Assault, Threatening Acts, Harassment

It is the policy of the Buncombe County Board of Education that students should not be subjected to forms of verbal, physical or electronic assaults, threats or harassment from any student. Any student involved in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning.  Furthermore, the policy’s intent is to address this issue in a proactive manner through the establishment of a system for educating students and staff at the school level regarding the identification, prevention, intervention, and reporting of such antisocial acts. An integrated curricular effort at the K-12 levels should enhance efforts of awareness through programs of character education and prevention of school violence.  


The responsibility for effective prevention and response to acts of assault, threats and harassment lies within a collaborative effort of administrators, teachers, school staff, students, parents, school communities, and appropriate community support agencies.  The process at the school level to establish educational procedures and programs should include a comprehensive representation of the participants identified above. Within such programs and procedures, a focus shall be placed on training school staff and students regarding the recognition and reporting of incidents through a systematic process respective of state and federal laws.  


For the purposes of this policy (4331) the following definitions have been provided:


Assault:  Students are prohibited from assaulting, physically injuring, attempting to injure or intentionally behaving in such a way as could reasonably cause injury to any other person. Assault includes engaging in a fight.


Threatening Acts:  Students are prohibited from directing towards any other person any language that threatens force, violence or disruption, or any sign or act that constitutes a threat of force, violence or disruption.


Harassment:  Students are prohibited from engaging in or encouraging any form of harassment, including bullying and cyber bullying of students, employees or other individuals on school grounds, at school related functions, and at any time or place when the behavior has a direct and immediate effect on maintaining order and discipline in the schools. Harassment is unwanted, unwelcome and uninvited behavior that demeans, threatens or offends the victim, and results in a hostile environment for the victim. The hostile environment may be created through pervasive or persistent misbehavior or a single incident if sufficiently severe.


If a student believes that he or she has been subjected to forms of bullying, hazing, or discrimination whether verbal, written, visual, or physical, the student should immediately report the situation to the school principal at the school he attends.  If for any reason, the student is not comfortable reporting to the school principal, then the complaint should be reported to the Associate Superintendent for the Buncombe County School System. This individual may be contacted by calling the Buncombe County Schools Administrative Offices at 255-5879.


The principal will initiate an investigation of the complaint to take place as soon as possible.  The student and his parents or guardian shall be notified of the results of the investigation and what, if any, disciplinary action the school system shall take against the individual accused of bullying, hazing, or discrimination.  


The principal is responsible for reporting and documenting verified acts of bullying or hazing on the Annual School Violence Report.  Responsibility also extends to providing students, parents, and school staff access to Policy 1720 and relevant procedures in writing.  All Buncombe County employees shall report any known violations of this policy to the school principal or the Associate Superintendent. Buncombe County School Board Policy #1720