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Bullying & Harassment Policy Santa Rosa County School District Conni L. Carnley: Director of Middle Schools.

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Presentation on theme: "Bullying & Harassment Policy Santa Rosa County School District Conni L. Carnley: Director of Middle Schools."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bullying & Harassment Policy Santa Rosa County School District Conni L. Carnley: Director of Middle Schools

2 Policy Background: Florida Statute § (2008) The Jeffrey Johnson Stand Up for All Students Act Required a Stand-Alone Policy

3 Definition: (SBP 5.321) Bullying means systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students or employees. The behavior is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individuals school performance or participation.

4 Definition: (SBP: 5.321) Harassment: means any threatening, insulting or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that: Places a student or school employee in reasonable fear of harm to his/her person or damage to his/her property. Has the effect of substantially interfering with a students educational performance, opportunities, or benefit; or Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of a school.

5 What is the difference between bullying and harassment? There really is no difference: harassment is a type of bullying. Many bullying behaviors have names that adults recognize as crimes: extortion, assault, slander, libel, etc…

6 Types of Bullying Direct Bullying: –Physical violence (Hitting, kicking, shoving, spitting…) –Taunting, teasing, racial slurs, put-downs, name –calling, verbal harassment –Threatening, obscene gestures –Extortion or stealing money and/or possessions

7 Types of Bullying Indirect Bullying –Getting another person to bully for you –Spreading rumors –Deliberately excluding someone from a group or activity –Cyber-bullying

8 Disability Harassment Definition: –Intimidation or abusive behavior toward a student based on disability –A disability includes but is not limited to: intellectual disability, physical disability, learning difficulty, health related disability, physical characteristics, mental or psychiatric disability. –Including but not limited to a student with an IEP or 504.

9 Bullying and Harassment also encompass Retaliation against a student or school employee by another student or school employee for asserting or alleging an act of bullying or harassment. Especially in cases with regard to actions involving a protected activity. –Protected Activity is: Opposition to a practice believed to be unlawful discrimination If an employee, parent or student makes a harassment complaint the governing body can not retaliate in response.

10 Gender Differences Most studies find that boys bully more than girls Boys report being bullied by boys; girls report being bullied by boys and girls. Boys are more likely than girls to be physically bullied by their peers. Girls are more likely to be bullied through rumor- spreading, sexual comments, social exclusion, embarrassment

11 Demographic Characteristics Children who bully: –Can come from any economic, cultural, or religious background –Often in late elementary or middle school

12 Conditions Surrounding Bullying Children are usually bullied by one child or a small group Common locations: playground, classroom, lunch room, halls, bathrooms Bullying is more common at school than on the way to/from school Children who are bullied often stand out as different in some way due to their appearance (weight, size, clothes, disability), sexual orientation, intellect, socio-economic background, or cultural or religious background.

13 Children Who Bully: Want power Have a positive attitude toward violence Have quick tempers Have difficulty conforming to rules Gain satisfaction from inflicting injury and perceive rewards (prestige, material goods) from their behavior Have positive self images. Lack empathy.

14 Signs That a Child is Being Bullied Emotional Signs: –Withdrawal and/or shyness –Anxiety –Depression –Aggression

15 Signs That a Child is Being Bullied Physical Signs: –Cuts, bruises, scratches –Headaches, stomach aches –Damaged possessions –Missing possessions that need to be replaced

16 BulliedNot bullied Headache16%6% Sleep problems42%23% Abdominal pain17%9% Feeling tense20%9% Anxiety28%10% Feeling unhappy23%5% Depression scale: Moderate indication Strong indication 49% 16% 2% Health Consequences of Bullying (Fekkes et al., 2003)

17 Signs That a Child is Being Bullied Behavioral/Social Signs: –Changes in eating or sleeping habits (nightmares) –No longer wanting to participate in activities once enjoyed –Beginning to bully siblings or mistreat family pets –Hurting self, attempting or threatening suicide –Suddenly changing friends

18 Signs That a Child is Being Bullied Academic Signs: Not wanting to go to school Changing method of going to school Drop in grades Increased absenteeism

19 Bully / Victims Common Characteristics of Bully/ Victims: –Hyperactivity, have difficulty concentrating –Quick tempered, try to fight back if provoked –May be bullied by many children –Try to bully younger, weaker children

20 Bully / Victims Display the social-emotional problems of victimized children AND behavioral problems of children who bully (Nansel et al., 2003) –Poor relationships with classmates –Lonely –Poorer academic achievement –Higher rates of smoking and alcohol use –More frequent fighting

21 Negative Impact of Witnessing Bullying: More than 50% of teens (12 – 17) witness at least one bullying or taunting incident in school each week (NCPC, 20%) Students in grades 7 – 12 say revenge is the strongest motivation for school shootings: 86% said, other kids picking on them, making fun of them, or bullying them can cause teenagers to turn to lethal violence in schools (Cerio, 2001)

22 Reporting of Bullying to School Staff Many do not report being bullied Older children and boys are less likely to report victimization Why dont students report? –2/3 of the victims felt that teachers/administration responded poorly –6% believed that the teachers/administration responded very well (Hover et al., 1992)

23 What works in bullying prevention? What is required to reduce bullying in schools is nothing less than a change in the school climate and in norms for behavior. This requires a comprehensive, school- wide effort involving the entire school community.

24 Bullying Prevention Teachers, Counselors, Administrators –Ensure that students understand the definition of bullying behaviors and effects. –Work with students to create school rules against bullying –Post the rules in a visible place –Have students sign the rules or contract against bullying

25 Furthering Bullying Prevention Help students develop positive social skills Provide supervision for students at all times (unstructured environments) Instruct students on how to report bullying or harassing behavior. Take immediate action when bullying is witnessed or reported.

26 Reported Bullying Bullying / Harassment may be reported by the following in person or anonymously: –The victim of bullying/ harassment behavior –Anyone who witnessed the bullying/harassment –Anyone who has credible information that an act of bullying/ harassment has taken place Procedures for reporting an act of bullying/harassment are to be publicized and indicate that a report may be filed in person or anonymously and how the report will be followed up on.

27 Methods for Investigation Report the incident to administration Have separate conversations with the child who is bullied and the child who did the bullying. Speak first with the child who is bullied Interview witnesses as necessary from both sides.

28 Methods for Investigation Speak with the parents of the students directly involved. Parents of both students involved must be contacted within 24 hours of the school initiating the investigation. Impose consequences for the bullying child –In accordance with the Student Code of Conduct Law enforcement is to be notified as necessary. Inform the parents/guardians of both parties the result of the investigation and action taken including efforts to prevent recurrence.

29 Methods for Investigation Refer incident and both students to the Integrated Services Team for further follow-up (school based counseling referral, etc….) Maintain all documentation for reporting. All communications with parent/guardians must be applicable to FERPA provisions. (See Policy section VI-VII) A disciplinary Referral coded as Bullying requires an incident report to be generated for reporting to the state.

30 Further implications All reports of bullying and harassment are to be investigated as outlined by: – School Board Policy (Bullying and Harassment Policy –School Board Policy 2.70 (Prohibiting Discrimination, Including Sexual and Other Forms of Harassment) –Student Code of Conduct

31 References: Bullying: Whats New and What To Do. National Crime Prevention Council Whiteman, Donna. Addressing Bullying in Schools.

32 References: Bullying: Whats New and What To Do. National Crime Prevention Council Whiteman, Donna. Addressing Bullying in Schools. Kansas Anti-Bullying & Character Development Legislation, Bullying Among Children & Youth. Health Resources and Services Administration

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