The purpose of this guideline is to provide information regarding the application of the College’s policy against bullying.
Bullying is the repeated or persistent infliction of abusive or inappropriate behaviors that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating, or humiliating. Unlike harassment, bullying does not single out a person because of his or her race, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, or other protected status. Harassment based on a protected status is covered by Board Policy IV-B-3b.
Bullying may be verbal, physical, or demonstrative:
· Verbal Bullying: Includes, but is not limited to, the repeated or persistent infliction of derogatory comments, name-calling, insults, and/or threats; repeated or persistent instances of screaming or shouting; repeatedly or persistently reprimanding or interrupting a colleague or subordinate in the presence of coworkers or students when there is no legitimate business reason to do so. Verbal bullying may occur in person, on the telephone, or via digital technologies (including e-mail).
· Physical Bullying: Includes, but is not limited to, repeated or persistent instances of physical contact that a reasonable person would view as offensive, undesirable, or uncomfortable; pushing; shoving; kicking; poking; tripping; assault; damage to or sabotage of a person’s work area or property. A single act of physical contact may constitute bullying depending on the facts and circumstances, such as whether the physical contact is severe or injurious and whether there are mitigating factors or a reasonable explanation for the conduct.
· Demonstrative/Non-Verbal Bullying: Includes, but is not limited to, repeated or persistent use of threatening or offensive gestures; repeatedly or persistently excluding an individual from work-related activities to embarrass or humiliate the individual or to prevent the individual from being successful in his or her position; repeatedly or persistently manipulating work schedules and/or work assignments to prevent the individual from being successful in his or her position and/or to make the work environment so unpleasant that a reasonable person would feel compelled to resign (e.g., withholding information when there is no legitimate business reason to do so; assigning menial or meaningless tasks that have no relationship to the individual’s regular duties; assigning an excessive amount of work that reasonably cannot be performed within the time allotted).
Not all confrontation, disagreement, or behavior perceived as unfriendly or rude will constitute bullying under the Board’s policy. Supervisors at times may make unpopular decisions or give instructions or assignments that are unwelcome; colleagues may express disagreement at a meeting; or a coworker might choose to spend break time with some coworkers but not others. While these types of behaviors may be inappropriate under certain circumstances and may result in employee counseling or discipline, they ordinarily will not constitute bullying under the Board’s policy.
Employees shall use the procedures and deadlines set forth in Policy IV-1, Policy on Employee Concerns to bring forth complaints of bullying. In the event that an employee is complaining about his or her direct supervisor, the employee may proceed to the next level of supervision if desired.
Effective August 11, 2008; revised July 7, 2009.