Northern Mariana Islands School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Bullying, Harassment, or Hazing

Discipline Compendium

Northern Mariana Islands School Discipline Laws & Regulations: Bullying, Harassment, or Hazing

Category: Discipline Addressing Specific Code of Conduct Violations
Subcategory: Bullying, Harassment, or Hazing
State: Northern Mariana Islands

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LAWS

No relevant laws found.

REGULATIONS

§ 60-20-401. Discrimination and harassment prohibited.

(a) All students, employees and parents have the right to be free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, cultural or socio-economic status or disabling condition. Employees shall not participate in, or permit others to engage in, any act of discrimination against students, parents or coworkers based on the above factors or in retaliation for the exercise of any of their rights.

(b) Definitions

(1) Discrimination is the singling out of a person or persons for different treatment, regardless whether good or bad, based on the factors listed above. Discrimination includes not only the creation of a hostile environment, but also favoritism based on any of these factors. Simply put, students and employees are required to treat all persons equally.

(2) Harassment may be defined as abusive behavior or other verbal or physical conduct towards a person based on that person's sex, sexual orientation, race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, cultural or socio-economic status or disabling condition which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment that interferes with a student's participation in or receipt of benefits, services or opportunities in a school's programs and activities. Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to, jokes, comments, slurs, epithets and disparaging remarks.

(c) Complaints

(1) Any student who believes that he or she is a victim of discrimination or harassment should report the matter immediately to the building principal. If the student feels more comfortable speaking to someone other than the building principal, the student may inform any teacher, counselor or the vice principal. If the situation is not satisfactorily resolved by the building principal, the student or parent should contact the PSS Human Resources Director.

(2) Students, parents and employees should review § 60-20-402 for more information regarding sexual harassment and follow the procedures set forth in § 60-20-402 to address discrimination or harassment of any kind on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, cultural or socioeconomic status or disabling condition.

(3) There will be no retaliation against, or adverse treatment of any student who uses this procedure to resolve a concern when such complaint has been brought in the good faith belief that the complainant has been subjected to discrimination or harassment.

(4) The responsible administrator shall follow up regularly with the complaining student to ensure that the discrimination and/or harassment has stopped and that no retaliation has occurred.

(d) Discipline/Consequences

(1) Any student who engages in discrimination and/or harassment while on school property or while participating in school activities will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion.

(2) Any employee who permits or engages in the discrimination and/or harassment of students will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

(3) Any employee who receives a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment from a student and who does not act promptly to forward that complaint to the principal shall be disciplined appropriately.

(4) Any student who brings a false charge of discrimination and/or harassment shall receive appropriate discipline. The term "false charge" means charges brought in bad faith, that is, without the good faith belief that one has been subjected to sexual harassment. The term "false charge" does not include a charge that was brought be good faith but which the PSS was unable to substantiate.

§ 60-20-403. Bullying.

(a) It is the policy of the CNMI State Board of Education to prohibit bullying, harassment, or intimidation of any person on school property or at school-sponsored functions or by the use of electronic technology at a public school. It is the policy of the CNMI State Board of Education to prohibit reprisal or retaliation against individuals who report acts of bullying, harassment, or intimidation or who are victims, witnesses, bystanders, or others with reliable information about an act of bullying, harassment, or intimidation.

(b) Definitions

(1) As used in this regulation, "bullying, harassment, or intimidation" means intentional conduct, including verbal, physical, or written conduct or an intentional electronic communication that creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student's educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student's physical or psychological well-being and is:

(i) Motivated by an actual or a perceived personal characteristic including race, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, physical attributes, socioeconomic status, familial status, or physical or mental ability or disability;

(ii) Threatening or seriously intimidating;

(iii) Occurs in a school setting and/or with school property; and

(iv) Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school.

(2) Examples of bullying may include but are not limited to:

(i) Physical: hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, getting another person to hurt someone;

(ii) Verbal: racial slurs, name-calling, teasing, taunting, verbal sexual harassment, gossiping, spreading rumors; or

(iii) Non-verbal: threatening, obscene gestures, isolation, exclusion, stalking, cyber-bullying (bullying that occurs by means of electronic communication).

(3) "Electronic communication" means a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or page.

(4) "School setting" means in the school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at a designated school bus stop or at any activity sponsored, supervised or sanctioned by the school.

(5) "School property" means the school computer or telephone and encompasses the use of electronic technology at a public school.

(c) Complaints

(1) Any student who believes that he or she is a victim of bullying should report the matter immediately to the building principal. If the student feels more comfortable speaking to someone other than the building principal, the student may inform any teacher, counselor or the vice principal. If the situation is not satisfactorily resolved by the building principal, the student or parent should contact the PSS Human Resources Director.

(2) There will be no retaliation against, or adverse treatment of any student who uses this procedure to resolve a concern when such complaint has been brought in the good faith belief that the complainant has been subjected to bullying.

(3) The responsible administrator shall follow up regularly with the complaining student to ensure that the bullying has stopped and that no retaliation has occurred.

(d) Discipline/Consequences

(1) Any student who engages in bullying while on school property or while participating in school activities will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion.

(2) Any employee who permits or engages in the bullying of students will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

(3) Any employee who receives a complaint of bullying from a student and who does not act promptly to forward that complaint to the principal shall be disciplined appropriately.

(4) Any student who brings a false charge of bullying shall receive appropriate discipline.

The terms "false charge" means charges brought in bad faith, that is, without the good faith belief that one has been subjected to bullying. The term "false charge" does not include a charge that was brought be good faith but which the PSS was unable to substantiate.

(e) Enforcement

Each building administrator is responsible for maintaining an educational and work environment free from bullying. Principals shall take appropriate action to ensure that the students are aware of and knowledgeable about these policies and that discipline action is taken whenever warranted. In accordance with their responsibilities, each building administrator, or his/her designee, shall take appropriate actions to enforce the PSS's bullying policy.

§ 60-20-446. Offense categories.

The offense categories set out in this section are intended to be illustrative but not an exclusive listing of acts of misconduct and the consequences for each. Misconduct that is not specifically listed in this section may be deemed to warrant discipline up to and including expulsion following provision of all due process procedures. In addition, the disciplinary consequence listed for each offense may be increased or decreased by the administration or the Board due to mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

(a) Category I _ Examples of offenses which may result in suspension:

(4) Harassment, including, but not limited to, nuisance phone calls to students or staff members; continued comments or passing unofficial notes to another individual who wishes not to hear or receive the notes;

(b) Category II _ Examples of offenses for which the student will normally be suspended and which may result in expulsion and referral to law enforcement:

(3) Bullying.

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U.S. Department of Education

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