The School Board of Indian River County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the bylaws and policies of The School Board of Indian River County were adopted on August 13, 2013.
 

5516 - STUDENT HAZING

Hazing activities of any type are inconsistent with and disruptive to the educational process, and prohibited at any time in school facilities, on school property, and/or off school property if the misconduct is connected to activities or incidents that have occurred on school property. No administrator, faculty member, or other School Board employee shall encourage, permit, authorize, condone, or tolerate any hazing activities. No student shall plan, encourage, or engage in any hazing.

Hazing is defined as any action or situation that endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student at a school for purposes including, but not limited to, initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating under the sanction of a school. "Hazing" includes, but is not limited to, pressuring, coercing, or forcing a student into violating State or Federal law, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding or exposure to the elements, or forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substance. Hazing does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions or any activity or conduct that furthers a legal and legitimate objective. Permission, consent, or assumption of risk by an individual subjected to hazing shall not lessen the prohibitions contained in this policy.

Administrators, faculty members, and other employees of the Board shall be alert particularly to possible situations, circumstances, or events that might include hazing. Administrators, staff members, and volunteers shall not intentionally remain ignorant of hazing or potential hazing activities. If hazing or planned hazing is discovered, the students involved shall be informed by the discoverer of the prohibitions contained in this policy and shall be ordered to end all hazing activities or planned activities immediately. All hazing incidents shall be reported immediately to the Superintendent in accordance with procedures set forth herein. Students, administrators, faculty members, and other employees who fail to abide by this policy may be subject to disciplinary action and may be held personally liable for civil and criminal penalties in accordance with law.

Procedure for Reporting

The Board designates the principal as the person responsible for receiving all complaints of hazing. Any student or student's parent/guardian who believes s/he has been or is the victim of harassment should immediately report the situation to the school principal. Complaints against the principal should be filed with the Superintendent. Complaints against the Superintendent should be filed with the Board Chair.

All school employees are required to report alleged violations of this policy and alleged acts of hazing to the principal or as described above. School employees must report the alleged violations and acts to the principal within twenty-four (24) hours.

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 to the principal or as described above.

Written and oral reports 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.

Discipline for Hazing

Students in grades 6-12 found to have engaged in acts of hazing as defined herein shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

Reports to Law Enforcement (Grades 9 through 12)

An alleged act of hazing involving any student in grades 9-12 shall be reported to the local law enforcement agency if the alleged act meets the following criteria:

 A.a person who commits an act of hazing upon another person who is a member of or an applicant to any type of student organization, if the person knew or should have known the act would result in serious bodily injury or death of such other person and the act results in the serious bodily injury or death of such other person; or

 B.a person who commits an act of hazing upon another person who is a member of or applicant to any type of student organization, if the person knew or should have known the act would create a potential risk of physical injury or death to such other person and the act creates a potential risk of physical injury or death of such other person.

Referral of Victims and Perpetrators of Hazing to a Certified School Counselor

Individual(s) who are alleged victims or perpetrators of hazing shall be referred to a certified school counselor whose responsibility it will be to address any counseling needs of the victim or perpetrator deemed necessary by the certified school counselor which may include, but is not limited to, counseling and support to address the needs of the victim and perpetrator, interventions to address the behavior of students who perpetrated the hazing, and interventions which include assistance and support for victims of hazing.

District Reporting of Hazing Incidents

Hazing incidents shall be reported in each school’s safety and discipline report required under F.S. 1006.09. The report shall include the number of hazing incidents reported, the number of incidents referred to a local law enforcement agency, the number of incidents that result in disciplinary action taken by the school, and the number of incidents that do not result in either referral to a local law enforcement agency or disciplinary action taken by the school.

Notice

The Superintendent shall distribute this policy to all students and Board employees, and shall incorporate it into building, staff, and student handbooks. It shall also be the subject of discussion at employee staff meetings or in-service programs.

F.S. 1001.43, 1006.09, 1006.135

Revised 3/24/15

© Neola 2014