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. Complaints of bullying shall be investigated and resolved in accordance with site-level grievance procedures specified in AR 5145.7 - Sexual Harassment.
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.
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.