Great Hearts Bullying Policy

Policy on Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying of Students

The Academy prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying of students. “Harassment, intimidation, or bullying” means any gesture or written, verbal or physical act toward a student that takes place on school property or at a school-sponsored activity and that:

  1. Is motivated by any actual or perceived characteristic of the student, such as race, ethnicity, religion, ancestry, sex or sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or disability; and
  2. (a) Harms the student or damages the student’s property or threatens personal harm or damage to his property; or (b) Insults, demeans or intimidates the student or a group of students in such a way as to substantially interfere with the student or students’ educational or social activities at school or cause a substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.

The school expects students to conduct themselves in keeping with their levels of development, maturity and demonstrated capabilities with a proper regard for the rights and welfare of other students and school staff, the educational purpose underlying all school activities, and the care of school facilities, and equipment.

The Dean of Students is the first person responsible for receiving complaints alleging violations of this policy. All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy to the Dean of Students. All other members of the school community, including students, parents, volunteers and visitors, are encouraged to report any act that may be a violation of this policy. Oral reports also shall be considered official reports. Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action may not be based solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

The Dean of Students, in consultation with the Headmaster, will determine whether an alleged act constitutes a violation of this policy. In so doing, the Dean of Students shall conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of the alleged incident. The Dean of Students may conclude that the alleged violation occurred or did not occur, or that the evidence is inconclusive. If the Dean of Students concludes that the alleged violation did not occur or that the evidence is inconclusive, no written report of the matter will be maintained in a student’s file.

In advising the Headmaster on the appropriate response to students who commit one or more acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying, the Dean of Students will consider the following factors: the developmental and maturity levels of the parties involved, the levels of harm, the surrounding circumstances, the nature of the behaviors, past incidences or past or continuing patterns of behavior, the relationships between the parties involved and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. Concluding whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this policy requires a determination based on all of the facts and surrounding circumstances. It is only after meaningful consideration of these factors that an appropriate consequence should be determined, consistent with the school’s policies and applicable law.

Consequences and appropriate remedial action for students who commit acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may range from positive behavioral interventions up to and including suspension or expulsion. Some acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying may be isolated incidents requiring that the school respond appropriately to the individuals committing the acts. Other acts may be so serious that they require a response by law enforcement officials.

Any act of harassment, intimidation or bullying that may constitute sexual abuse or any other form of child abuse, and threats of violence against students, teachers, or staff, shall be reported to law enforcement officials as required by state law.

The school prohibits retaliation against any person who reports an act of harassment, intimidation or bullying. The consequence and appropriate remedial action for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation shall be determined by the headmaster after consideration of the nature and circumstances of the act, in accordance with applicable school policies and law.

Policy on Hazing

Hazing, solicitation to engage in hazing, and aiding and abetting another person who is engaged in hazing is strictly prohibited. A person is considered a “student” who has enrolled, who has been accepted for enrollment, or intends to enroll within the next 12 calendar months. This policy applies to all students until graduation, transfer, promotion, or withdrawal from the school.

“Hazing” is defined as any intentional, knowing or reckless act committed by a student, whether individually or in convert with other persons, against another student, and in which both of the following apply:

  • The act is committed in connection with an initiation into, an affiliation with or the maintenance of membership in any organization that is affiliated with an educational institution; and
  • The act contributes to a substantial risk of potential physical injury, mental harm or degradation or causes physical injury, mental harm or personal degradation.

“Organization” means an athletic team, association, order, society, corps, cooperative, club or other similar group that is affiliated with an educational institution and whose membership consists primarily of students enrolled at that educational institution.

Violations of this policy do not include customary athletic events, contests or competitions that are sponsored by an educational institution or any activity or conduct that furthers the goals of a legitimate educational curriculum or legitimate extracurricular program.

Anonymous Reports of Suspicious Activity

Parents or students who would like to provide an anonymous report to the school regarding bullying, illegal activity, or suspected abuse can do so by clicking here, mailing a note to the school, addressing it to the attention of the headmaster. We encourage anyone who has such concerns to report them, either anonymously or in person.