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Harassment & Bullying A Legal Approach For Schools.

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1 Harassment & Bullying A Legal Approach For Schools

2 Bullying Defined as aggressive behavior that is intentional that involves an imbalance of power or strength. Defined as aggressive behavior that is intentional that involves an imbalance of power or strength. Typically repeated over time. Typically repeated over time. Victim has a difficult time of defending himself/herself. Victim has a difficult time of defending himself/herself. Bullying can take on many forms, such as hitting or punching (physical bullying); teasing or name-calling (verbal bullying); intimidation using gestures or social exclusion (nonverbal bullying or emotional bullying); and sending insulting messages by e-mail/text messaging. (cyber-bullying). Bullying can take on many forms, such as hitting or punching (physical bullying); teasing or name-calling (verbal bullying); intimidation using gestures or social exclusion (nonverbal bullying or emotional bullying); and sending insulting messages by e-mail/text messaging. (cyber-bullying).

3 Harassment Harassment is behavior which has the effect of humiliating, intimidating, or coercing someone through personal attack. Harassment is behavior which has the effect of humiliating, intimidating, or coercing someone through personal attack. Harassment may be intentional with a person targeted personally, or it may be unintentional. What matters is how the person receiving the behavior perceives it to be. Harassment may be intentional with a person targeted personally, or it may be unintentional. What matters is how the person receiving the behavior perceives it to be.

4 Hazing Hazing can be defined as any act or ceremony which creates the risk of harm to the student or to any other party and that is committed as a form of initiation into a particular club or activity. Hazing can be defined as any act or ceremony which creates the risk of harm to the student or to any other party and that is committed as a form of initiation into a particular club or activity.

5 Purpose of Senate File 61 Iowa Code section 280.28 The state of Iowa is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. The general assembly finds that a safe and civil school environment is necessary for students to learn and achieve at high academic levels.

6 Senate File 61 Requires districts and nonpublic schools to collect and report harassment and bullying incidence data. Requires districts and nonpublic schools to collect and report harassment and bullying incidence data. Requires districts and nonpublic schools to integrate it’s anti-harassment and anti-bullying policy into the comprehensive school improvement plan. Requires districts and nonpublic schools to integrate it’s anti-harassment and anti-bullying policy into the comprehensive school improvement plan. The definition of harassment and bullying according to the law is: “Any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct towards a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions: The definition of harassment and bullying according to the law is: “Any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct towards a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions:

7 Conditions Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property. Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property. Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health. Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance. Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by a school. Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or privileges provided by a school.

8 Statistics About Bullying (According to the 2008 Iowa Youth Survey) 44% said students in their schools do not treat each other with respect. 44% said students in their schools do not treat each other with respect. 15% felt that their friends would not think it wrong if they started a fight with someone. 15% felt that their friends would not think it wrong if they started a fight with someone. 18% felt that violence was not the “worst” way to resolve a conflict. 18% felt that violence was not the “worst” way to resolve a conflict. 20% have beaten up or fought someone because they were made angry. 20% have beaten up or fought someone because they were made angry. 14% have verbally threatened to physically harm someone. 14% have verbally threatened to physically harm someone. 12% feel that their teachers do not care about them. 12% feel that their teachers do not care about them. 12% feel that there is no one at their school to turn to in time of need. 12% feel that there is no one at their school to turn to in time of need. 21% do not feel safe at school. 21% do not feel safe at school.

9 Additional Bullying Facts Bullying has been identified as a major concern by school across the U.S. Bullying has been identified as a major concern by school across the U.S. Research indicates that children with disabilities or special needs may be at a higher risk of being bullied than other children. Research indicates that children with disabilities or special needs may be at a higher risk of being bullied than other children. Verbal bullying is the most frequent form of bullying experienced by both boys and girls. Verbal bullying is the most frequent form of bullying experienced by both boys and girls. Boys are more likely to be physically bullied by their peers. Boys are more likely to be physically bullied by their peers. Girls are more likely to report being targets of rumor spreading and sexual comments. (Relational aggression) Girls are more likely to report being targets of rumor spreading and sexual comments. (Relational aggression) Girls are more likely to bully each other using social exclusion. Girls are more likely to bully each other using social exclusion. Use of derogatory speculation about sexual orientation is so common that many parents do not think of telling their children that it could be hurtful. Use of derogatory speculation about sexual orientation is so common that many parents do not think of telling their children that it could be hurtful. Bullying among elementary students is a precursor for more violent behaviors in the future. Bullying among elementary students is a precursor for more violent behaviors in the future. Teenagers say that revenge is the strongest motivator for dealing with bullying. Teenagers say that revenge is the strongest motivator for dealing with bullying.

10 Cyber-Bullying Using the Internet or other mobile devices to send/post harmful, cruel text and/or images to bully others. Using the Internet or other mobile devices to send/post harmful, cruel text and/or images to bully others.

11 Cyber-Bullying Facts 18% of students in grades 6-8 said they had been cyber-bullied at least once in the last couple of months; and 6% said it happened to them 2 or more times (Kowalski et al., 2005). 18% of students in grades 6-8 said they had been cyber-bullied at least once in the last couple of months; and 6% said it happened to them 2 or more times (Kowalski et al., 2005). 11% of students in grades 6-8 said they had cyber-bullied at least one person in the last couple of months, and 2% said they had done it two or more times (Kowalski et al., 2005). 11% of students in grades 6-8 said they had cyber-bullied at least one person in the last couple of months, and 2% said they had done it two or more times (Kowalski et al., 2005). Kowalski (2005) reports that girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber-bullying. Kowalski (2005) reports that girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyber-bullying.

12 Cyber-Bullying Facts Continued Kowalski (2005) reports that of those who had been cyber-bullied: Kowalski (2005) reports that of those who had been cyber-bullied: 58% were victims of instant messaging 58% were victims of instant messaging 28% were bullied in a chat room 28% were bullied in a chat room 20% were bullied on a web site 20% were bullied on a web site 19% were bullied through e-mail 19% were bullied through e-mail 14% were bullied through text messaging 14% were bullied through text messaging

13 Consequences of bullying Stresses of being bullied can interfere with student’s engagement and learning in school. Stresses of being bullied can interfere with student’s engagement and learning in school. Children and youth who are bullied are more likely than other children to be depressed, lonely, anxious, have low self-esteem, feel unwell, and think about suicide. Children and youth who are bullied are more likely than other children to be depressed, lonely, anxious, have low self-esteem, feel unwell, and think about suicide. Students who are bullied may fear going to school, using the bathroom, and riding on the school bus. Students who are bullied may fear going to school, using the bathroom, and riding on the school bus. Bullying creates a climate of fear and disrespect in schools and has a negative impact on student learning. Bullying creates a climate of fear and disrespect in schools and has a negative impact on student learning.

14 Adult response to bullying Adults are often unaware of bullying problems. Adults are often unaware of bullying problems. 25% of teachers see nothing wrong with bullying or putdowns and consequently intervene in only 4 percent of bullying incidents. 25% of teachers see nothing wrong with bullying or putdowns and consequently intervene in only 4 percent of bullying incidents. Students often feel that adult intervention is infrequent and unhelpful and they often fear that telling adults will only bring more harassment from bullies. Students often feel that adult intervention is infrequent and unhelpful and they often fear that telling adults will only bring more harassment from bullies.

15 Are You An Educator, Or A Bully? Educators let students know they care. Bullies let students know who’s boss. Educators let students know they care. Bullies let students know who’s boss. Educators teach self-control. Educators teach self-control. Bullies exert their own control. Educators diffuse minor disruptions with humor. Educators diffuse minor disruptions with humor. Bullies use sarcasm to turn disruptions into confrontations. Educators privately counsel those with chronic discipline problems. Educators privately counsel those with chronic discipline problems. Bullies publicly humiliate chronic misbehaviors. Educators help all students feel successful. Educators help all students feel successful. Bullies punish students for being unsuccessful.

16 Are You An Educator, Or A Bully Continued? Educators see each student’s uniqueness. Educators see each student’s uniqueness. Bullies compare children with one another. Educators treat all students with respect. Educators treat all students with respect. Bullies make it clear that not all students deserve respect. Educators highlight good behavior. Educators highlight good behavior. Bullies make examples of those with poor behavior. Educators are aware of the power they wiled and choose their words carefully. Educators are aware of the power they wiled and choose their words carefully. Bullies wield their power recklessly, frequently resorting to anger and intimidation. Educators educate. Educators educate. Bullies humiliate. Are you a bully?

17 What’s a parent to do? Stay calm and think about how your child is feeling Stay calm and think about how your child is feeling Get the story about the bullying as accurate as possible from your child Get the story about the bullying as accurate as possible from your child Let your child know they have done the right thing by talking with you Let your child know they have done the right thing by talking with you Get your child’s ideas on what they think is the best action to take Get your child’s ideas on what they think is the best action to take Think about how you will approach the school Think about how you will approach the school Document everything Document everything Try hard to control your own emotions Try hard to control your own emotions Know when it is time to contact the police Know when it is time to contact the police

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21 Case Study Perry, Iowa – A high school student Tyler Rothmeyer was a target of taunting. Some of the terms used were homo, fag, queer, to name a few. In federal court, he was rewarded $27,500 in 2004. His claims also included failure by administration to intervene and that he was wrongfully suspended and falsely arrested for defending himself. Perry, Iowa – A high school student Tyler Rothmeyer was a target of taunting. Some of the terms used were homo, fag, queer, to name a few. In federal court, he was rewarded $27,500 in 2004. His claims also included failure by administration to intervene and that he was wrongfully suspended and falsely arrested for defending himself.

22 Since that time, the claims against school districts have grown significantly in stature.

23 Case Examples Tampa Florida School District – Paid out $4,000,000 for failing to stop a child from being bullied in 2007. Tampa Florida School District – Paid out $4,000,000 for failing to stop a child from being bullied in 2007. Anchorage Alaska School District – Paid out $4,500,000. Anchorage Alaska School District – Paid out $4,500,000.

24 Ottumwa School District Expectations We will not bully/intimidate others. We will not bully/intimidate others. We will help students who are bullied. We will help students who are bullied. We will include students who are left out. We will include students who are left out. When we know someone is being intimidated, we will get involved. When we know someone is being intimidated, we will get involved. We will show school appropriate behavior at all times. We will show school appropriate behavior at all times.

25 Short/Long Term Effects of Relational Aggression Interrupted Identity Formation Interrupted Identity Formation Poor Self Esteem Poor Self Esteem Feelings of Powerless Feelings of Powerless Hopelessness Hopelessness Inability to Trust Inability to Trust Poor Relational Skills Poor Relational Skills Loneliness/Isolation Loneliness/Isolation Anger Anger Frustration Frustration Feelings of Rejections Feelings of Rejections Helplessness Helplessness

26 Short/Long Terms Effects of Relational Aggression Continued Depression Depression Teen Pregnancy Teen Pregnancy Substance Abuse Substance Abuse Self-Injury Self-Injury Eating Disorders Eating Disorders Suicidal Ideation Suicidal Ideation Delinquent Behavior Delinquent Behavior Homicidal Ideation Homicidal Ideation Poor Academic Performance Poor Academic Performance Stress/Anxiety Stress/Anxiety Separation Anxiety Separation Anxiety

27 When You See or Hear Bullying Immediately stop the bullying: Stand between the child or children who bullied and those who were bullied, preferably blocking eye contact between them. Don’t send any students away – especially bystanders. Don’t immediately ask about or discuss the reason for the bullying or try to sort out the facts. Immediately stop the bullying: Stand between the child or children who bullied and those who were bullied, preferably blocking eye contact between them. Don’t send any students away – especially bystanders. Don’t immediately ask about or discuss the reason for the bullying or try to sort out the facts. Support the bullied child in a way that allows him or her to regain self-control, to “save face,” and to feel supported and safe from retaliation. Make a point to see the child later in private if he or she is upset. Support the bullied child in a way that allows him or her to regain self-control, to “save face,” and to feel supported and safe from retaliation. Make a point to see the child later in private if he or she is upset. Inform principal, counselor and/or teachers who is being bullied and by whom. Inform principal, counselor and/or teachers who is being bullied and by whom.

28 When You See or Hear Bullying Continued Include bystanders in the conversation and give them guidance about how they might appropriately intervene or get help next time. Don’t put bystanders on the spot to explain publicly what they have observed. Include bystanders in the conversation and give them guidance about how they might appropriately intervene or get help next time. Don’t put bystanders on the spot to explain publicly what they have observed. If appropriate, impose consequences for students who bully others. Do not require students to apologize or make amends during the heat of the moment (everyone should have time to cool off). If appropriate, impose consequences for students who bully others. Do not require students to apologize or make amends during the heat of the moment (everyone should have time to cool off). Do not require the students to meet and “work things out.” Unlike conflicts, bullying involves a power imbalance, which means this strategy will not work. Instead, encourage the student who bullied to make amend in a way (after follow-up with an adult) that would be meaningful for the child who was bullied. Do not require the students to meet and “work things out.” Unlike conflicts, bullying involves a power imbalance, which means this strategy will not work. Instead, encourage the student who bullied to make amend in a way (after follow-up with an adult) that would be meaningful for the child who was bullied.

29 Individual Follow-up and Support Provide follow-up interventions, as needed, for the students who were bullied and for those who bullied. Provide follow-up interventions, as needed, for the students who were bullied and for those who bullied. Notify parents of children who are involved, as appropriate. Notify parents of children who are involved, as appropriate. Bullied students need to process the circumstances of the bullying, vent their feelings about it, and get support. Some may need assistance reading or interpreting social signals, practicing assertive behavior, building self-esteem, or identifying friends and classmates who can give them support. Bullied students need to process the circumstances of the bullying, vent their feelings about it, and get support. Some may need assistance reading or interpreting social signals, practicing assertive behavior, building self-esteem, or identifying friends and classmates who can give them support. Students who bully may need help recognizing their behavior, taking responsibility for their behavior, developing empathy and perspective – taking abilities, and finding ways to make amends. Students who bully may need help recognizing their behavior, taking responsibility for their behavior, developing empathy and perspective – taking abilities, and finding ways to make amends. When there are suspicions of bullying, gather more information by talking privately with bystanders. Intensify observation and supervision and offer incentives or positive consequences to active, helpful bystanders to increase involvement by students. When there are suspicions of bullying, gather more information by talking privately with bystanders. Intensify observation and supervision and offer incentives or positive consequences to active, helpful bystanders to increase involvement by students.

30 Books and Resources on Bullying Bullying at School, by Dr. Dan Olweus. www.hazelden.org Bullying at School, by Dr. Dan Olweus. www.hazelden.orgwww.hazelden.org The Peaceful School Bus by James Dillon. The Peaceful School Bus by James Dillon. Schools Where Everyone Belongs by Stan Davis. 2 nd editionwww.researchpress.com Schools Where Everyone Belongs by Stan Davis. 2 nd editionwww.researchpress.comwww.researchpress.com Empowering Bystanders in Bullying Prevention by Stan Davis. New book on bystanders. Research Press. Empowering Bystanders in Bullying Prevention by Stan Davis. New book on bystanders. Research Press. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Bullying. Research Press. Parent’s Guide to Understanding Bullying. Research Press. Bullying and Harassment: A Legal Guide for Educators by Kathleen Conn. Discusses legal issues for schools and recent court decisions. www.ascd.org Bullying and Harassment: A Legal Guide for Educators by Kathleen Conn. Discusses legal issues for schools and recent court decisions. www.ascd.orgwww.ascd.org Cyber-bulling and Cyber-threats by Nancy Willard. Responding to the threat of online bullying. Research Press. Cyber-bulling and Cyber-threats by Nancy Willard. Responding to the threat of online bullying. Research Press. No Room for Bullies. Presents a good overview of bullying issues. www.BoysTownPress.org No Room for Bullies. Presents a good overview of bullying issues. www.BoysTownPress.orgwww.BoysTownPress.org I Didn’t Know I Was a Bully by Melissa Richards. For grades K-5. Contains discussion topics, drawings, lessons, games, and word searches. www.marcoproducts.com Site has several books and resources on bullying. I Didn’t Know I Was a Bully by Melissa Richards. For grades K-5. Contains discussion topics, drawings, lessons, games, and word searches. www.marcoproducts.com Site has several books and resources on bullying.www.marcoproducts.com 101 Bully Prevention Activities. Has some activities for all grade levels. Site also contains many other books and media products on bullying. www.sunburst-media.com 101 Bully Prevention Activities. Has some activities for all grade levels. Site also contains many other books and media products on bullying. www.sunburst-media.comwww.sunburst-media.com Perfect Targets: Asperger Syndrome and Bullying by Rebekah Heinrichs. Issues related to autism, Asperger’s and bullying. www.sunburst-media.com Perfect Targets: Asperger Syndrome and Bullying by Rebekah Heinrichs. Issues related to autism, Asperger’s and bullying. www.sunburst-media.comwww.sunburst-media.com You Can’t Say You Can’t Play by Vivian Paley. Looks at relationship, between children, inclusion, and rejection. www.amazon.com You Can’t Say You Can’t Play by Vivian Paley. Looks at relationship, between children, inclusion, and rejection. www.amazon.com www.amazon.com Hot Issues Cool Choices by Sandra McLeod Humphrey. Contains short stories for class discussion and role-play. Grades 3-8. www.youthlightbooks.com Site has many books on bullying. Hot Issues Cool Choices by Sandra McLeod Humphrey. Contains short stories for class discussion and role-play. Grades 3-8. www.youthlightbooks.com Site has many books on bullying.www.youthlightbooks.com Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman. An interesting look at the world of adolescent girls – cliques, gossip, boysfriends, and other issues. A resource for parents and educatiors. Amazon.com Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman. An interesting look at the world of adolescent girls – cliques, gossip, boysfriends, and other issues. A resource for parents and educatiors. Amazon.com “Girl Games”- five different card games for girls that address relationships and bullying. Youthlightbooks.com “Girl Games”- five different card games for girls that address relationships and bullying. Youthlightbooks.com www.jaredstory.com www.jaredstory.com www.jaredstory.com


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