelcome touching that has sexual connotations or is of a sexual nature, suggestions or demands for sexual involvement accompanied by implied or overt promises of preferential treatment or threats, pressure for sexual activity, continued or repeated offensive sexual flirtations, advances or propositions, continued or repeated verbal remarks about an individual's body, sexually degrading words used toward an individual or to describe an individual, or the display of sexually suggestive drawings, objects, pictures or written materials. Acts of verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex, but not involving sexual activity or language, may be combined with incidents of sexually harassing conduct to determine if the incidents of sexually harassing conduct are sufficiently serious to create a sexually hostile environment.

    2. Gender-based harassment is also a type of harassment. Gender-based harassment may include acts of verbal, nonverbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping but not involving conduct of a sexual nature.

VI. Reporting and Investigating Complaints of Discrimination, Harassment or Bullying

  1. Employees are required to report any actual or suspected violations of this policy. Students, parents, volunteers, visitors or others are also strongly encouraged to report any actual or suspected incidents of discrimination, harassment or bullying. All reports must be made to the Coordinator(s) defined in Section VIII of this policy.

  2. Complaints against Academy students will be investigated and addressed pursuant to the Academy Code of Student Conduct.

  3. Complaints against Academy employees will be investigated and addressed pursuant to Appalachian State University Policy 110 Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation.

  4. Complaints against volunteers and visitors will be investigated or referred as appropriate.

VII. Notice

The Principal shall provide notice of this policy at the beginning of each school year to students, parents and employees. This policy must be posted on the school website, and copies of the policy must be readily available in the Principal's office. Notice of this policy must appear in all student handbooks.

VIII. Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator

The University's Title IX Coordinator shall serve as the Academy's "Title IX coordinator" (for sex discrimination) and the "Section 504" and "ADA Coordinators" (for discrimination on the basis of disability). The Academy Assistant Principal shall serve as the Academy's Deputy Title IX, Section 504, and ADA Coordinator. The Assistant Principal, along with other employees who may be designated by the Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator, may assist in coordinating these programs. It is the duty of the Coordinator to coordinate the Academy's efforts to comply with and carry out its Title IX, Section 504 and ADA responsibilities, which include investigating any complaints communicated to Academy officials alleging noncompliance with Title IX, Section 504 or the ADA or alleged actions which would be prohibited by those laws. Contact information for the Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator is as follows:

Title IX, Section 504, ADA Coordinator
Dr. April P. Baer
Appalachian State University Title IX Coordinator
Office of Title IX Compliance
828-262-2144
baerap@appstate.edu

Deputy IX, Section 504, ADA Coordinator
Verschello M. Nelson
Academy Assistant Principal
336-748-4090
nelsonvm@appstate.edu

IX. Authority

N.C.G.S. § 116-239.8(15)
The UNC Policy Manual, The Code, Section 502

X. Additional References

N.C.G.S. § 115C-407.15

XI. Original Effective Date

July 30, 2018

XII. Revision Dates