Anti-Bullying (HIB) Investigation Procedures

Step 1 – HIB Incident Report

  • Any school employee (SE) or contracted service provider (CSP) who witnesses or receives reliable information regarding an act of HIB, must report it verbally and on the same day to the principal.
  • Therefore, if a student or parent reports an incident to a staff member, the staff member must report it to the principal.
  • The verbal report and time period requirements only apply to SEs and CSPs
  • If HIB is alleged, the principal cannot pre-screen ◦ If an allegation describes facts, but does not specifically use HIB language, the principal should apply the HIB definition to determine course of action (e.g., HIB or other code of student conduct violation?

Step 2 – HIB Investigation

  • Principal – Initiates each investigation through the ABS
    • Coordinates with ABS, but does not lead
    • As appropriate, appoints additional staff to assist with investigation
    • Informs parents of alleged offenders and alleged victims that there is an alleged incident, and may discuss, as appropriate counseling and other intervention services.
    • Although not explicitly required in statute, best practice to notify same day, if possible.
  • ABS – Leads and conducts each investigation. Completes within 10 school days of written incident report. 

Step 3 – HIB Investigation Report

  • Report completed and submitted to CSA within 2 days of investigation completion.
  • May amend the original report if information is not received within the 10-day period.

Step 4 – CSA Decision

  • May decide to provide intervention services, establish training programs, impose discipline order counseling or take or recommend other action.
  • Examples of possible action that could be taken include:
    • Providing intervention services like counseling or a peer support group
    • Setting up district, school, or class-based anti-bullying programs
    • Disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion.
    • Changing class schedules or transportation
    • School transfers
    • Taking or recommending other appropriate action.

Step 5 – CSA Report to BOE

  • Reports the results of each investigation along with information on services provided, training established, discipline imposed, or other action taken or recommended by the CSA.
  • Reports made no later than the BOE meeting following the completion of each investigation.

Step 6 – Parent Notification

  • Parent is provided with the following written information within 5 days of the CSA’s report:
    • The nature of the investigation;
    • Whether the district found evidence of HIB; and
    • Whether discipline was imposed or services provided

Step 6 – BOE Hearing

  • At any time, a parent may request a hearing before the BOE. If requested, the hearing must be held:
    • Within 10 days of the request; and in executive session

Step 7 – BOE Decision

  • In every case, BOE votes to affirm, reject or modify the CSA’s decision
  • Must occur at the BOE meeting following the CSA’s report
  • Must happen whether or not there was a BOE hearing with the parent

HIB Investigation Special Circumstances

  • Staff member accused of bullying a student
  • Should be a component of BOE HIB policy and procedures
  • Follow BOE policy and procedures
  • Parent requests a BOE hearing AFTER the BOE votes to affirm, reject, modify the CSA’s decision
  • A parent has a right to a BOE hearing at any time
  • The information should be considered in the district’s response to the matter and the investigation report, as appropriate
  • Parties want the ABS or principal to mediate a student bullying incident
  • Never mediate between alleged bully and alleged victim if incident may be HIB
  • An electronic device is the vehicle for the HIB o Authorized to search if have reasonable suspicion

HIB Investigations involving Law Enforcement

  • School officials must:
    • Investigate all HIB incident reports and implement all HIB procedures
  • At the request of LE officials, school officials may:
    • Postpone or suspend interviewing a victim or a witness; or
    • Delay obtaining or not obtain a statement from a victim or a witness
    • The ABS may amend the investigation report whenever additional information is forthcoming 

Parents and HIB Investigations

  • For reported HIB incidents, parents of alleged offenders and alleged victims have the following rights: o Initial notice of the reported incident
  • Same day suggested in most instances but no required timeline o The following information resulting from the investigation, within 5 days of the CSA’s report to the BOE:
    • The nature of the investigation;
    • Whether the district found evidence of HIB; and
    • Whether discipline was imposed or services provided o A hearing before the BOE held within 10 days of the parent’s request
  • School districts have the right to interview students WITHOUT prior parent permission – Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975) Supreme Court case

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