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Bullying and the Law. Iowa Civil Rights Commission The state administrative agency which enforces the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 (Chapter 216 of the.

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Presentation on theme: "Bullying and the Law. Iowa Civil Rights Commission The state administrative agency which enforces the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 (Chapter 216 of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bullying and the Law

2 Iowa Civil Rights Commission The state administrative agency which enforces the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 (Chapter 216 of the Iowa Code) The state administrative agency which enforces the Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 (Chapter 216 of the Iowa Code)

3 Our Mission & Our Vision Our Mission & Our Vision Vision: A state free from Discrimination Vision: A state free from Discrimination Mission: To enforce Civil Rights through Compliance, Mediation, Advocacy, and Education Mission: To enforce Civil Rights through Compliance, Mediation, Advocacy, and Education

4 Protected Bases RaceColorCreed National Origin ReligionSex/Pregnancy Sexual Orientation Gender Identity Physical Disability Mental Disability (not in Credit) Age (Employment and Credit only) Familial Status (Housing and Credit only) Marital Status (Credit only) Retaliation

5 Defining Bullying: Bullying is defined as repeated and systematic abuse and harassment of another and others. A student is being bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more students.

6 Bullying Like sexual harassment, the relationship between the bully and the person being bullied, is one in which there is a difference in power. This power differential can be real (based on age, physical size, position) as well as, perceived. Unlike sexual harassment, with bullying there is an intent to harm.

7 Every school year, literally millions of teenagers suffer from emotional violence in the form of bullying, harassment, stalking, intimidation, humiliation, and fear. The U.S. Department of Education reports that 77% of middle and high school students in small Midwestern towns have been bullied.

8 Understanding bullying, harassment, and other forms of emotional violence starts with understanding the power of acceptance and rejection in human motivation. And not just on an individual level, since part of the meaning of acceptance and rejection lies in what groups you identify with. Race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical appearance, religion, and ethnic heritage are all categories relevant to this process.

9 Some Direct Bullying Behaviors Include: PhysicalVerbalNon-verbal Hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, spitting, fist fights, invasion of personal space, hazing, initiation rites, extortion/vandalism, inappropriate touching/groping Taunting, teasing, racial slurs, mimicking, name calling, verbal sexual harassment (same gender & cross gender) Threatening, obscene gestures, indifference and exclusion

10 Some Indirect Bullying Behaviors Include: PhysicalVerbalNon-verbal Getting another person to assault someone Spreading rumors, gossiping Deliberate exclusion from a group or activity Cyber bullying

11 Why Children Bully? Learned behavior Intimidation Control & Power Humiliation Power domination Threats to one’s safety Low self-esteem

12 Rejection is perhaps the most important and most fundamentally destructive form of psychological maltreatment, but it is not the only form. At least four others deserve mention here: terrorizing, isolating, neglecting, and corrupting. All are relevant to understanding emotional violence at school.

13 Terrorizing is the use of fear to torment and manipulate. Isolating involves cutting someone off from essential relationships. Neglecting is the denial of basic emotional needs by the peer group. Corrupting means learning ways of thinking, speaking, and acting that make a child increasingly unfit for “normal” or healthy experiences.

14 Myths of Adolescents at School Myth #1Our schools are safe Myth #2Kids won’t tell on other kids Myth #3Kids will be kids; boys will be boys Myth #4There will always be bullying, and there is nothing you can do about it Myth #5School violence affects only a small fraction of our kids Myth #6Kids have to learn to deal with bullying and harassment on their own Myth #7Adopting a “prison” approach to schools makes them safer

15 Harassment In 2001, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) released results from a survey of 2,064 students in grades eight through eleven in public schools. They found that in general, 20 percent of all kids are afraid some or most of the time that someone will hurt or bother them at school. This held true for boys and girls, in suburban, rural, and urban areas. There was no difference among them.

16 Of the teens who were polled, 81 percent said they had been sexually harassed during school time. The harassment was about equal for boys and girls, a finding that had not changed since their last survey in Half of the students admitted to sexually harassing someone else. Disturbingly, 38 percent said that teachers and other school employees sexually harass students.

17 On May 24, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “any school receiving federal money can face a sex-discrimination suit for failing to intervene energetically enough when a student complains of sexual harassment by another student.” (This applies to teacher to student harassment as well.) The case, Davis vs. Monroe Board of Education, started as a lawsuit brought by the mother of a Georgia fifth-grade girl who was harassed by a classmate.

18 Iowa Civil Rights Commission Grimes State Office Building 400 E. 14 th Street Des Moines, Iowa (toll free) fax:


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