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Massachusetts Anti-Bullying Legislation Overview and Implementation Plan Westwood Public Schools October 21, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Massachusetts Anti-Bullying Legislation Overview and Implementation Plan Westwood Public Schools October 21, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Massachusetts Anti-Bullying Legislation Overview and Implementation Plan Westwood Public Schools October 21, 2010

2 Overview Key definitions (bullying, cyber- bullying) What the new law requires What we are doing now Next steps for the district

3 What is bullying? Repeated use of written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture directed at a victim that: – Causes physical or emotional harm to a victim or a victims property – Places the victim in reasonable fear of harm – Creates a hostile environment – Infringes on rights – Materially disrupts the educational process or orderly operation of a school

4 What is cyber-bullying? Bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication – – internet – instant messaging – social networking sites – fax

5 Forms of Cyber-Bullying Distribution/communication of messages that meet the definition of bullying direct distribution any posting that may be accessed by one or more persons Web page/blog in which the creator assumes the identify of another person Impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages

6 What bullying is not… Conflict bullying Meanness, rudeness and disrespectful behavior are also not necessarily bullying Typical behaviors for kids: – arguing – name-calling – teasing – ignoring – roughhousing or fighting All these are addressed, whether they fit definition of not Bullying is characterized by repetition and severity of impact (causes harm, infringes upon rights, disrupts learning, creates hostile environment).

7 M.G.L. Chapter 92 of Acts of 2010 Anti-bullying policy Included in student hand book System-wide bullying prevention plan, including Anti-bullying curriculum Training for all staff who come into contact with students Strong reporting mechanisms Access to support services for students involved Issues addressed through IEP processes, when appropriate Consistent documentation Police investigation and reporting in criminal cases Obligation to respond to out-of-school incidents that impact learning environment

8 What are we already doing? Student handbook language Curricula at all levels Other programs and outreach to parents Disciplinary procedures Support for victims and reporters MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Westwood Police Department

9 Student Handbook Language Revised language adopted and included in all student handbooks for

10 Anti-Bullying Curricula Open Circle in grades K-3 Elementary school psychologist-led classes Developmental guidance curriculum in grade 6 Health classes in 7 & 8 9 th grade seminar (including a peer led anti-bullying workshop) Wellness classes at WHS

11 Other Programs & Parent Outreach Open Circle presentations for parents Internet Safety presentations for students & parents MARC (Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center) presentation for parents Student-focused – Student councils/leadership groups – Peer mediators – Peer mentors – Groups and activities supporting diversity

12 Disciplinary procedures Incident reporting Investigation Communication Consequences Documentation

13 Next Steps Revise/adopt policy Create a district-wide Bullying Prevention Plan, including: Anti-bullying curriculum Training for all staff who come into contact with students Strong reporting mechanisms Access to support services for students involved Issues addressed through IEP processes, when appropriate Consistent documentation Police investigation and reporting in criminal cases

14 Beyond Compliance Core Values: Respect and Integrity Mission Statement: We recognize that intellectual, social and emotional growth is the shared responsibility of students, faculty and staff, administrators, parents, and the community-at-large.


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