Anti-bullying Policy

Michigan Virtual believes that a safe and civil learning environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. It is the policy of Michigan Virtual to provide a safe and nurturing online educational environment for all its students.

Bullying or other aggressive behavior toward a student, whether by other students, staff or third parties, is strictly prohibited. This prohibition includes physical, verbal and psychological abuse, including hazing, gestures, comments, threats or actions to a student which cause or threaten to cause bodily harm, reasonable fear for personal safety or personal degradation. Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment or bullying is expected of administrators and faculty to provide positive examples for student behavior.Bullying is any gesture or written, verbal, graphic or physical act (including electronically transmitted acts — i.e., the internet, telephone or cell phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), or wireless

Bullying is any gesture or written, verbal, graphic or physical act (including electronically transmitted acts — i.e., internet, telephone or cell phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), or wireless handheld device) that is reasonably perceived as being motivated either by any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or a mental, physical, or sensory disability or impairment; or by any other distinguishing characteristic.

Aggressive behavior is defined as inappropriate conduct that is repeated enough, or serious enough, to negatively impact a student’s educational, physical or emotional well-being. Such behavior includes, for example, bullying and hazing, stalking, intimidating, menacing, coercion, name-calling, taunting and making threats in all electronic forms.

Bullying is conduct that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is directed at one or more students.
  • Substantially interferes with educational opportunities, benefits or programs of one or more
    students.
  • Adversely affects the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the Michigan Virtual educational
    programs or activities by placing the student in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing
    emotional distress.
  • Is based on a student’s actual or perceived distinguishing characteristic (see above), or is
    based on an association with another person who has or is perceived to have any of these
    characteristics.

Any student who believes s/he has been or is the victim of bullying, hazing or other aggressive behavior should immediately report the situation to the school mentor, Michigan Virtual instructor or Michigan Virtual Customer Care. Complaints against the instructors should be filed with Michigan Virtual Customer Care at customercare@michiganvirtual.org.

Every student is encouraged, and every instructor is required, to report any situation that they believe to be aggressive behavior directed toward a student. Reports shall be made to those identified above. Reports may be made anonymously, but formal disciplinary action may not be taken solely on the basis of an anonymous report.

All complaints about aggressive behavior that may violate this policy will be promptly investigated and documented.

If the investigation finds an instance of bullying or aggressive behavior has occurred, it will result in
prompt and appropriate action. This may include up to expulsion for students from Michigan Virtual courses, up to discharge for employees, exclusion for parents, guests and contractors, and removal from any official position. Individuals may also be referred to appropriate law enforcement officials.

The complainant shall be notified of the findings of the investigation and, as appropriate, what remedial action has been taken.

Retaliation against any person, who reports, is thought to have reported, files a complaint or otherwise participates in an investigation or inquiry concerning allegations of aggressive behavior is prohibited and will not be tolerated. Making intentionally false reports about aggressive behavior for the purpose of getting someone in trouble is similarly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Retaliation and intentionally false reports may result in disciplinary action as indicated above.

This policy was created from a variety of resources. Michigan Virtual wishes to thank the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and local districts for their contribution to the formation of this policy.

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