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Bullying Prevention Statement for West Suburban Montessori School

Peace is what every human being is craving for, and it can be brought about by humanity through the child.” –Dr. Maria Montessori

At West Suburban Montessori School, we work to model and encourage students to use respectful
behavior and interactions with other students and staff by using kind language and kind actions. We are
proactive in our approach to bullying by actively helping children navigate social and emotional
relationships. We realize that mistakes will be made by children as they navigate relationships with
peers. We work on the development of respect for others and self-respect. In this way, we strive to
prevent bullying by helping our students to understand healthy interactions in their relationships. We
also work on peaceful conflict resolution between students by allowing each child to be heard and a
resolution discussed and executed.

In accordance with 105 ILCS 5/27-23.7, WSMS affirms:
Bullying means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications
made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably
predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following: (1) placing the student or students in
reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property; (2) causing a substantially
detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health; (3) substantially interfering
with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or (4) substantially interfering with the student’s
or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a

Cyber-bullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including
without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any
nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photoelectric system, or
photo optical system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant
messages, or facsimile communications. Cyber-bullying includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in
which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another
person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the
effects enumerated in the definition of bullying in this Section. Cyber-bullying also includes the
distribution by electronic means of communication to more than one person or the posting of material
on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting
creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying.

Bullying (including cyberbullying) may take many forms, including but not limited to harassment,
threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public
humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying.
Bullying (including cyber-bullying) is contrary to State law and to the policies of West Suburban
Montessori School (WSMS). Children or adults who experience or witness bullying at WSMS must report
the incident verbally or in writing as soon as is reasonably possible to the Head of School (Patty
Eggerding, or 708-848-2662). Individuals wishing to make an anonymous report
may place a written/printed document in the silver mailbox next to the Head of School’s office. If an

incident is reported to a teacher or other staff member, they will consult with the Head of School as soon
as is reasonably possible.

Within 24 hours of being made aware of an alleged incident, the Head of School will inform parents and
guardians of all students involved and will discuss, as appropriate, the availability of counseling, social
work services, or other interventions.

Within 10 school days of receiving a report of bullying, the Head of School will consider the details of the
report and, when appropriate, make a reasonable effort to discuss the incident with all relevant
individuals. These discussions (the “investigation”) are intended to aid her in determining whether an
alleged incident is, in fact, bullying and what further steps may be necessary. When appropriate, she will
confer with children, other staff members, colleagues, the school’s attorney, and other individuals that
she may identify with experience in bullying prevention.

When appropriate and consistent with federal and state laws and rules governing student privacy rights,
The head of School will contact the parents or guardians of all students involved in the alleged incident
to discuss relevant interventions and services. Parents/guardians of the students involved have the right
to meet with the Head of School to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the
actions taken to address the reported incident.

The Head of School will determine any appropriate disciplinary action for a student who is found to have
committed an incident of bullying. Information about consequences or other corrective action may be
shared with the school community as deemed appropriate by the Head of School. Resources such as
counseling or referral to appropriate services are available to all students during and after an

Reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying will not be tolerated. If the Head
of School determines that an act of retaliation has been committed, she will evaluate the situation and
determine an appropriate consequence up to and including the possibility of dismissal from WSMS.
If a person has been found to have made a false accusation of bullying as a means of retaliation or as a
means of bullying, the Head of School will evaluate the situation and determine an appropriate
consequence up to and including the possibility of dismissal from WSMS.

All incidents of bullying shall be documented and maintained in a file in the Secretary’s office. At least
once every two years, the Head of School will evaluate this policy and report the following information
to the Board of Directors:

1. The frequency of victimization.
2. Student, staff, and family observations of safety at the school.
3. Identification of areas of the school where bullying occurs.
4. The types of bullying that are common or occurring.
5. Bystander intervention and participation.
Nothing in this policy is intended to infringe upon any right to exercise free expression or the free
exercise of religion or religiously based views protected under the First Amendment to the United States
Constitution or under Section 3 of Article 1 of the Illinois Constitution.

This policy is based on the ongoing engagement of a range of stakeholders, including elementary
students, staff, and parents/guardians. It is consistent with our policies as a non-public, independent,
Montessori school.

This policy serves as an appendix to the WSMS Family Handbook and may be found on the school’s
website at In accordance with State and Federal laws, the
The Head of School will report to DCFS and/or local authorities any egregious incidents that seriously affect
an individual’s safety. Any questions about this policy should be directed to the Head of School.

Originally published 2019
Reviewed/approved by Board of Directors Sept. 2023

West Suburban Montessori School September Board 2023 Minutes File-Click to view

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