Hazing

For purposes of this procedural directive, “hazing” means:

  • harassment by exacting unnecessary, disagreeable, or degrading tasks or activities which may result in harm or bodily injury to an individual
  • to play abusive and humiliating tricks on an individual for the purpose of initiation

Albuquerque Public Schools shall not permit hazing as a condition of membership in, or initiation into, any class, team, group or organization sponsored by, or permitted to operate under, the auspices of a school of the district.  Actions considered as hazing may include, but are not limited to:

  • engaging in any offensive or dangerous physical contact, restraint, abduction, or isolation of a student
  • requiring or encouraging a student to perform any dangerous, painful, offensive, or demeaning physical or verbal act, including the ingestion of any substance, inappropriate exposure to the elements, deprivation of sleep or rest, or extensive isolation
  • subjecting a student to any dangerous, painful, harmful, offensive, or demeaning conduct, or to conduct reasonably likely to create extreme mental distress

Reporting Possible Violations

Any student who believes he/she has been the victim of hazing by another student or by an employee of the district shall immediately report any alleged acts which may constitute hazing to any employee of the district.

Any district employee who receives any written or verbal report of possible hazing of a student, regardless of the source of the report, or who himself/herself observes instances of possible hazing shall notify his/her immediate supervisor or the principal, or his/her designees, of the school where the employee works regardless of perceived credibility or significance of the act.

District employees who witness acts of possible hazing by students shall have an affirmative duty and the authority to act in a reasonable manner within the disciplinary standards of conduct established for district employees.  The district employee shall attempt to promptly stop such conduct including, but not limited to:

  • taking custody of the alleged student-violator
  • removing the student from the educational environment for the purpose of immediately transferring custody of the student to the principal, or his/her designee, for further evaluation and corrective action

When appropriate, district employees shall submit reports of hazing to the principal, or his/her designee, in writing using the “Hazing Complaint Form”.  The principal shall immediately forward a copy of the submitted report to the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department and appropriate associate superintendent, or his/her designee, for appropriate action and distribution within the administration.

Nothing in this procedural directive shall prevent any person from reporting possible hazing of a student directly to the appropriate associate superintendent.

No district employee shall retaliate against any person for good faith reporting, or participating in the investigation of an alleged violation of this procedural directive.

District employees or students who knowingly give false reports or information related to a complaint or report of an alleged act of hazing shall be subject to corrective action.

Investigation

The Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department shall promptly investigate all reports of hazing allegedly committed by a district employee in violation of this procedural directive.

The principal of the school at which alleged hazing occurred or pertains, or his/her designee, shall promptly investigate all reports of hazing allegedly committed by a student or by students in violation of this procedural directive .  The principal or his/her designee shall work with Albuquerque Public Schools Police to conduct the investigation.

The district employee assigned to investigate alleged violations of this procedural directive shall initially contact the alleged victim(s) and their parents/legal guardians at the beginning of his/her investigation and shall provide periodic updates to the alleged victim(s) and their parents/legal guardians as to status of the investigation.  Updates shall be given at intervals not to exceed three (3) school days.

The district employee assigned to investigate alleged violations of this procedural directive shall prepare a final investigation report of his/her investigation.  The report shall contain or reference sufficient documentation to support any disciplinary or other action specified or recommended in the report as a result of the investigation.  The recommendation of the investigator shall have no binding effect on the final decision of the person imposing discipline or taking any other corrective action related to the final investigation report.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the district employee assigned to investigate alleged violations of this procedural directive shall inform the alleged victim(s) and their parents/legal guardians whether the complaint or report was substantiated.

Information provided to the alleged victim(s) and their parents/legal guardians shall be in compliance with the confidentiality provisions of state and federal law pertaining to the confidentiality of student information and records.

With regard to the investigations of students, the investigative process shall be concluded within a maximum of ten (10) school days of receipt of such complaints or reports.  If the investigation of a student is conducted by a designee, the principal shall respond in writing to the submission of the final investigation report within three (3) school days, approving the proposed action to be taken or directing further or different action.  Designees may appeal for greater amount of time to complete the requirements of this procedural directive to the individual who originally designated them.

Where violations of criminal law may have occurred, the principal shall report the matter to the Albuquerque Public Schools Police Department and immediately notify the appropriate associate superintendent of the situation.

Where violations of the New Mexico Children’s Code may have occurred as to suspected abuse or neglect of a child, the principal, in consultation with the appropriate associate superintendent, or his/her designee, shall report the matter to the appropriate state or tribal child protection agency and/or to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

With regard to the investigations of district employees, the executive director of Human Resources, or his/her designee, shall coordinate his/her investigation with the applicable law enforcement agency, if necessary, and the investigation shall be concluded in the most expeditious manner possible.  The final investigation report of the executive director of Human Resources, or his/her designee, shall be submitted to the superintendent for appropriate action.

Corrective Action

In assessing the existence of a violation of this procedural directive by students and the appropriate corrective action to be imposed, the principal or designee may consider the nature and extent of the conduct, the age of the student(s) involved, the context in which the alleged conduct occurred, and any prior history of conduct prohibited by this procedural directive on the part of the violator.  Disciplinary action shall comply with Board of Education policy, procedural directives regarding discipline and the APS Student Behavior Handbook.

Confidentiality

The identities of those reporting violations of Board of Education policy and administrative procedural directive and those cooperating in the investigation of alleged violations shall be kept confidential to the extent consistent with the requirements of a full and fair investigation, the due process rights of persons charged with violations, and state and federal law.

Grievance Process

Students who feel they have been falsely accused shall follow complaint procedures in the Student Behavior Handbook.

With regard to investigations of students, the alleged victim(s) and their parents/legal guardians who are not satisfied with the findings of the final investigation report as to whether the complaint or report was substantiated or wish to challenge the recommended discipline to be imposed by the principal or his/her designee shall have the right to grieve the matter.

Any person grieving the investigative process as to its findings or the recommendation of the discipline to be imposed in the final investigation report shall submit to the principal the grievance in writing using the “Grievance Form” within three (3) calendar days of investigator’s final contact with the alleged victim(s) and their parents/legal guardians.  The principal shall immediately forward a copy of the form to the superintendent, or his/her designee, for appropriate action.

Within five (5) calendar days of the submission of the “Grievance Form” to the superintendent, or his/her designee, the superintendent, or his/her designee, shall conduct an informal grievance hearing with the alleged victim(s) and their parents/legal guardians and the assigned district employee to investigate the claims.  The grievant(s) shall specify the grounds on which they contend that the investigative process was flawed or mistaken and/or the discipline recommended to be imposed, is not sufficient or inappropriate and shall include a statement of facts that the grievant(s) believe support their contentions.  The investigator shall provide rebuttal information to the superintendent, or his/her designee, as the investigator deems relevant.  However, the information presented and provided in the grievance hearing shall be in compliance with the confidentiality provisions of state and federal law pertaining to the confidentiality of student information and records.

No record shall be made of the proceeding, and the superintendent, or his/her designee, may require the attendance of other district employees at the grievance hearing as deemed appropriate for the resolution of the grievance.  The grievant(s), however, shall have no right of legal representation at the hearing and shall not be allowed to have any other third parties in attendance.  The grievant(s) shall not be allowed or permitted to make a recording of the hearing.  The district shall provide for an appropriate interpreter, as necessary, to facilitate sufficient communication between the parties at the hearing, and the interpreter shall be allowed to attend the entire hearing, subject to the procedural requirements with regard to the confidentiality of the alleged victim’s student information and records.

With regard to a grievance pertaining to the investigation of a student, the superintendent, or his/her designee, shall make a written determination on the grievance within fifteen (15) school days of the submission of a grievance approving the actions of the principal or directing further or different action.  The superintendent, or his/her designee, may extend the time for conducting the grievance hearing as the superintendent, or hi/her designee, deems appropriate.  However, the superintendent, or his/her designee, must conduct the grievance hearing and make his/her final determination of the grievance within the fifteen (15) day-deadline of this procedural directive for a final determination.

The superintendent shall be the final appeal authority on any such grievance under this procedural directive.

There shall be no grievance procedure under this procedural directive with regard to the investigations of district employees for alleged violations of this procedural directive as all personnel decisions pertaining to employees shall remain within the sound judgment of the superintendent.

Administrative Position: Assistant Superintendent of School and Community Support/Executive Director of Human Resources/Associate Superintendents

Department Director: Director of Health and Wellness

References:

Legal Cross Ref.:

  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Board Policy Cross Ref.: JI2 – Hazing

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.: APS Student Behavior Handbook

Forms:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: JICFA

Reviewed: September 24, 2010
Reviewed: October 15, 2010
Reviewed: November 8, 2010
Approved: November 12, 2010

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