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Degrading & Inflammatory Statements/Behavior - Overview (AR 5114.1)

To ensure that district staff, students, and visitors are not subject to hazing, degrading, abusive, or inflammatory statements or behavior, implementation and enforcement of Board Policy 5114.1 shall include the following activities:
  1. All staff, certificated and classified, shall be informed of the provisions of Board Policy 5114.1 by their administrator/supervisor and of their responsibility for complying with and enforcing its provisions.
  2. Staff shall ensure that their own verbal and nonverbal behavior sets the standard for compliance.
  3. Staff shall be sensitive to those unique qualities which comprise one's individuality and reinforce a respect for those qualities among students.
  4. Students shall be informed annually in writing of the requirements to comply with district behavior standards related to hazing, degrading and inflammatory statements/behavior in the school's discipline policy.
  5. Staff shall use teaching and other opportunities to increase understanding of and respect for those personal, ethnic, and cultural qualities which are fundamental to the human experience.
  6. Staff who see or have personal knowledge of persons who engage in or are victims of hazing, degrading and inflammatory statements/behavior shall take appropriate action to inform the student of his/her misconduct and refer such persons to the appropriate administrator/designee.
  7. Parents/students who feel they have been subject to hazing, degrading or inflammatory statements or behavior shall make their concerns known to an administrator or other certificated staff member.  If parents/students are not comfortable talking with staff members at the school site, they may contact the Pupil Personnel Services Department for assistance.

Degrading & Inflammatory Statements/Behavior
Student Discipline (BP 5114.1 )

The governing board of the Fremont Unified School District affirms as its policy that all students, staff, and parents/guardians have the right to be free from hate crimes, hazing, degrading and inflammatory statements, or any activity which degrades the qualities of an individual. In accordance with this policy, the school district will not tolerate discrimination in any form, nor will it tolerate behavior by students or staff which harasses, insults, degrades, or stereotypes any person on the basis of race color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, marital status, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. Hate violence constitutes a violation of the California Education Code. Sections 200, 202, 48900.3, and 48900.4. Hate crimes may constitute just cause for disciplinary action against pupils committing such an offense.

Hazing includes any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body or any pastime or amusement engaged in with respect to these organizations which causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm, to any pupil or other person attending any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution in this state.  The term 'hazing' does not include customary athletic events or other similar contests or competitions.  (32050)

Hate crimes include but are not limited to burning crosses, explosives or bomb threats, destruction or defacing of property, unusually violent assault by groups or individuals which appear random, certain kinds of vandalism, unlawful use of the telephone (for harassment). Hate crimes are defined as using force or threat of force, willingly injuring or intimidating another person, interfering with the exercise of a person's civil rights, or damaging a person's property because of the person's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. (48900.3)

The board recognizes that hate motivated statements, threats, physical assaults, or damage to property are inflammatory to those victimized by such acts and jeopardizes the safety and well-being of students and staff. Inflammatory is defined as: language or behavior which excites, makes more heated or violent, the behavior of another. The board authorizes the Superintendent or the staff to discipline students involved in degrading, inflammatory statements, or hate crimes including suspension or recommendation for expulsion for grades 4-12. (See C.E.C. 48900.3, BP/AR 0202).

  1. An incident of hate-motivated behavior is degrading. Hate-motivated behavior is any act or attempted act to cause physical injury, emotional suffering, or property damage through intimidation, harassment, bigoted slurs or epithets, vandalism, force or threat of force, motivated in part or in whole by hostility toward the victim's real or perceived ethnicity, national origin, immigrant status, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, political affiliation, or any other physical or cultural characteristics. (BP/AR 5114.10, BP 5138)
  1. Hate-motivated behaviors may include but are not limited to posting or circulating demeaning jokes, leaflets, or caricatures; defacing, removing or destroying posted materials, announcements, or memorials, etc.; distributing or posting hate-group literature and/or posters; using bigoted insults, taunts or slurs.

Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted to prevent students from expressing their views which are not degrading or inflammatory. (See BP 5138 and BP 6144.)

Compliance Officer:

Director of Pupil Personnel Services

Notification

The district's policy on hazing, degrading and inflammatory statements/behavior as it pertains to pupils shall be included in the annual notification to parents, along with the specific rules and procedures for reporting allegations of hazing, degrading and inflammatory statements/behavior. See BP 5114.10 for notification policy.

Complaint Process and Informal Site Investigation Procedures

Any student, preschool to adult, who feels that he/she has been the victim of hazing, degrading or inflammatory statements/behavior, should report this violation of Board Policy to any staff member. The complaint process in BP 5114.10 should be followed for complaints.

Appeal

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the resolution of the situation, the principal or designee shall give the student a copy of Board Policy 1312.3, Uniform Complaint Procedures, and instructions on how to initiate a formal complaint or file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights.

Procedures to be followed for initiating such an appeal, including appropriate civil law remedies, may be obtained from the Superintendent's office.

Legal Reference

California Education Code

200, 201, 32050, 48900.3, 48900.4, 35291, 48915, 48980, 48984

California Penal Code

422.6

FUSD Board Policies

0201 - Philosophy and Goals: Discrimination and Harassment
0202 - Philosophy and Goals: Ethnic/Race Relations
1312 - Community Relations: Complaints Concerning District Personnel
1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures
4119 - Personnel: Sexual Harassment
5114.3 - Suspensions and Expulsions: Due Process
5114.10 - Students: Sexual Harassment
5138 - Student Expression/Student Appropriate Language
6115.1 - Practices for School Holidays, Ceremonies, and Clubs
6144 - Controversial Issues/Student Free Speech Rights


Last Modified on April 5, 2011