What Is Bullying
Any written text or image, or verbal expression, or physical or electronic act or gesture, or a pattern thereof, that is intended to coerce, intimidate, or cause any physical, mental, or emotional harm to any student.
What Is Cyberbullying
Bullying involving the use of communication technologies such as computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices to support deliberate and hostile behavior intended to do harm to others. Examples of cyberbullying can be in the form of text messages, instant messaging, emails, threatening or embarrassing photos or videos, and any use of any social media platform.
Signs a Child Is Being Bullied
Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs.
Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
- Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problem. Get help right away.
Signs a Child is Bullying Others
Kids may be bullying others if they:
- Get into physical or verbal fights
- Have friends who bully others
- Are increasingly aggressive
- Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
- Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
- Blame others for their problems\
- Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
- Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity
Bullying prevention efforts are most effective when implemented school-wide and designed to send a message that bullying will not be tolerated in schools. Well-designed bullying prevention efforts can reduce, eliminate and prevent bully/victim problems, as well as significantly improve the overall school climate. Effective bullying prevention also requires a commitment on the part of all adults to reduce or eliminate bullying and accessible reporting procedures for victims and witnesses.
Effective prevention programs may be implemented at the school level or the classroom level. The use of prevention programs may vary according to maturity level of students, grade level, learning environment goal(s) for the school, etc.
Monitoring data related to bullying is crucial to the bullying prevention efforts. Data shall be collected and may be evaluated through surveys, questionnaires, analyzing discipline statistics, and data collected for school social emotional learning goal(s).
All kids involved in bullying--whether they are bullied, bully others, or witness bullying--may experience negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance abuse and suicide. Parents, school staff and community all play a role in supporting our students when providing for their physical, social and emotional needs. A variety of resources are available regarding bullying prevention:
Ø ADL - Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention Strategies and Resources
Expectations for Reporting and Investigation
All administrators, teachers, classified staff, parents/guardians and students should take all reasonable steps to prevent and address bullying.
- All students who believe they have been victims of bullying, harassment, hazing, intimidation or threatening behavior should immediately report the situation to school personnel.
- All students who witness bullying are expected to make all reasonable efforts to seek the help of school staff. Failure to report such behavior is detrimental to the school learning environment and may be grounds for disciplinary consequences.
- All administrators, teachers, and classified staff who receive reports of and/or witness student bullying, in any circumstance, shall immediately take appropriate action to stop the behavior. Such behaviors shall be reported to school administration. In addition, school administrators shall communicate with parents of all students involved, alleged victims, alleged bullies, and witnesses.
- Each school administrator shall ensure that reports of bullying are promptly and thoroughly investigated in accordance with the guidelines in JDHB-E (English | Spanish) and applicable law. Administrators are directed to attend to the needs of the victim(s) of the behavior as well as to the needs of the alleged bully(s). Interventions or sanctions may be warranted, as well as addressing broader issues of school culture and climate of which the behavior may be symptomatic. A written summary of the investigation and its findings must be provided to the parent/guardian of any student alleging to have bullied or been bullied and to the parent/guardian of any student alleged to have bullied.
- School administrators shall provide the protections and procedures (including timelines for investigation and resolution) under Board Policy AC (English | Spanish) and AC-R (English | Spanish) if allegations of bullying concern unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex (which includes marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, religion, ancestry, immigration status, the need for special education services, or physical characteristics, whether such characteristic(s) is actual or perceived.
- Notify parent/guardian that they may seek further review of the school’s investigation through Board Policy AC (English | Spanish) if alleging unlawful discrimination or harassment or through Board Policy KE.
- All incidents are to be documented in the student information system and any behavior or safety plan communicated to parents.