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Conflict versus Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB)

Sumner Middle School is intentional about providing a safe, supportive learning environment for all students. In classroom and school presentations, all students learn how to identify the difference between conflict and harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB). 

  • Conflict is a struggle between two or more people who have different goals or desires. Conflict occurs naturally when we interact with others and is a normal part of life because we will not always agree with others or like how they treat us. We need to learn how to interact respectfully when differences exist.

  • HIB occurs between two or more people and may be repeated over time, intentionally cause harm, and/or is an imbalance of power (see description in chart above).

Students learn how to report both conflict and HIB to staff so that staff can help resolve any issues. Complaints involving conflict or HIB will be appropriately investigated by our office team. 

Students can report harassment, intimidation, or bullying to any school staff member or a HIB incident reporting form may be filled out by a parent, student or staff member. HIB reporting forms are available in our main office and counseling office and also on the district/school website by going to Report It!. A complete copy of the district’s harassment, intimidation and bullying policy and procedure can be found on the district website, School Board Policy and Procedure 3207: Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying.

Bullying Prevention

The Sumner-Bonney Lake School District is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, parents/guardians, volunteers, and patrons that is free from harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

STEM Fair high five

HIB Compliance Officer

Sara O'Donnell, Executive Director of Student Services


“Harassment, intimidation, or bullying” means any intentionally written message or image, including those that are electronically transmitted verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability or other distinguishing characteristics, when an act:

  • Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property.
  • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education.
  • Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment.
  • Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.

Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

“Other distinguishing characteristics” can include but are not limited to: physical appearance, clothing or other apparel, food allergies, socioeconomic status, and weight. “Intentional acts” refers to the individual’s choice to engage in the act rather than the ultimate impact of the action(s).   Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying Incident Reporting Form  

Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying Incident Reporting Form (English) Spanish Russian Ukrainian


Harassment, intimidation, or bullying can take many forms including, but not limited to slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendos, demeaning comments, drawings, cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats or other written, oral, physical, or electronically transmitted messages or images. This policy is not intended to prohibit expression of religious, philosophical, or political views, provided that the expression does not substantially disrupt the educational environment. Many behaviors that do not rise to the level of harassment, intimidation, or bullying may still be prohibited by other district policies or building, classroom or program rules. Employees, in particular, are expected to support the dignity and safety of all members of the school community.  


This policy is a component of the District’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe, civil, respectful, and inclusive learning community and shall be implemented in conjunction with comprehensive training of students, staff and volunteers; as well as in coordination with prevention, intervention, crisis response and recovery plans.  


The District will provide students with strategies aimed at preventing harassment, intimidation, and bullying. In its efforts to train students, the District will seek partnerships with families, law enforcement, and other community agencies. The District shall make available to parents and guardians materials and information resources regarding the recognition and prevention of cyberbullying, electronic harassment, intimidation and bullying.  

Elementary School
  • Kelso's Choice - various elementary school sites 
  • HIB lessons at selected K-5 sites 
  • Schools use summary HIB slides to review policy guidelines with students and staff
Middle School
  • Pierce Co. Corrections Center presented on “Cyberbulling & Sexting” at Mountain View Middle School
  • Sumner Middle School is partnering with Sumner High School Leadership students to do assemblies & positive climate work 
  • WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) 
  • Schools use summary HIB slides to review policy guidelines with students and staff
High School
  • Sumner Middle School is partnering with Sumner High School Leadership students to do assemblies & positive climate work 
  • Schools use summary HIB slides to review policy guidelines with students and staff
  • Puget Sound Risk Management offers HIB information in the "What Every Employee Must Be Told" PowerPoint training 
  • SDFS Co-op sponsored 'Preventing and Intervening with HIB' on 5/31/11 for Sumner & member districts. OSPI reviewed HIB laws at the event. 
  • Our Compliance Officer spoke to the Sumner SD School Board on 5/11/11
  • Schools use summary HIB slides to review policy guidelines with students and staff


Interventions are designed to remediate the impact on the targeted student(s) and others impacted by the violation, to change the behavior of the perpetrator, and to restore a positive school climate. The District will consider the frequency of incidents, developmental age of the student, and severity of the conduct in determining intervention strategies. Interventions will range from counseling, correcting behavior and discipline, to law enforcement referrals. It is also a violation of District policy to knowingly report false allegations of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Students or employees will not be disciplined for making a report in good faith. However, persons found to knowingly report or corroborate false allegations will be subject to appropriate discipline.

Compliance Officer

The Superintendent or designee will appoint a compliance officer as the primary district contact to receive copies of all formal and informal complaints and ensure policy implementation. The name and contact information for the compliance officer will be communicated throughout the District. The Superintendent or designee is authorized to direct the implementation of procedures addressing the elements of this policy.

Cross References

Policy 3207 Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying
Policy 3210 Nondiscrimination