Submitting a Complaint

Students are encouraged to report claims or incidents of bullying and other prohibited conduct to the social worker & building principal. A student may choose to report to a person of the student’s same sex. Complaints will be kept confidential to the extent possible given the need to investigate. Students who make good faith complaints will not be disciplined. Any person making a knowingly false accusation regarding prohibited conduct will likewise be subject to discipline.

Anonymous reports are also accepted by phone call or in writing. A formal report may be made using the District Unlawful Harassment and Violence Report Form: Harassment and Violence Report Form

Related Resources and Support

PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center®: (Information Sheets)

U.S. Health and Human Services Website: Bullying Prevention & Response for students, educators and parents. Includes resources, games and activities for children, parents and educators.

U.S. Health and Human Services Website: Girls Health - Providing information for girls, educators and parents about bullying, safety, relationships, body image and issues, feelings, nutrition, substance abuse issues, etc. Includes games, quizzes and activities.

Bully Free: It starts with me - National Education Association Initiative.

Connect for Respect Initiative - National Parent Teachers Association providing information for parents.

A Brain Works Project: Coping Skills for Kids - Promoting the development of coping skills in pre-teens by providing information and activities and provides resources and information for educators and parents.


Rockdale Defines Bullying:

"Bullying" includes "cyber-bullying" and 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 school.

Bullying may take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: 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. This list is meant to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.

“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, photo-electronic 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 a 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 in this Section.

Bullying is contrary to State law and the policy of the non-sectarian nonpublic school and is consistent with subsection (a-5) of this Section [free exercise of religion]. Nothing in this Section 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.

The Illinois legislature also authorizes school boards to establish appropriate behavioral standards for their respective schools, which take into consideration but are not limited to conduct prohibited by State and federal laws. See, 105 ILCS 5/10-20.14(d). 

 “Conduct” may include:

• Physical acts, such as inappropriate, unwanted, uninvited, or injurious physical contact with another; stalking; sexual assault; and destruction or damage to property of another;
• Written and electronic communication of any type that incorporates language or depictions that would constitute bullying, using any medium (including, but not limited to, cell phones, computers, websites, electronic networks, instant messages, text messages and emails);
• Verbal threats made to another, blackmail, or demands for protection money;
• Non-verbal threats or intimidation such as aggressive or menacing gestures;
• Direct or indirect, relationally aggressive behavior such as social isolation, rumor spreading, or damaging someone’s reputation;
• Any of the above conduct which occurs off school grounds when such conduct creates, or reasonably can be expected to create, a substantial disruption in the school setting and/or at school sponsored activities and events.

In addition to that conduct described above, examples of conduct that may constitute bullying include the following:

• Blocking access to school property or facilities;
• Stealing or hiding or otherwise defacing books, backpacks or other personal possessions;
• Repeated or pervasive taunting, name-calling, belittling, mocking putdowns, or demeaning humor relating to a student’s race, color, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, religion, disability, or other personal characteristics, whether or not the student actually possesses them, that could reasonably be expected to result in the disruption of school activities or that results in a hostile educational environment for the student.

Rockdale Prohibits Bullying:

Bullying is NOT acceptable and is strictly prohibited. Bullying conduct that is covered by this Policy is conduct that occurs on school property or at school sponsored activities or events; while students are being transported or walking to or from school or school sponsored activities or events; while students are waiting at school bus stops, or when the conduct otherwise would substantially impede the educational environment, regardless of where the conduct occurs.

Any student who engages in bullying will be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including suspension or expulsion and referral to local law enforcement. A student’s bullying conduct also may be addressed through any other behavioral interventions.  Any student who is a bystander to any bullying conduct and who fails to take any action to discourage the bullying conduct also may be subject to appropriate discipline. No student shall be retaliated against for reporting bullying conduct. Any student who is determined to intentionally have falsely accused another of bullying shall be subject to appropriate discipline.

Reporting Bullying:

Rockdale utilizes our High Five system in which students and parents can report bullying to the school.

In addition, Bullying should be reported to Ms. Hannah Kirk, Director of Student Services, at (815) 725-5321 or at

Rockdale’s Response to Bullying

It is the responsibility of the school staff to use violations of the school rules as opportunities to help students improve their social and emotional skills, accept personal responsibility for their learning environment and understand consequences for poor choices and behaviors. In determining the appropriate response to or discipline of students who engage in bullying behavior, the school’s administration should consider the following:

• The ages and maturity of the students involved;
• The type, frequency, severity and patterns of behaviors;
• The context in which the incidents occurred;
• Any other relevant circumstances.

*To ensure fairness and consistency, school officials must use the attached matrix as a guide for taking disciplinary action.

Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, includes procedures for promptly informing parents or guardians of all students involved in the alleged incident of bullying and discussing, as appropriate, the availability of social work services, counseling, school psychological services, other interventions, and restorative measures.

“Restorative measures" means a continuum of school-based alternatives to exclusionary discipline, such as suspensions and expulsions, that

(i) are adapted to the particular needs of the school and community,
(ii) contribute to maintaining school safety,
(iii) protect the integrity of a positive and productive learning climate,
(iv) teach students the personal and interpersonal skills they will need to be successful in school and society,
(v) serve to build and restore relationships among students, families, schools, and communities, and
(vi) reduce the likelihood of future disruption by balancing accountability with an understanding of students' behavioral health needs in order to keep students in school.
(vii) increase student accountability if the incident of bullying is based on religion, race, ethnicity, or any other category that is identified in the Illinois Human Rights Act.

Procedures for promptly investigating and addressing reports of bullying, including the following:

(A) Making all reasonable efforts to complete the investigation within 10 school days after the date the report of the incident of bullying was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported incident of bullying.
(B) Involving appropriate school support personnel and other staff persons with knowledge, experience, and training on bullying prevention, as deemed appropriate, in the investigation process.
(C) Notifying the principal or school administrator or his or her designee of the report of the incident of bullying as soon as possible after the report is received.
(D) Consistent with federal and State laws and rules governing student privacy rights, providing parents and guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation information about the investigation and an opportunity to meet with the principal or school administrator or his or her designee to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying.

Interventions that can be taken to address bullying, which may include, but are not limited to, school social work services, restorative measures, social-emotional skill building, counseling, school psychological services, and community-based services.

Anyone that reports bullying will be protected from reprisal or retaliation against any person who reports an act of bullying and the consequences and appropriate remedial actions for a person who engages in reprisal or retaliation.

This policy Is based on the engagement of a range of school stakeholders, including students and parents or guardians. This policy Is posted on the school district's, charter school's, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school's existing, publicly accessible internet website and is included in the student handbook, and, where applicable, posted where other policies, rules, and standards of conduct are currently posted in the school, and is distributed annually to parents, guardians, students, and school personnel, including new employees when hired.

As part of the process of reviewing and re-evaluating the policy under subsection (d) of this Section, contains a policy evaluation process to assess the outcomes and effectiveness of the policy that includes, but is not limited to, factors such as the frequency of victimization; student, staff, and family observations of safety at a school; identification of areas of a school where bullying occurs; the types of bullying utilized; and bystander intervention or participation. The non-sectarian nonpublic school may use relevant data and information it already collects for other purposes in the policy evaluation. The information developed as a result of the policy evaluation must be made available on the Internet website of the school. If an Internet website is not available, the information must be provided to school administrators, school board members, school personnel, parents, guardians, and students. This is consistent with the policies of the school board, charter school, or non-public, non-sectarian elementary or secondary school.