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    Bullying is a repeated negative behavior that takes advantage of a less-powerful person. Hitting, name calling, ignoring and shaming are all forms of bullying. So are spreading rumors, gossiping and making threats online. School staff members who know the facts and work as a team to prevent and address bullying improve the school climate, prevent further incidents and help everyone feel safe at school.
     

    All School Adults have a Role to Stop Bullying

    Educators have the responsibility to maintain a safe environment for students to academically and socially develop. As leaders in the school, educators and school staff can help prevent bullying by building strong relationships with students, intervening when signs of bullying are witnessed, and supporting a bullying prevention campaign in the school.

    The following are specific steps educators in different roles should take:

    PRINCIPALS:

    • Assess the bullying climate of the school. Work with others to create social norms that include anti-bullying expectations and should be practiced by everyone in the school, students and adults alike.
    • Implement evidence-based prevention programs that are designed to increase social competency, improve school climate, and eliminate harassment, intimidation, and bullying in schools.
    • Ensure students receive age-appropriate information annually on how to recognize and prevent harassment, bullying, and intimidation. This can occur on student orientation sessions and other appropriate occasions.
    • Form a group to coordinate the school's bullying prevention program. Include representatives from every party of the school including: administrator, teacher from each grade, a non-teaching staff member, school counselor, and parent.
    • Increase supervision in areas of the school or times of the day when bullying occurs.
    • Oversee the investigation process in 5 school days or less from the time the Incident Report Form is submitted.
    • Ensure the resolution of the case is documented on the student information system and written notification of outcome is given to families.
    • Implement corrective measures in 12 days from when the Incident Report Form is submitted if the accused bully is found at fault.
    • Refer to resources (many provided below) and be familiar with best practices to addressing bullying at school, including cyberbullying.

    SCHOOL DISTRICT ADMINISTRATORS & COMPLIANCE OFFICERS:

    • Provide annual training on the school district’s policy and procedure, including staff roles and responsibilities, how to monitor common areas and the used of the district’s Incident Reporting Form.
    • Oversee that all schools are implementing evidence-based prevention programs that are designed to increase social competency, improve school climate, and eliminate harassment, intimidation, and bullying in schools.
    • The Compliance Officer will support school administrators and staff in resolving complaints.

    TEACHERS & STAFF:

    • Increase supervision in areas of the school or times of the day when bullying occurs.
    • Intervene immediately when witnessing harassment, intimidation or bullying.
    • On all occurrences, staff shall document incidents in writing. If there is potential for clear and immediate physical harm to the victim, law enforcement and parent/guardian shall be contacted right away.
    • When unsure if you have been confronted with possible harassment, intimidation, or bullying, consult with the principal, school counselor, and/or district compliance officer.
    • Refer to resources (many provided below) and be familiar with best practices to addressing bullying at school, including cyberbullying.

    Washington State’s Definition of Bullying

    RCW 28A.300.285 "Harassment, intimidation, or bullying" as any intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by any characteristic in RCW 9A.36.080(3), or other distinguishing characteristics, that:

    1. Physically harms a student or damages the student's property; or
    2. Has the effect of substantially disrupting a student's education; or
    3. Is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or
    4. Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school.
      Nothing in this section requires the affected student to actually possess a characteristic that is a basis for the harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

    What is Cyberbullying?

    Cyberbullying is when one student is targeted by another in a threatening, embarrassing, or harassing way using the Internet (Facebook, MySpace, blogs, etc), interactive digital technologies, or cell phones. The motives of cyberbullies are often different than "schoolyard" bullying, and therefore different solutions and reactions are necessary. Refer to the Cyberbullying Resources below that can help keep students safe when using computers and cell phones.

    Anti-Bullying Resources

    Cyberbullying Resources

    • Stop Cyberbullying - Learn more about what cyberbullying is, what you can do, and how the law defines it.
    • Net Smartz - resources for parents/guardians, kids, teens, law enforcement, and educators and is also translated to Spanish. There are videos on cyberbullying and plenty of information on how to keep your kids safe on the internet.
    • I Keep Safe - an interactive site provides tips on keeping your child safe online even if you’re not a computer expert.
    • Anti-Defamation League - provides an anti-bias lesson plan and resources for different school levels.
    • Cybersmart Curriculum - free curriculum is a part of Common Sense Media and features cyberbullying lessons.
    • Facebook Safety: 5 Quick Steps - Walks you through setting up Facebook privacy settings. You can also got to Facebook and click on Help Center. There is a lot of information here on how to report misuse of Facebook entries and how to block messages. Their pages include information for parents about what Facebook is and does and how to teach or monitor the safety of their youth on the Internet.

    Anti-Bullying Curriculum, School Campaigns, and Ideas for Schools & School Districts

    • Dan Olweus Bullying Prevention Program - the world’s foremost bullying prevention program.” This renowned program is research- and evidence-based.  Site provides upcoming trainings and conferences, funding sources for programs, program material available, current news, and videos regarding the program.  (Grades K-8)  
    • Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC Center) - provides research, education, services and programs to education, law enforcement, and human services in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Many tools and curriculum ideas are available at this site, although they are created to be used in programs and trainings led by MARC trainers. (Grade K- 12)
    • Seattle School District Prevention—Intervention Services: Middle School Cyberbullying Curriculum (Grade 6-8) - nine lessons provided on cyberbullying along with sample letters to parents and sample school policy and procedures regarding cyberbullying.
    • SECOND STEP by Committee for Children - this research- and evidence-based program is divided into four programs for different school levels. This program is not free, but has numerous endorsements, testimonies, and research articles to support its effectiveness.  (Grades Pre-K – 12)
    • TeachSafeSchools.org - mission is to help school personnel develop a supportive, safe and inviting learning environment where students can thrive and be successful. It provides evidence-based information and techniques to assist the school community in the prevention of school violence. These school violence prevention strategies are research-based. (Grades K-12)
    • Critical Role of the Principal, Teach Safe Schools: supplies considerations for a principal in regards to anti-bullying programs and a safe school climate. It provides school-wide evidence-based programs and classroom or small group interventions.

    Anti-Bullying Classroom Curriculum for Teachers

    • Education World - offers ten lessons designed to teach students to respect diversity and resolve ideological differences peacefully. Kids Bullying Kids is an anonymous survey students can fill out in order to evaluate experiences with bullying and discuss solutions.
    • PBS Kids - Provides lesson plans along with articles, videos and games.