Any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal, or physical conduct that places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to his or her property; has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s educational performance, opportunities, or benefits, or has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school, including any course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such a person and serves no legitimate purpose. Instances of Harassment that are chronic or repeated in nature should be evaluated for Bullying or Bullying-related.
Harassment involves one-time insulting behaviors.
- One student approaches another student and makes an insulting gesture. The targeted student runs off in tears and is visibly upset.
- Two students approach each other and one student makes an insulting gesture towards the other student. Both students are good friends no offense was taken by either student from the interaction.
Use the code for Unsubstantiated Harassment (UHR) when, after a complete investigation and follow up of a reported harassment incident, the investigator determines that there is not enough evidence to substantiate that the incident meets the criteria of a prohibited act under definition of harassment as listed in the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for all Students Act (Florida Statute 1006.147).
- 1006.147 Bullying and harassment prohibited.
Definition: After a complete investigation and follow up of a reported harassment incident, the investigator determines that there is not enough evidence to substantiate that the incident meets the criteria of a prohibited act under definition of harassment as listed in the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for all Students Act (section 1006.147, F.S.).
This is not considered a “SESIR incident”, but the Department is required to track this data for the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education and per section 1006.147, Florida Statutes.
Does Unsubstantiated Harassment have to be linked to a student's record? If an incident is coded as UHR, does it have to have a state-defined action attached to it?
- Since these unsubstantiated incidents are not technically incidents, the process for entering them into SESIR will differ slightly from the 26 actual SESIR incidents. In 2010-11 several data elements were updated to include a "Z" code ("not applicable") to better accommodate the reporting of these unsubstantiated incidents. For example, if a report of bullying cannot be substantiated (either because it was not actually bullying or because the investigation did not yield enough evidence to code the incident as SESIR Bullying), then the "Unsubstantiated Bullying" or UBL cannot be linked to a student record since there is no offender, therefore "Incident, Involvement Type" (PDF) will be coded as a "Z". The same "Z" code will apply to the Weapon and Drug Description data elements as well as the 8 "related" elements. To simplify data entry, some districts are programming their systems to default to a "Z" code for these 11 data elements when the incident code is either UBL or UHR.
What data elements are required for Unsubstantiated Harassment incidents? Location, context, involvement type, related elements, (the new sex, race or disability related), etc?
- The "Incident, Basis" data elements (Sexual Orientation, Sex, Religion, Race, and Disability) must be coded Yes or No for UBL or UHR incidents (Z-Not Applicable is not an option per the data elements): NOTE: A Y or N code must be used for incident types of Bullying (BUL), Harassment (HAR), Sexual Harassment (SXH), Threat/Intimidation (TRE), Unsubstantiated Bullying (UBL) and Unsubstantiated Harassment (UHR) and for incidents coded Y (yes) on Incident, Bullying-Related. All SESIR data elements would be completed for a UBL or UHR, but the11 data elements listed below should always default to Z for UBL and UHR:
Additionally, DOE will be collecting general (not per-incident) information on how your schools handled UBL and UHR. For UBL and UHR, no referral action is required. Refer to only the data elements in the SESIR reporting format since none of the Discipline/Resultant Action codes would apply to a UBL or UHR incident. Since the reports of bullying/harassment are unsubstantiated, there is no offender so the data elements from the Student Discipline reporting format will not be completed (except those that overlap with the SESIR reporting format).
Office of Safe Schools
325 West Gaines Street, Room 1302
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400