Bullying & Hazing Policy
The La Salle community is diverse. It is a community of brotherhood and acceptance where students are asked to embrace each other’s uniqueness and differences. No student should at any time be made to feel uncomfortable about himself. La Salle students are expected and encouraged to form meaningful relationships with their Lasallian brothers. This is a vital part of the Lasallian community. Teasing, harassment, bullying, hazing and other disrespectful behavior in any form and by way of any medium are completely unacceptable. Fighting and physical violence of any kind are strictly forbidden. The administration will work to safeguard the spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional well-begin of every student. All students are expected to support and assist in efforts which promote the acceptance of others. At a minimum, students should report an instance of teasing, harassment, bullying, or hazing observed or suspected to the Dean of Students, counselor, teacher, coach or administrator.
Teasing: Teasing is behavior on the part of a student or students which:
- Irritates or provokes with petty distractions or other annoyances, often in sport
- Substantially interferes, verbally, in writing, physically, with a student’s education
- Creates an intimidating or threatening environment
- Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a class, a school activity, or school policies
Teasing may begin as playful banter or lighthearted joking. When comments or actions are unwelcomed, persistent and/or meant to irritate another person, the offender is in violation of school policy.
Harassment: Harassment is an ongoing or repeated set of behaviors meant to bother or upset another person, including:
- Uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior toward a person
- Behavior which creates an unpleasant or hostile situation by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct
- Behavior which is persistent and annoying to another person or persons
Bullying: Pennsylvania law defines bullying as an intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act directed at another student in a school setting that is severe, persistent, or pervasive, and has the effect of substantially interfering with education, creating an environment or disrupting the orderly operation of the school. School setting for purpose of the law is defined broadly to include not just the school grounds, but school buses, designated bus stops, and any school-sponsored and supervised activity. A person found to be bullying another student is liable for suspension or dismissal depending on the nature of the situation.
- Acts that are habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people
- Behavior which forces one’s way aggressively or by intimidation
- Actions which are habitually cruel to others
Hazing: La Salle follows a definition of hazing as adapted by Pennsylvania Law (HB 1574):
Any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of [a student] a person or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization within any public or private school within this Commonwealth providing instruction in grades 7 through 12 or any combination of those grades. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as [forcibly administered physical punishments], exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be "forced" activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.
Any teasing, harassment, bullying or hazing suspected or observed is to be reported as soon as possible to the Dean of Students, counselor, teacher, coach or administrator. A person’s words or actions may be hurtful despite intending otherwise. It is therefore important for a young man who feels that he has been mistreated to inform others, especially in the early stages. If a person is clearly trying to cause harm, physical, or emotional, the victim or witnesses should involve an adult immediately. The following are guidelines for dealing with such an uncomfortable situation. If an individual experiences repeated negative behaviors after one of the measures below, he should move to the next step.
- Inform the person/student that his comments or actions are unwelcome
- Tell a faculty member, coach, counselor, administrator and a parent
- Notify the Dean of Students
Coaches, faculty members, counselors or administrators so informed by a student or parent of such behaviors or who become aware of such behaviors are required to report such behaviors to the Dean of Students as soon as possible.
Teasing can lead to more serious behaviors not in keeping with appropriate community behavior at La Salle. Harassment, bullying, and hazing are very serious violations of school policy at La Salle and students found in violation of this policy are subject to suspension or dismissal depending on the nature and severity of the situation. A student in violation of the above policy can expect a variety of interventions, corrective actions, and consequences deemed necessary by the Dean of Students in consultation with the Principal and the school administration. The following is a hierarchical guide to potential outcomes for violation of the Teasing, Harassment, Bullying, Hazing Policy:
- Counseling interventions, corrective actions
- Corrective actions, disciplinary consequences
- Review by School Administration for dismissal from school