In accordance with the M.G.L. c. 71, Chapter 370, An Act Relative to Bullying in Schools, LMACS is committed to promoting a safe environment to enable all students to achieve their personal and academic potential and become successful citizens. All forms of harmful and disruptive behavior, bullying, cyberbullying, and retaliation are not tolerated.
Definitions of Bullying – Cyber Safety – Retaliation
Bullying, as defined in M.G.L. c. 71, $ 370, is the repeated use by one or more students or a member of a school staff 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 target or damage to the target’s property;
- places the target 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 target;
- infringes on the rights of the target at school; or materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
Bullying is characterized by an imbalance of physical, psychological or emotional power. Bullying may include but is not limited to:
- acts of intimidation such as taunting, name calling, verbal and non-verbal
- conduct that a reasonable person would find intimidating, humiliating and offensive, social isolation such as shunning/spreading rumors or false accusations; physically aggressive behaviors including interfering with the movement of another, stealing or damaging property.
Bullying shall include cyber-bullying.
“Cyber-bullying”, bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Cyber- bullying shall also include (i) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or (ii) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying. 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 clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.
Aggressor is a student or a member of a school staff who engages in bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation towards a student.
Target is a student against whom bullying, cyberbullying, or retaliation has been perpetrated.
Bystander: person(s) who is witness to a bullying event.
Retaliation against a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying shall be prohibited.
“Victim”, a student against whom bullying or retaliation has been perpetrated.
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 the student’s education.
Prohibition Against Bullying (See paragraph (d) of the M.G.L. c. 71, Chapter 370, An Act Relative to Bullying in Schools)
Bullying is prohibited:
- on LMACS and Middlesex Community College grounds
- on property immediately adjacent to school grounds, including the park across Middle Street,
- at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function, or program, whether it takes place on or off school grounds,
- on a school or other vehicle owned, leased, or used by a school district or school
- through the use of technology or an electronic device that is owned, leased, or used by a school district or school (for example, on a school computer or over the interned using school computer,
- at any program or location that is not school-related, or through the use of personal technology or electronic devices, if the bullying creates a hostile environment at school for the victim, infringes on the rights of the victim at school, or materially, and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
LMACS expects students, parents, designated adults, and others who witness or become aware of an instance of bullying or retaliation involving a student to report it to any member of the faculty. Reports can be made in writing or orally to the Director, Assistant Director or another staff member. A member of the school staff is required to report immediately to the Director or Assistant Director any instance of bullying or retaliation the staff member has witnessed or become aware of (See paragraph (e)(2) of the M.G.L. c. 71, Chapter 370, An Act Relative to Bullying in Schools). An incident report will be completed by the faculty member with the student. Reports may be made anonymously, but no disciplinary action will be taken against an alleged perpetrator solely on the basis of an anonymous report. Staff members include, but are not limited to educators, administrators, school nurse, custodians, advisors, social worker, advisors to an extracurricular activity, or paraprofessionals. Students will be provided practical, safe, private, and age- appropriate ways to report and discuss an incident of bullying with a staff member, or with the Director or Assistant Director.
When the school Director or Assistant Director receives a report, he or she shall promptly conduct an investigation. If the Director or Assistant Director determines that bullying or retaliation has occurred, he or she shall:
- Notify the parents or guardians of the victim, and to the extent consistent with state and federal law, notify them of the action taken to prevent any further acts of bullying or retaliation;
- Notify the parents or guardians of the perpetrator;
- Take appropriate disciplinary action;
- Notify the Lowell Police Department if the Director or Assistant Director believes that criminal charges may be pursued against the perpetrator;
- All actions taken will be documented and filed in the student
All communication and notifications will be in accordance with state and federal privacy laws and regulations, and consistent with state regulations at 603 CMR 49.00
LMACS will provide ongoing developmentally appropriate information on anti-bullying that will be presented in larger student body meetings and then reinforced in classrooms, such as Advising, using a variety of media. The education campaign will also build bystanders’ skills for responding to bullying.
We recognize that certain students may be more vulnerable to become targets of bullying, harassment, or teasing based on actual or perceived characteristics, including race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic, status, homelessness, academic status, gender identity or expression, physical appearance, or sensory, disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics. The school or district will identify specific steps it will take to create a safe, supportive environment for vulnerable populations in the school community, and provide all students with the skills, knowledge, and strategies to prevent or respond to bullying, harassment, or teasing.
Return to the Parent and Student Handbook.