Harassment and Bullying

It is the policy of the Archdiocesan Catholic School Board and Cedar Valley Catholic Schools to maintain a learning environment that is free from any type of harassment/bullying. No student associated with the educational programs governed by the Archdiocesan Catholic School Board shall be subjected to any type of harassment/bullying while on school/parish property, at any school/parish function or at a school/parish-sponsored activity regardless of location. It is a violation of policy for any school employee, volunteer or student to harass/bully a student through conduct or communications as defined below.

“Harassment” and “bullying” shall be construed to mean any electronic, written, verbal or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:

  • Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student's person or property
  • Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student's physical or mental health
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student's academic performance
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student's ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by the educational program

Harassment/bullying includes but is not limited to:

  • Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, or threatening, intimidating or hostile acts
  • Written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is circulated within or placed on walls, bulletin boards or elsewhere on premises where the educational program operates
  • Name-calling, sarcasm, spreading rumors, excessive teasing and hazing

“Trait or characteristic of the student” includes but is not limited to age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status or familial status.

“Electronic” means any communication involving the transmission of information by wire, radio, optical cable, electromagnetic or other similar means. “Electronic” includes but is not limited to communication via electronic mail, Internet-based communications, pager service, cell phones and electronic text messaging.

The standard for determining whether verbal or physical conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile or abusive environment is whether a reasonable student in the same or similar circumstances would find the conduct intimidating, hostile or abusive. It is not necessary to show that the victim was psychologically harmed.

Any school employee, volunteer, parent, guardian or student who witnesses or becomes aware of conduct in violation of this policy should file a complaint in writing directly to the victim’s or perpetrator’s teacher, immediate supervisor, principal or the Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The complaint shall describe the perceived violation, name the perpetrator and the victim, and identify any potential witnesses to the incident.

This policy is in compliance with Iowa Code Chapter 216 and 280.12(2)(f) and ACSB policies 2515.1, 2515.11, 5144.3.