Section I: parental rights and responsibilities 3 parental involvement 3




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ACADEMIC PROGRAMS


The school counselor provides students and parents information regarding academic programs to prepare for higher education and career choices. [For more information, see Academic Counseling on page 21 of this handbook and Policy EIF.]

BULLYING

Bullying occurs when a student or group of students engages in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic methods, or physical conduct against another student on school property, at a school-sponsored or –related activity, or in a District-operated vehicle, and the behavior:

Results in harm to the student or the student’s property,

Places a student in reasonable fear of physical harm or of damage to the student’s property, or

Is so severe, persistent, and pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment.

This conduct is considered bullying if it exploits an imbalance of power between the student perpetrator(s) and the student victim and if it interferes with a student’s education or substantially disrupts the operation of the school.


Bullying could include hazing, threats, taunting, teasing, confinement, assault, demands for money, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, name-calling, rumor-spreading, or ostracism. In some cases, bullying can occur through electronic methods, called “cyberbullying.”

If a student believes that he or she is experiencing bullying or has witnessed bullying of another student, it is important for the student or parent to notify a teacher, counselor, principal, or another District employee as soon as possible to obtain assistance and intervention. The administration will investigate any allegations of bullying—or other related misconduct.

If the results of an investigation indicate that bullying occurred, the administration will take appropriate disciplinary action. Disciplinary or other action may be taken even if the conduct did not rise to the level of bullying. The District will also contact the parents of the victim and of the student who was found to have engaged in the bullying. Available counseling options will be provided to these individuals, as well as to any students who have been identified as witnesses to the bullying. Any retaliation against a student who reports an incident of bullying is prohibited.
The principal may, in response to an identified case of bullying, decide to transfer a student found to have engaged in bullying to another classroom at the campus. In consultation with the student’s parent, the student may also be transferred to another campus in the District. The parent of a student who has been determined by the District to be a victim of bullying may request that his or her child be transferred to another classroom or campus within the District. [Also see School Safety Transfers on page 6.]
A copy of WISD’s policy is available in the principal’s office, Superintendent’s office, and on the District’s web site. A student or parent who is dissatisfied with the outcome of an investigation may appeal through Policy FNG(LOCAL). [Also see Dating Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation on page 25, School Safety Transfers on page 6, Hazing on page 35, Policy FFI, and the District Improvement Plan, a copy of which can be viewed in the campus office.]

CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION (CTE) PROGRAMS


The District offers career and technology (CATE) programs in areas such as cosmetology, computer assisted drafting, automotive technology, and health related services. Admission to these programs is based on specific criteria.

Weatherford ISD will take steps to ensure that lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in all educational and CTE programs. [Also see Nondiscrimination Statement on page 46 for additional information regarding the District’s efforts regarding participation in these programs.]


CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE AND OTHER MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN


The District has established a plan for addressing child sexual abuse and other maltreatment of children, which may be accessed at in the counselor’s office. As a parent, it is important for you to be aware of warning signs that could indicate a child may have been or is being sexually abused. Sexual abuse in the Texas Family Code is defined as any sexual conduct harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare as well as a failure to make a reasonable effort to prevent sexual conduct with a child. Anyone who suspects that a child has been or may be abused or neglected has a legal responsibility, under state law, for reporting the suspected abuse or neglect to law enforcement or to Child Protective Services (CPS).

Possible physical warning signs of sexual abuse could be difficulty sitting or walking, pain in the genital areas, and claims of stomachaches and headaches. Behavioral indicators may include verbal references or pretend games of sexual activity between adults and children, fear of being alone with adults of a particular gender, or sexually suggestive behavior. Emotional warning signs to be aware of include withdrawal, depression, sleeping and eating disorders, and problems in school.

A child who has experienced sexual abuse or any other type of abuse should be encouraged to seek out a trusted adult. Be aware as a parent or other trusted adult that disclosures of sexual abuse may be more indirect than disclosures of physical abuse and neglect, and it is important to be calm and comforting if your child, or another child, confides in you. Reassure the child that he or she did the right thing by telling you.

As a parent, if your child is a victim of sexual abuse or other maltreatment, the campus counselor or principal will provide information regarding counseling options for you and your child available in your area. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) also manages early intervention counseling programs. To find out what services may be available in your county, see http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Prevention_and_Early_Intervention/Programs_Available_In_Your_County/default.asp.

The following Web sites might help you become more aware of child sexual abuse:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/signs.cfm

http://sapn.nonprofitoffice.com/

http://www.taasa.org/member/materials2.php

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/childabuse1.shtml

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/AG_Publications/txts/childabuse2.shtml

Reports may be made to:

The Child Protective Services (CPS) division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (1-800-252-5400 or on the Web at http://www.txabusehotline.org).

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