BULLYING PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION PLAN
16 December 2010
Board of Trustees
Bancroft Mission Statement – Board Approved 10/20/05
Bancroft, an independent, coeducational, college-preparatory day school,
prepares talented, well-qualified and motivated college-bound students,
kindergarten through grade twelve, to pursue and realize their academic,
personal, and social potential.
We provide a comprehensive, caring, and creative curricular and
extracurricular program that fosters an experience of excellence for each
student. Inspired students, a superior faculty, and engaged families thrive
in our diverse, safe, and supportive community. We afford students the
opportunity to discover their passion in life and to learn to embrace
confidently and responsibly the moral and ethical challenges of being lifelong
learners, teachers of others, and citizens of an increasingly complex
a- In order to meet its mission, Bancroft School expects that all members
of our school community will treat each other with civility and respect. It
is the policy of the School to provide and maintain a learning environment
that is free of bullying and any other verbal or physical misconduct that
disrupts the learning environment or makes it unsafe. This policy
supplements the School’s existing policies on discrimination, harassment,
hazing and retaliation as they apply to all employees and students.
b- Bancroft School’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan, set forth
below, is published in response to the recently enacted Massachusetts law
against bullying and is an integral part of our efforts to promote learning
and to prevent behavior that can impede the learning process. Our plan
spells out Bancroft School’s comprehensive approach to addressing
bullying, cyber-bullying, and retaliation.
c- This Plan is consistent with broader protections at Bancroft against
discrimination, harassment, hazing, bullying, and retaliation that appear in
our Parent/Student Handbook and our Employee Handbook.
d- It is important that this Plan be well understood by all members of the
Bancroft community. The Headmaster is responsible for the
implementation and administration of the Plan. Questions and concerns
related to this Plan may be referred to him or to one of the School’s
II. Policy against Bullying, Cyber-bullying, and Retaliation
a- The School will not tolerate any form of bullying or cyber-bullying, nor
will we tolerate retaliation against any person who reports bullying,
provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or
has reliable information about bullying. Bullying and cyber-bullying are
prohibited on school grounds and at school-sponsored events, activities,
functions, and programs and trips. Bullying and cyber-bullying also are
prohibited at school bus stops, on school buses and other vehicles owned,
leased, or used by the School, and through use of technology or an
electronic device owned, leased, or used by the School.
b- In addition, bullying and cyber-bullying are prohibited at a location,
activity, function, or program that is not school-related or through the
use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or
used by the school, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school
for a targeted student; infringes on the rights of a targeted student at
school; or in the estimation of the School materially and substantially
disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of the School.
c- Although the School has no responsibility in the supervision of private
functions it reserves the right to take disciplinary action when the
consequences of behavior at such functions materially and substantially
disrupt the educational process for any of its students.
d- Definitions under the Law. The following definitions are drawn from the
Massachusetts law against bullying (Section 1, Chapter 6 as amended
April 29, 2010).
Bullying. Bullying is defined as the repeated use by one or more students
of a written, verbal, or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture
or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:
•causes physical or emotional harm to the targeted student or damage to
the targeted student’s property;
• places the targeted student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or
herself or of damage to his or her property;
•creates a hostile environment at school for the targeted student;
•infringes on the rights of the targeted student at school; or
• materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the
orderly operation of the School.
Cyber-bullying. Cyber-bullying is bullying through the use of technology or
electronic devices such as telephones, cell phones, computers, fax
machines and the internet. It includes, but is not limited to, e-mail, instant
messages, text messages, and internet postings, whether on a webpage,
in a blog, or otherwise. The state law makes it clear that “Cyber-bullying
shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication
to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic
medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution
or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in….the definition of
bullying” in the statute.
Hostile Environment. A hostile environment is a situation in which bullying
causes the school environment to be permeated with intimidation,
ridicule, or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the
conditions of a student’s education.
Retaliation. Retaliation is any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment
directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information
during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information
It is important to bear in mind that stricter standards of behavior may
apply under Bancroft School’s policies in order that we may prevent
inappropriate verbal and physical conduct before a student has been
subject to bullying as it is defined under the law. For example, although
the law defines bullying as “repeated use” of certain expressions, acts,
and/or gestures, the School reserves the right to apply disciplinary
measures and other corrective action in a case of a single expression, act
or gesture, if the School determines that it is of sufficient severity to
warrant disciplinary measures or other remedial action or that the
repetition of that expression, act, or gesture might reasonably result in
bullying as defined under the law.
III. Prevention of Bullying and Cyber-bullying
a- From the earliest grades at Bancroft, students learn that as members
of our community they have a right to be treated with civility and
respect. Our curriculum emphasizes respect for differences, and teachers
and staff are clear in their expectations for student behavior.
b- At all grade levels, students are made aware of the School’s
expectations in regard to respect for others and appreciation of our
differences. These expectations are conveyed to parents through the
admission process and on a continuing basis through parent coffees,
Parent Connections, and other parent meetings.
c- Class Meetings in the Lower School and Advisory meetings in Middle
and Upper schools make sure that students are well informed about what
is expected of them and to reinforce positive conduct. These all serve as
an opportunity for students to receive clear expectations regarding
personal responsibility and to foster empathy and sensitivity to others.
d- Across the curriculum, faculty will integrate into class discussions
issues that focus on peer relationships and empower students to take
action if they feel targeted or if they witness other students engaging in
bullying or other unacceptable behavior.
e- The administration and faculty recognize that it is essential that
expectations for student conduct extend to corridors, locker rooms,
lunch, recess, carpool, buses and the like. The School strives to ensure
that ample adult supervision is provided on School premises, including in
the corridors and locker rooms, at lunch and at recess, and on Schoolprovided
transportation throughout the school day as well as at Schoolsponsored
events, including Before and After Care.
IV. Reports of Bullying, Cyber-bullying, or Retaliation
a- Any student who is the target of bullying or cyber-bullying or has
witnessed an incident of bullying or cyber-bullying or otherwise has
relevant information about bullying or cyber-bullying prohibited by this
policy is strongly encouraged to promptly report the matter orally or in
writing to the Division Head or to any other faculty or staff member with
whom the student is comfortable speaking. Also, any student who is
subject to retaliation in violation of this policy or who knows of another
student who has been subject to retaliation is encouraged to report it as
soon as possible.
b- A parent of a student who is the target of bullying or cyber-bullying or
of a student who has witnessed or otherwise has relevant information
about bullying or cyber-bullying is strongly urged to promptly notify the
Division Head. Furthermore, any parent who has him or herself witnessed
bullying or cyber-bullying or has relevant information concerning such an
incident is strongly urged to come forward to the Division Head. A parent
should also report any incident of retaliation in violation of this policy to
the Division Head.
c- Any member of the faculty or staff of the School who witnesses or
otherwise becomes aware of bullying or cyber-bullying in violation of this
policy or who becomes aware of retaliation against a student who
reported information concerning a violation of this policy is required to
report it immediately to one of the Division Heads. There are to be no
exceptions. A member of the faculty or staff may not make promises of
confidentiality to a student or parent who informs him/her of an
allegation of bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation.
d- Faculty and staff will not make reports under this policy anonymously.
The School also urges students and their parents not to make reports
anonymously. This would seriously impede the School’s ability to react
quickly and effectively. Although there are circumstances in which an
anonymous report can be better than none at all, it is far more difficult to
determine the facts of what occurred if complaints are made
anonymously. Students and parents are encouraged to bear in mind that
the School takes its policy against retaliation seriously. Also, while the
School cannot promise strict confidentiality, because information must be
shared in order to conduct an effective investigation, the School releases
information concerning complaints of bullying, cyber-bullying, and
retaliation only on a legitimate need-to-know basis and within the limits of
what is required by law.
V. Responding to a Report of Bullying, Cyber-bullying, orRetaliation
a- Preliminary Considerations. When a complaint of bullying, cyberbullying,
or retaliation is brought to the attention of the Headmaster or a
Division Head, an assessment is made as to whether any initial steps need
to be taken to protect the well-being of students and to prevent
disruption of their learning environment while the investigation is being
conducted. As appropriate, strategies such as increased supervision may
be implemented to prevent further bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation
during an investigation.
b- Obligation to Notify Parents. It is the policy of the School to notify the
parents of any student who is an alleged target of bullying, cyber-bullying,
or retaliation and the parents of any student who may have been accused
of engaging in such behavior promptly after a complaint has been made.
c- Investigation. The following is an outline of the procedure that is
pursued once a complaint has been brought to the attention of the
Headmaster or one of the Division Heads:
d- An impartial investigation of the complaint is conducted by the
Headmaster or by the Division Head. That investigation may include (but
will not necessarily be limited to) interviews with the person who made
the complaint, with the student who was the target of the alleged
bullying, cyber-bullying, or retaliation, with the person or persons against
whom the complaint was made, and with any students, faculty, staff or
other persons who witnessed or who may otherwise have relevant
information about the alleged incident.
Depending on the circumstances, the Headmaster or the Division Head
conducting the investigation also may choose to consult with other
teachers and/or staff.
VI. Resolution, Notification, and Follow-up
a- Following interviews and any other investigation undertaken, as the
School deems appropriate, the Headmaster or the Division Head will
determine whether and to what extent the allegation of bullying, cyberbulling,
or retaliation has been substantiated. If it is determined that the
policy set forth in this Plan has been violated, the Headmaster or the
Division Head will determine what disciplinary action and/or other remedial
action is appropriate and how it will be implemented.
b- The goal of an investigation and any disciplinary or other remedial
process that is imposed following that investigation is threefold: to
correct the situation to the extent it is reasonably possible, to take such
steps as can be taken to prevent there being a repetition of the incident,
and to prevent the student or students targeted and others who
participated in the investigation from being subject to retaliation
c- In appropriate circumstances, such as when a crime may have been
committed or a child may have been subject to abuse or neglect of the
type that is reportable under Section 51A of the Massachusetts laws, law
enforcement or another appropriate government agency may be notified.
d- Upon completion of the investigation, the Headmaster or the Division
Head who conducted the investigation will meet individually with the
student or students who were the target of the alleged incident and the
student or students against whom the complaint was made and their
parents to report the results of the investigation and, where disciplinary
or other corrective action is determined to be appropriate, to inform the
parties of the steps that will be taken to correct the situation. The
amount of information provided in these meetings may be limited by
confidentiality laws protecting student records.
Follow-up contacts will be made with any student found to have been
targeted in violation of this policy and his/her parents to inquire as to
whether there have been any further incidents.
This Plan is intended (1) to prevent bullying and cyber-bullying among our
students, (2) to encourage students and their parents to have confidence
the School’s procedures and to come forward promptly whenever a student
is subject to conduct that is prohibited by this or any other School
policy; and (3) to implement appropriate discipline and other corrective
measures when they are found to be warranted.