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Discipline Policy on Relational Aggression State and Local Policies.

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1 Discipline Policy on Relational Aggression State and Local Policies

2 Georgia State Policy on Bullying: (a) As used in this Code section, the term 'bullying' means: (1) Any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person, when accompanied by an apparent present ability to do so; or (2) Any intentional display of force such as would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm.

3 State Policy Continued ( b) Each local board of education shall adopt policies, applicable to students in grades six through 12, that prohibit bullying of a student by another student and shall require such prohibition to be included in the student code of conduct for middle and high schools in that school system. Local board policies shall require that, upon a finding that a student has committed the offense of bullying for the third time in a school year, such student shall be assigned to an alternative school. Each local board of education shall ensure that students and parents of students are notified of the prohibition against bullying, and the penalties for violating the prohibition, by posting such information at each middle and high school and by including such information in student and parent handbooks.

4 State Policy Continued (c) Any school system which is not in compliance with the requirements of this Code section shall be ineligible to receive state funding pursuant to Code Sections and (http://www.legis.state.ga.us.)http://www.legis.state.ga.us

5 Berrien County School Policy Bullying The following policy relating to bullying shall apply only to students in grades 6 through 12. It shall be the policy of the Board that bullying of a student by another student is prohibited. In accordance with Georgia law, bullying is defined as: Any willful attempt or threat to inflict injury on another person when accompanied by an apparent present ability to do so; or Any intentional display of force such as would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm. Discipline of any act of bullying shall be within the discretion of the principal which may range from a reprimand to out-of-school suspension. However, upon finding that a student has committed the offense of bullying for the third time in a school

6 Relational Aggression in Adolescent Females

7 Definition The National Association of School Psychologists (2005) states that Relational Aggression are acts that “can include rumor spreading, secret-divulging, alliance-building, backstabbing, ignoring, excluding from social groups and activities, verbally insulting, using hostile body language (i.e., eye-rolling and smirking)”.

8 Definition Continued “Other behaviors include making fun of someone’s clothes or appearance and bumping into someone on purpose. Many of these behaviors are quite common in girls’ friendships, but when they occur repeatedly to one particular victim, they constitute bullying.”

9 Cyberbullying - use of information and communication technologies such as , cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites, and defamatory online personal polling Web sites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others (Belsey, 2003).

10 Cyberbullying and Relational Aggression What? Don’t forget text messaging….

11 Why is awareness of Relational Aggression important for Educators?

12 Victims of relational aggression often experience a range of difficulties in school, where much of the harassment takes place.

13 Hallways, cafeterias, buses, and locker rooms all are places that may cause anxiety.

14 These students feel vulnerable, and the problem is invisible to school faculty.

15 Victims may struggle to find a seat in the lunchroom, participate in team projects, work with a partner in science, or join a team in gym class.

16 Seemingly harmless school activities become painful experiences.

17 Students may become so anxious that worries about being harassed or excluded replace concern for academic achievement.

18 It has been reported that 160,000 students each year fail to attend school out of fear of relational aggression as related by the National Association of School Psychologists.

19 What can Teachers Do? (www.kellybear.com)

20 Increase awareness among school staff so that they understand what relational aggression is and discuss ways to combat it.

21 Post rules and consequences for relational aggression in accordance with school guidelines.

22 No school guidelines? Help create some!

23 Observe children in the classroom, at lunch, in the hall, on the playground, and before and after school, noting students' nonverbal reactions to peers. Ask yourself: Who is alone on the playground? Who is a group leader? How do her followers act toward others?

24 Discuss relational aggression with your students to make sure they know that starting rumors, ridiculing others, and other forms of covert aggression are not acceptable.

25 Reinforce student social interaction skills through the use of role-playing exercises, literature, writing assignments, and other means.

26 Help girls understand that conflicts are a natural occurrence in friendships and provide them with an opportunity to practice being supportive of one another. Encourage them to honestly resolve problems through open discussion and compromise.

27 Believe the victim. Relational aggressive girls are skillful at concealing their bullying

28 Understand that having at least one friend buffers a child from relationship aggression, so facilitating friendships between girls will help them cope with a relational aggressive child

29 Model respect and caring.

30 Find assistance for the victim and perpetrator.

31 Resources TeacherTip39.htmlhttp://www.kellybear.com/TeacherArticles/ TeacherTip39.html rch.htmlhttp://www.relationalaggression.com/resea rch.html parent/ra1.cfmhttp://www.teachersandfamilies.com/open/ parent/ra1.cfm

32 Suggested Reading Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. Rachel Simmons And Words Can Hurt Forever: How to Protect Adolescents From Bullying, Harassment Emotional Violence James Garbarino & Ellen deLara Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, And Other Realities of Adolescence. Rosalind Wiseman Cliques: 8 Steps to Help Your Child Survive the Social Jungle Charlene Giannetti & Margaret Sagarese Easing the Teasing Judy Freedman Please Stop Laughing At Me Jodee Blanco

33 References Simmons, R. (2003) Odd Girl Out. Hard Court Trade Publishing. San Diego, CA.


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