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Bullying/Cyberbullying

 
The Board desires to prevent bullying by establishing a positive, collaborative school climate and clear rules for student conduct.
 
The District may provide students with instruction, in the classroom or other educational settings, that promotes communication, social skills, and assertiveness skills and educates students about appropriate online behavior and strategies to prevent and respond to bullying and cyber-bullying.
 
School staff shall receive related professional development, including information about early warning signs of harassing/intimidating behaviors and effective prevention and intervention strategies. Parents/guardians, students, and community members also may be provided with similar information.
 
Students may submit a verbal or written complaint of conduct they consider to be bullying to a teacher or administrator. Any complaint of bullying shall be investigated and, if determined to be discriminatory, resolved in accordance with law and the district's uniform complaint procedures specified in AR 1312.3. If, during the investigation, it is determined that a complaint is about nondiscriminatory bullying, the principal or designee shall inform the complainant and shall take all necessary actions to resolve the complaint.
 
School staff who witness an act of bullying shall immediately intervene to stop the incident when it is safe to do so. (Education Code 234.1)
 
Social Media Bullying
 
The rise of social media creates several exciting methods for students communicate with each other. Unfortunately, social media may also create a platform for bullying/cyberbullying to occur. Parents and students are encouraged to visit the resources provided below and engage in conversations about the rise of cyberbullying and methods to address the behavior. 
 
Social media bullying can present itself in a variety of forums including, but not limited to the following:
 
  • Internet websites with free registration and ease of registration.
  • Internet websites offering peer-to-peer instant messaging.
  • Internet websites offering comment forums or sections.
  • Internet websites offering image or video posting platforms.
 
Note: Penal Code 653.2 makes it a crime for a person to distribute personal identity information electronically with the intent to cause harassment by a third party and to threaten a person's safety or that of his/her family (e.g., placing a person's picture or address online so that he/she receives harassing messages). In addition, Penal Code 288.2 makes it a crime to send a message to a minor if the message contains matter that is sexual in nature with the intent of seducing the minor (i.e., sexting).
 
When a student is suspected of or reported to be using electronic or digital communications to engage in cyberbullying against other students or staff, or to threaten district property, the investigation shall include documentation of the activity, identification of the source, and specific facts or circumstances that explain the impact or potential impact on school activity, school attendance, or the targeted student's educational performance.
 
Students shall be encouraged to save and print any messages sent to them that they feel constitute cyberbullying and to notify a teacher, the principal, or other employee so that the matter may be investigated.
 
Any student who engages in cyber-bullying on school premises, or off campus in a manner that causes or is likely to cause a substantial disruption of a school activity or school attendance, shall be subject to discipline in accordance with district policies and regulations. If the student is using a social networking site or service that has terms of use that prohibit posting of harmful material, the Superintendent or designee also may file a complaint with the Internet site or service to have the material removed
 
Defining Bullying Behavior
 
What is bullying? At first glance, many people might think this behavior is easy to define. Their first image of bullying might be of a physically intimidating boy beating up a smaller classmate. While that can still be considered bullying today, parents need to know that bullying behaviors can be much more complex and varied than that typical stereotype. For example, harmful bullying can also occur quietly and covertly, through gossip or on the Internet, causing emotional damage. Let’s consider a few definitions of bullying.
Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree that an act is defined as bullying when:
  •  The behavior hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally. Bullying can be very overt, such as fighting, hitting or name calling, or it can be covert, such as gossiping or leaving someone out on purpose.
  • It is intentional, meaning the act is done willfully, knowingly and with deliberation
  • The targets have difficulty stopping the behavior directed at them and struggle to defend themselves.
Bullying can be circumstantial or chronic. It might be the result of a situation, such as being the new student at school, or it might be behavior that has been directed at the individual for a long period of time.
 
Steps to Take If Your Child is Being Targeted by Bullying at School
It is important that parents approach this situation in a calm manner. It is helpful if parents and school staff work together to resolve the issue. Parents can use the following steps to resolve the issue.
 
Step I. Work With Your Child
Thank your child for telling you. Tell your child that the bullying is not his or her fault. Talk with your child about
the specifics of the situation and ask:
  • Who is doing the bullying? What happened? What days and times were you bullied? Where did thebullying take place?
  • Was it: Verbal bullying? Physical bullying? Cyber-bullying?
Also find out how your child responded to the bullying and if other children or adults might have observed the
bullying. Does your child know the names of these people?
Tell a school staff (teacher, principal, other staff).
Go to the next step if needed.
 
Step II. Work With The School
Meet with your child’s teacher:
  •  Discuss what is happening to your child using information from Step One.
  • Ask what can be done so your child feels safe at school.
Make an appointment to meet with the principal to discuss the bullying situation:
  • Share information from Step One.
  • Mention your work with your child regarding the situation.
  • Share the outcome of your meeting with the teacher.
 
Hate-Motivated Behavior 
 
The Greenfield Union School District is committed to providing a safe learning environment that protects students from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, and other behavior motivated by a person's hostility towards another person's real or perceived ethnicity, national origin, immigrant status, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, age, disability, or any other physical or cultural characteristic.  The district provides students with age-appropriate instruction that includes the development of social-emotional learning, promotes their understanding of and respect for human rights, diversity, and acceptance in a multicultural society, and provides strategies to manage conflicts constructively.
 
A student or parent/guardian who believes the student is a victim of hate-motivated behavior is strongly encouraged to report the incident to a teacher, the principal, or other staff members. Any complaint of hate-motivated behavior shall be investigated and, if determined to be discriminatory, shall be resolved in accordance with law and the district's uniform complaint procedures specified in AR 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures. If during the investigation, it is determined that a complaint is about nondiscriminatory behavior, the principal or designee shall inform the complainant and shall take all necessary actions to resolve the complaint.
 
More information about the GFUSD Hate-Motivated Behavior prevention and procedures can be found in the Board Policy (BP5145.9) below. 
 
 
STOPit App

STOPit is an online reporting tool designed to deter and mitigate bullying, cyber abuse, and other inappropriate behaviors, consisting of an app and a back-end incident management system for school administrators.

 

Parents/Students are encouraged to become familiar with the STOPit App b watching the folliwng video: 

https://www.youtube.com/c/STOPit

 

Our students will have access to the STOPit mobile app, which has two simple but powerful features:

  1. Report can be used by students to report incidents to school contacts anonymously.
  2. Messenger can be used to engage in anonymous two-way communication with school contacts.

Both Report and Messenger empower students to stand up for themselves and for one another. Students have the power to help put an end to harmful and inappropriate behavior they see online through social media and other means. They can use STOPit to reach out for help if they or a peer are facing a personal crisis or experiencing bullying, abuse, or are otherwise in need of assistance. Our goal with STOPit is to create safer, kinder, school communities both online and off.

 

No student information is needed to use STOPit. The only way personally identifiable information will be accessible through STOPit is if a student voluntarily includes it within the content of a report or message.

 

Both our school and STOPit are committed to protecting the privacy of student data. STOPit is a signatory to the Student Privacy Pledge, spearheaded by the Future of Privacy Forum and the Software & Information Industry Association. You may review STOPit’s Privacy Policy for details, including more information on how anonymous reporting works.

 

Please note that we will be launching STOPit with a School Assembly. At that time, your child will be invited to download the STOPit app from the app store on his or her smartphone or tablet at no charge.

 

More information and resources can be found online at stopitsolutions.com.

 
More information can be found by visiting the California Department of Education's Bullying Module by selecting the link below:
 
Additional Resources For Students and Parents: